Her eyes drooped downward the entire photo session. It was a struggle to make eye contact and to keep her from nodding off. I wondered who she was…

All around her, her family treated her like a delicate doll-they approached her with reverence and they uttered words in her ear I could but faintly hear. They placed a photo on her lap. A sailor stood there with his arms wrapped around a beautiful young woman, the same woman now stricken with Alzheimer’s. She was a military spouse. What was her story? 

A single mother in a foreign country walked into a mailroom on a United States Naval base. From there the details are faint but the climax to the story and the overall message: Love was present there. It drove the young Carmen to marry her handsome sailor, Allen. She moved to a foreign country and pursued a life in a culture she barely knew. She lost him nearly thirty-four years ago and never found it in her heart to remarry. Her life was undoubtedly filled with lessons of wisdom, courage and perseverance yet ten years ago her diagnosis prodded her to memory to fade, and in it’s detrition the details were lost. Despite her worn recollection, and ability to communicate with words, the presence of love was undeniable. I listened as her son held her on her lap and sang so softly in her ear a song that she immediately recognized. A tear rolled down her wrinkled cheek as he held her. Love was present there…

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