A Marriage to Remember | Alzheimer's Disease Documentary | Op-Docs | The New York Times

A Marriage to Remember | Alzheimer's Disease Documentary | Op-Docs | The New York Times

A Marriage to Remember | Alzheimer's Disease Documentary | Op-Docs | The New York Times

By Bryan Wright 39 Comments May 3, 2019



This is Mom's video diary. Hey, man. It's too dirty. Say Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Hi. This is — do I
say "this is who"? You can do whatever you want. This is Pam White. Should I start? Yeah, whenever you want. O.K. Hello. I am Pam White. I am a mother of three children. I will tell you a
little bit about me. I grew up in a hotel. My father owned the hotel. And it was an unusual
way to grow up, but it was a lovely
way to grow up. I was an actress. I did modeling. I live for my family
and my children. And one little glitch is that
I have developed Alzheimer's. And initially, I was quite
distressed and upset about it. But it doesn't really matter. It doesn't really
change anything. So I don't feel sad,
and I don't feel regret. I feel blessed that I have this
wonderful family, and a husband who is extraordinarily
wonderful. Good morning. Hi. Can I get you up? Why? Because I'm sure you'd
like to have breakfast. Be right there. Can you tell me the story
of when you proposed to Mom? My senior year in college,
the Vietnam War was raging. A lottery was done, and
draft numbers were drawn. My number was 16, which meant
it was 100 percent sure that I would have been drafted. My great-grandfather, my
grandfather, my father were all in the
United States Navy. So I applied to
naval officer school. All the while, I
had been planning on asking your mom to marry me. She is capable of doing less
and less around the house. I probably talked to a woman
from the Alzheimer's Society two, maybe three times. They think it's important
I should somehow remain more of a husband by
having a caregiver get her up in the morning,
get her dressed, bathe her, give her
medicine, make her meals. Maybe. So far, so good. I don't mind doing it. I like being with her. Do you think that you
getting more confused has been hard for Dad? I don't think he
thinks I'm confused. In that way. Hmm? I said I don't think he feels
that he is, or feels that I am. Confused. I'm not confused. You think I'm confused? No, maybe that's a bad word. But you need help
with things that you didn't used to need help with. Right. Yeah. Do you think that's
hard for him? Did you notice a change
with Mom from the last trip? No, the change in the
year has been profound. Watching the person
that you love so much, who has been so much
a part of your life, you know. It's nice she smiles
when she sees me. Thank God for her smile. That's huge. But there's a lot more that, you
know, I used to get from her, that she would do
for me, that's gone. My nickname is Fast
Eddie, and it's because I tend to just get
things done in a hurry. And Pam's favorite
question is, where's Ed? And I can answer
it 100 times a day. Just getting her
out of the house and into the car to go
shopping is a big deal. And her walk is now a
shuffle, not a walk. So it's just slow, slow, slow. And don't ever let her
know that you're impatient, which I'm sure there
are several times a week when she knows that
I'm impatient with her. And she knows it. You can — you
know she knows it. And of course, I feel
terrible when it happens. Yeah. Sometimes, if I'm the first
thing she sees in the morning, I don't actually think
she recognizes me. That's beginning. What must it be like? How much does Pam know
about what's happened, what's happening and
what will happen to her? Every time I see her,
I hope I hug her. Every time I see her,
I tell her I love her. I tell her how
magnificent her smile is. I tell her what a great
life we've had together. And I thank her for
what she's done for me. She was an incredibly
attentive, loving mother. I know she'd love
to be that person. I know that. I have made a commitment
to this beautiful woman that I will live
with her forever. So whatever happens, we're
definitely doing it together.

39 Comments found

User

Srimugunthan Rishithan

This made me cry a lot. I'm sorry for you to go through this. Have a lovely day PLEASE!

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Heidi Patterson

It’s truly beautiful to see 2 people who took their wedding vows to heart fully. You can just see the love in his eyes. May the good Lord bless him & his family.

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Celisse Willis

I currently help take care of a woman with a form of dementia called picks disease. It runs in her family. Meaning her frontal lobe is slowly deteriorating.
I don’t feel like they understand how what they’re going through affects those who care for them. That’s why there’s becoming more support for the caretakers. Awareness is growing for caretaker burnout & there’s actually a pretty significant death rate of caretakers because it can be emotionally taxing.
Her former boyfriend, who is now just a roommate, is constantly frustrated with her, so I have to remind him that she’s not registering everything thats being said to or asked of her.

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Billy Mccaughey

Love your family.❤️

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Patricia Samuels

What an amazing man you are. God bless you Sir.

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Jo O Reilly

Such a lovely man.

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Jo O Reilly

Such a vile disease.

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Jo O Reilly

Very sad.Yet lovely.

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Amanda Bryant

Why is this the outcome if we live long? It’s not fair. She was absolutely amazing and beautiful. It doesn’t seem fair. This sucks.

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Timothy Lyn

I was very moved by this.x

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Emily M.

In the doc it says she was diagnosed in 2009, how long after the diagnosis was this filmed? Did she lose a lot of language function as the disease progressed? Did it mostly attack her parietal lobe?

My dad was also diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer's at 61 years of age, unfortunately he doesn't have a loving partner… He was single when he had his massive cognitive decline (in 2017) so it's his older sister, her daughter and me that are his caregivers. There's not much research done on sporadic young-onset Alzheimer's that hits in the late 50's early 60's, so I'm eager to learn about it from those who have lived experience.

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User

run ner

Take the approach in 50 First Dates. Video the person with the disease speaking on the video, explaining his/her own disease. It might help at least so he/she doesnt get scared with the people around her. Might work.

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User

Frances Maykut

what a heart warming story

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User

Melissa loves Jesus ✝️

Wow, she’s beautiful! What a beautiful family.

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john cacciotti

I have cried through this so many times. I am happy that she is no longer suffering.

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Lily Mendez

I need me an ED 😫😪😢😰

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User

blunk blunk

Onions

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Clara Vela

Amazing documentary.

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LOWE sonia

Sad that their last years are marred by this degenerating illness fortunately they've had a good life before.

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User

Chelsea Bella Gallo

Dan Gasby should see what real and everlasting love looks like..

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honorthelegend1

Dear God,
I beg of you to please remove this disease if the mind from us now. How are we to remember your grace and mercies and all the great things you have provided. Let us sing your praise and give thanks-please keep our mind well to do so.
I love you, in the name of Jesus Christ
Amen

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User

Cherí Bombe

Reminded me of The Notebook

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honey buzzard

Pam looks like Sally Field.
Beautiful Mom.
Get Well soon Mom.

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Sam Sung

I have no one. Their wedding photo look like they were movie stars.

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Mini Moon

I wish my mum had a husband like her… more often when she gets sick, she needs a partner who won't mind her demandingness. And me too, a partner should be with you thin and thick. But unfortunately she got a narcissist and I have lost hope, that I could find someone like that. In a positive note, we are actually each other's soulmates.

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Mrs. L

She looks like the girl who was just on the voice this last show, she looks like she could be her mother

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Mrs. L

Happy people get married to happy people we must be happy then that happy person will come into our life

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Angela Carleton

I envy this couple – I know the struggles with Alzheimer isn't easy but the love they have for each other is special – those women that never had this type of a person in her life is certainly missing a lot. I hope they find a cure or something to stop the continuation of this Alzheimer Disease. It's so painful for the spouse and children.

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Gerry Nightingale

*A bullet for her…and then an instant later one for me as we lay side-by-side in our bed in our home with my hand holding hers as we make a final journey together*

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Tonya R

Banker, it’s a beautiful and a very important video. Thank you for doing this. God bless your Mom

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Janet Grabner

There is a beautiful movie called "The Genius Of Marion" by Pam Whites son.It is the story of Pam White in reference to her mother Marion.Her mother did all the paintings in this doc.She also died of Alzheimer's. The movie is a longer version of Pam's story.Beautifully done.It was on Netflix but now removed.Look for it ♥️

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Threewaves Girl

What a beautiful husband you are.

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Teresa Catherine

God bless you sir. You are the definition of a loving husband.

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Tyler Judas

Ive seen this before it just broke my heart. So sad

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Jene Grae

💕

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Sherri Burton

This is the definition of Love…not what is seen on TV or comes out of Hollywood. This is a First Corinthians 13 kind of love.

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Dee Dee

Simply pure and true love ❤️

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Sandy Wasy

What a lovely devoted man. Bless them both.

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Jojie Cabahug

😭😭😭😭

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