Anne Duncan, 70, from Aberdeen, tied the knot for the second time to her husband Bill, 72 after he forgot their first wedding 12 years ago because of dementia. Then she has revealed how they have enjoyed a ‘miraculous’ honeymoon period.
At almost wedding parties, we always hear the vows with the line: “in sickness and in health”. But until you’ve actually experienced a hard situation, it’s difficult to comprehend how meaningful these words truly are.
Anne Duncan has been with her husband – Bill for almost 20 years and they have been married for 13 of those years. But his dementia means he has forgotten much of their life together. For the past year, Bill did not even remember Anne’s name. One day, he made her stunned when he told that he wanted to be with her forever. This restored her faith in the existence of true love.
“Something wonderful happened recently,” Anne wrote on Facebook.
“My wonderful husband of 12 years, Bill, told me that he wanted to marry me.”
Anne went on to explain that Bill told her that he “really, really liked me and wanted to be with me forever” which touched her heart in more ways than once. Like many people suffering from dementia, Bill can not use many words and finds it very difficult to express himself. But on this point, he was very clear.
“It was so lovely,” she wrote.
“Another memory to treasure. What I wasn’t prepared for was that he’d remember the next day. He wanted to know when we were getting married.”
And I would say to him “Bill, can you remember I’m your new wife?” and he would just hug me and pat me on my back and shower me with kisses.
Anne couldn’t believe that Bill had kept the memory of his proposal, so she decided on the spot that she’d just go with it. Just two days after Bill’s proposal, Anne’s friends and families had thrown together a beautiful backyard wedding in her garden. The weather cooperated and they all enjoyed a “stunning” day celebrating their love for the second time.
She shared with emotion:
“It was the most wonderful day. We are so blessed to be supported by family and close friends who love us both and do everything they can to help Bill and me enjoy our lives together.
I never dreamt we would ever renew our vows, but we really did. And it was wonderful. Bill was wonderful. And what is even more amazing is that 2 weeks later Bill still thinks he’s just married his new girlfriend and it makes him very happy.”
Everyone enjoyed the day so much. Anne is a wonderful example of how we can care for people with dementia with love and grace. Finally, she ended her story with a message of hope for all who live with and love someone suffering from dementia.
“Please take from this that you can never assume that just because someone has advanced dementia with all the difficulties that present, that they can’t still surprise you in the most unlikely ways. Bill has made me very happy yet again.”
We hope this story brings hope and peace to all who share their hearts with someone in Bill’s predicament. There’s never a bad time to tell someone you love them, but Bill’s timing could not have been more perfect.
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