Despite Alzheimer’s disease ravaging Peter Marshall‘s memories, he has yet to forget how much he loves his wife, even if he forgets her name.
Peter and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 12 years. But Peter, 56, who is battling early-onset Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed a few years ago, doesn’t remember a wedding happening. All that Peter does know is that he loves her.
The Connecticut couple said “I do” a second time in a vow renewal ceremony.
But last December, Peter had a grand realization. Again. The couple was watching a wedding on TV, when he said “Let’s do it.” And Lisa was unsure how to respond.
“I said, ‘Do what?’ And he pointed to the TV, to the scene of this wedding and I said, ‘Do you wanna get married?’ He said yes and had this huge grin on his face,” Lisa recalled.
“He doesn’t know that I’m his wife. I’m just his favorite person.”
“I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I get to do it twice,” said Lisa, wiping a tear from her eye.
Her daughter, who is a wedding and event planner, shared the couple’s plans for a vow renewal and an astounding number of vendors offered their services, free of charge.
“It was so perfect. I couldn’t have dreamt for a better day. It was so magical,” said Lisa. “I can’t remember seeing him so happy for so long. He was so happy.”
While Peter’s illness is progressing rapidly — to the point where he no longer remembers the vow renewal ceremony — he does remember there is a woman who loves him and cherishes him always; something he shared at the ceremony.
“He leaned in and he whispered in my ear, ‘Thank you for staying,'” Lisa said through tears. No we aren’t crying, YOU’RE crying!
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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