One moment she was there and the next moment he was all mawkish because he didn’t find her by his side. It was as if suddenly his room had turned so white that it could make him shiver; a white so cold. He was craving for that love and care which had helped him recover in six years and now her absence made him feel as if he was dying all over again.
3rd January, 2008.
John was my closest skin, my brother, my best friend. He was someone with whom I could be myself. On this day his life had changed forever. Events happened without any break, it was like a flood came in our life which just destroyed everything. It was on the dining table while we were having our supper that John got a stroke and collapsed, my mother unleashed a terrible cry. We rushed John to the hospital, we all were so tensed. John’s right half was now paralyzed. According to the doctors we couldn’t cry in front of him as he had lost his speech and he would get all frustrated and upset after looking at all of us so upset and then not being able to speak, so we all went to John with a smile on our faces and pretending as if everything is just fine. My mother’s eyes were damp. I couldn’t see him lying on that bed with so many tubes attached so I ran out of the room.
Gradually John became fine, it took physiotherapy and drugs to recover. He gradually got his speech back, but still it was very difficult and tiring for him to talk and walk so much. But somewhere we believe it took more than medicines and therapies for him to recover; Judi Walter. He loved Judi more than sunset; because after every sunset there’s a new beginning which everyone looks forward to. All this while she was there with John and supported him throughout. Gradually as John was recovering, Judi was changing. She now looked weak and miserable. She would stay at home the entire day, but because of John’s health mom, dad didn’t pay any heed to it.
I asked Judi if she was alright. That day mom, dad had gone with John for the physiotherapy. Judi started crying and told me she was suffering from Alzheimer. There was a pang of remorse in the room. John was my closest skin, it was difficult for me to imagine what would happen to John without Judi. But Judi was fine. It was just the initial stage, but yet it led to Death.
28th July, 2013.
John was still in a wheelchair, he still looked as hot as earlier in the black tuxedo. He then read out his proposal in front of me.
“ Loving you till the end is the easiest task i can think of. You are forever, and I want to stay beside you till then.”
I pitied John, as he knew about Judi not keeping well. But he had no clue about the actual disease. Judi had stopped eating.
There are secondary problems that arise in Alzheimer’s that one would’t immediately think of like, Dysphagia; the loss of ability to swallow, which often leads to death.
It was a week later that someone found Judi standing in the middle of the road and crying as she could not remember where she lived, and she was standing in front of her apartment. There were many such instances: Judi would go to the bathroom and suddenly forget why she has come here or would forget where she is, she would be all miserable all of a sudden because she didn’t remember anything. Judi would feel hungry, but because of dementia, she would forget to eat. John noticed all of this and wanted to help her with all of this, but he just couldn’t. He would visit Judi, sit with her and talk about the old days, she would reply to him and suddenly shut up and ask him what’s happening.
4th September, 2013.
Judi ran away from home at 8 am, thinking she was in an unknown place. As soon as she reached the crossroad she forgot where was she heading to. She broke down and started crying, when suddenly a car hit her with speed. We went to the hospital. John kept weeping, Judi was very serious. Suddenly John said, “The world is not a wish granting factory.”
On 13th September, 2013 Judi passed away. John had been all miserable, since then. It was as if one half of John is dead. It was getting difficult for him to lead a normal and happy life.It was as if he was dying all over again. He was so nonplussed, all the time, he would sit and stare at things as if there was no life around him. Within a year John also passed away, he had a silent death. I went to wake him up, but he wouldn’t get up, he was a light sleeper. We later found a letter Judi had written to him.
I know I’ve been very weird all this while, and I know you’re mad at me for not telling you earlier that I was suffering from this disease (I don’t remember the name.) You know all I ever wished for truly was you to recover and be happy. I don’t want to see you suffer all over again. My heart is full of tears unshed and words unsaid. I don’t know how to cope up with this all, I keep forgetting things. The worst was when I forgot the ring you gave me in the bathroom and I couldn’t recall where did I keep it, I went to the bathroom and forgot why I had come here and then suddenly I saw the ring so I wore it again. You are one of those who plants in heart a lifetime of things so pleasant yet so minute that you don’t realize how much you have to depend on them. It was one day that mom asked me if I wanted to visit you, and for a few minutes I couldn’t remember who John was. It was such a terrible feeling I wish I could put it into words. Why did I start writing this letter?
You know right? I love you. “
There were ink spots on the page as if Judi forgot while writing and held the tip of the pen to the page. Tears were rolling down my cheek. My whole body felt numb, it felt like for a minute I was in a place of Judi that I couldn’t get myself back to think what has happened in these past few years and suddenly I was John, as if I was dying earlier when my brother was so unwell and all of a sudden I saw this ray of happiness and hope and now that ray of hope and happiness also vanished and I was dying all over again. But beyond all of this I was sure of one thing and that was all what I knew and believed in: From dust we come and to dust we must return.