Acts of Kindness
Man with dementia proposes to wife he remembers as girlfriend and remarries her
This is the sweetest story of love in old age I've ever read. It's what a love that lasts a lifetime really looks like.
Laura Shallcross
09.21.21

Getting older means coming to terms with lots of new normals, but some age-related conditions are significantly more difficult to deal with than others.

Many of us would choose to lose some of our physical ability rather than lose our memory or speech capabilities, for instance.

But life is full of surprises.

Steven HWG/ Unsplash
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Steven HWG/ Unsplash

Unfortunately, degenerative diseases affecting the brain are relatively common in today’s world.

A 2021 study by alz.org found that an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.

One of the most distressing effects of dementia is losing your memory.

You can lose it to the extent that you’re no longer able to recognize your loved ones.

Kindel Media/ Pexels
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Kindel Media/ Pexels

This can affect relationships in unexpected ways, both for the person with dementia and their family and friends.

Bill (71) and Anne (69) are a Scottish couple who know the impact of dementia well.

5 News/ YouTube
Source:
5 News/ YouTube

Anne and Bill recently got married, after Bill told Anne that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, but there was a catch.

The pair were already married.

Originally, Bill and Anne met 20 years ago, when Bill put on a magician’s show in Aberdeen, Scotland. The besotted pair married in 2007 and had one daughter.

5 News/ YouTube
Source:
5 News/ YouTube

But a few years down the line, Anne started to notice a change in Bill’s behavior.

She told Bill to book a doctor’s appointment, and that’s when the crushing news was delivered. Bill had dementia.

Memory loss quickly became a main symptom of Bill’s dementia, and Anne stepped up to be his caregiver.

5 News/ YouTube
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5 News/ YouTube

Eventually, Bill forgot Anne’s name, and no longer knew that she was his wife.

This must have been devastating for Anne, but she stayed by her husband’s side and did everything she could to make him feel at home.

5 News/ YouTube
Source:
5 News/ YouTube

And then, after attending a family wedding, Bill became overcome with emotion and hugged and kissed Anne in their car.

While he still didn’t remember Anne as his wife, he knew that he loved her. So much, in fact, that he wanted to marry her.

Anne was in a predicament.

Bill’s proposals persisted, and he didn’t understand that they were already married. Eventually, Anne relented and agreed to tie the knot in a small ceremony with Bill, again.

5 News/ YouTube
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5 News/ YouTube

While for Anne this ceremony was more of a renewal of vows or a celebration of marriage, for Bill it would feel like his first time getting married to his wife.

At the wedding, the pair exchanged vows then shared a first dance. Anne wore a white dress, while Bill looked colorful in a tropical print shirt.

Speaking to 5 News, Anne said the informal wedding was “really quite magical.”

5 News/ YouTube
Source:
5 News/ YouTube

She added:

“My family and friends are wonderful because they just embraced – no questions asked – just embraced.”

If their two weddings have proved anything, it’s that Bill and Anne’s marriage is clearly for life, in both sickness and in health.

Learn more on this heartwarming story and see clips from the wedding in the video below!

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By Laura Shallcross
hi@sbly.com
Laura Shallcross is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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