While we're on the subject of marriage...
I recently read a heart-breaking article which reported that on his show yesterday (starts at 50:40), a well-known tv preacher told a caller that it was ok for her friend to divorce a spouse suffering with Alzheimer's. His reasoning was that the disease is a form of death.
I won't deny that Alzheimer's is a terribly tragic diseases, especially for the family and caretakers. But how incredibly sad that instead of counseling someone to sacrifice his own convenience to care for his beloved spouse when she needs him most, a well-known pastor would tell the caller's friend he could "make sure she has custodial care", divorce her, and then begin dating other people (in his words, "...start all over again").
This was particularly difficult for me, as my grandmother has recently begun showing signs of dementia.
I've known for a while that my grandmother's memory is in decline, but when there is real evidence (this week she mailed me a strange document twice, with no note), it hit me much harder. I'm not back home to see her regularly - so when I experience her memory lapses it seems so shocking and out of character. My grandmother has always been the one who never forgets. She never missed sending a birthday card, her monthly newsletter, or writing to her many, many correspondents. (she's been writing to the same penpal for over 50 years!) So its really sad to see her struggling, but now is when she needs her family most.
I sincerely hope that neither E nor I ever has to experience Alzheimer's, but we certainly feel that we made marriage vows to stay faithful until the end, even if its hard or unpleasant.
What do you think?
ps. Here's a really heart-warming story about a man who sacrificed his career to care for his Alzheimer's ridden wife