The Alzheimer's Diaries: a love story

By Susan Elkin

A sardonic, powerful, loving, diarized account of caring for a partner with Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Watch strap

Yesterday, I had a day off from routine freelance journalism (which is beginning to come in again, thank goodness) and went to Brighton. I'd agreed to meet my third granddaughter from school and then have supper with her and her mum after work. I went  down earlier in the day by train because I wanted to do some shopping and I hadn't been into Brighton city centre, which I rather like, for a while.

One of my errands was the purchase of a new watch strap. The watch I now wear is cheap and cheerful from H Samuel. I've never wanted the responsibilty of an expensive watch. All I require is a very clear black-on-white traditional face witout clutter or glare. In May 2018 I needed a new one so Nick - still well enough to make decisions and be reasonably aware of what was what, 15 months before he died - offered to buy me one for my birthday. We happened to be in Chichester where I was reviewing a show and he bought my watch for me, getting out his credit card and having a joke with the sales assistant.

Two and a half years later the bracelet strap has gone floppy and stretchy. I like the face as much as I did the day I chose it and I'm a bit sentimental about it because, as it turmed out, it was the last present Nick bought me  independently. By Chiristmas that year our elder son had to take complete charge of his father's present buying. And my May birthday in 2019 I bought a new violin case from Nick's account - I had power of attorney by then and informed him he'd bought me a birthday present but it was all a bit silly and pointless because he no longer had a clue what was going on most of the time.

So I replaced the strap at H Samuel in Brighton yesterday and hope I'll be able to go on wearing the watch for a while to come -  fondlyremembering the day we bought it. Together.

That togetherness evaporated, as this little story shows, frighteningly fast because in Nick's case the disease just galloped towards destruction. It's like that for some unlucky people and their families.

That's why we need to talk about it more and look for ways of averting/curing it. Thank you for supporting The Alzheimer's Diaries: A Love Story. Funding now stands at almost 40%. We need a Big Push to take it further. Can you help by sharing the details, telling your friends and so on?  



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