A Valentine’s Day Promise to a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, author Mara Botonis shares a few words with us about loving someone with Alzheimer’s disease and how to stay connected with a loved one despite the progression of dementia.A Valentine's Day Promise to a Loved One with Alzheimer's

Learn more about her Valentine’s Day promise to a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

A Promise to a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

I will always love you. The way I feel about you is based upon all of our experiences, history and all of our memories over the years that make up the unique story of our relationship.

Honestly, it does break my heart that you are unable to remember the ties that bind us as clearly as I do. But, I remember. I know that if you had the power to change things you would too.

I will always love you.

I’m sorry for the times I’m hard on you when you are just trying to connect with me in any way that you can. I promise to recognize the gift of your love that you offer me every day.

When you ask me the same questions over and over, I will remember that part of the reason may just be because you want to talk with me.

When you follow me around the house most of the day, I will remember that it may because you want to be with me.

When you pace or get agitated and upset, I will remember that part of the reason may be because this is hard on you. It has to be frustrating to want to say and do and remember things that seem just out of reach.

When you look at me, sit by me or give me a smile and nod, I will remember that you are expressing your feelings with all the communication tools you still have access to.

I will remember to appreciate and look for everything you can still do and grieve less for what has been lost.

I will remember to accept you and appreciate you for who you are right here, today and tomorrow and not always compare you to the memories of you I that hold so dear.

I will remember that there are new and equally precious memories to be made right here, right now.

I will look for your love not in words, but in the way you depend on me because you feel safe with me. I will look for your love not in tangible gifts but in the touch of your hand. I will recognize the love you offer me in your desire to be near me, your wish to talk with me and in the way you search my face for answers to your unasked questions.

I will always love you and I recognize now that despite this devastating disease, you will always love me too and I promise to better honor the way you that show me how you feel.

I promise to better appreciate the gifts you give me every day, I know you are giving to me everything that you now have to offer. Thank you.

I will always love you.

What do you want to say to a loved one with Alzheimer’s? We’d love to hear your stories and thoughts in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • pensky

    wow yes…Pam, I love you….I’m doing the best I can. It’s so hard cuz I am ur only person……but I love you and you are safe with me.

  • Michele Tabat DeSocio

    I Will …

    • caitlinburm

      Beautiful, Michele. Thank you so much for sharing that incredibly touching poem with us.

  • Ann

    Oh Mara, such beautiful words… so much truth.

  • Cary Ulrich


    On this journey of caring for my beautiful wife with Alzheimer’s I have learned many things about life, what is most important, how to love in a deeper way than I ever knew, to see her on a deeper level at the core of her very being and to connect at the very deepest of the emotional part of her. I have also learned that as ugly as this disease is there are many things to be so deeply grateful for. Am I grateful for her having this, “NO”, I am mad as hell that it has happened. This disease is so devastating to not only her but to me, our family and friends. Since it has happened, am I glad that it is the way it is? In a way I am because I would hate for her to be going through the pain and grief that I am. She and no one deserves this.

    The things that I am grateful for are: the many little ways that she tells me every day that she loves me, cares about me and that I am important to her. The way she smiles and the sparkle in her eyes when she sees me. The way she will rub my back or the little kisses I will feel on my shoulder when we hug. The little tug I will feel from her as we are getting close to a door so I don’t run into the jamb. These little things, in such a subtle way, tell me that she still loves me.

    I am grateful for what is still left. So many things have faded away and will never be back but at the very core of her being, Sharon is still there. I am grateful for every moment that I have with her, that she is still here and that I can still see her every day for I know that that won’t always be the case. I am grateful for still being able to hold her hand as we walk for someday soon she will probably be confined to a wheel chair. Then I will be grateful that she is still here for me to push. I am grateful that we can sit on her bed and she is there for me to hold as she takes a nap on my chest. And when she is no longer able to sit, I will be grateful to sit by her side and hold her hand and stroke her face. I am grateful that she still recognizes me and gives me that beautiful smile and sparkly eyes when she sees me.

    I have learned to be grateful for the honor, privilege and blessing of taking care of this beautiful lady. How grateful I am to be able to feed her, to know that I am still her rock and support, the one that brings some stability into her world. It is such a privilege to be her advocate and make sure that she is taken good care of and comfortable. Do I wish she was still at home for me to do this? Definitely, but I know that is impossible so I do it now from a distance but it is such an honor to do so.

    For me, learning to look, and be grateful for what is left, has been my sanity saver. I could dwell on all that has been lost, and there has been so much that has gone away, that I would miss the gems, love, caring and enjoyment of what is still there. I want our journey together, when that time comes to an end, to be one of enjoying each other, to the fullest that we can, with much love and happiness knowing that we were together until the end.

    And now that she has gone to be with her Lord and Savior I am so grateful for our years together and the beautiful memories she left me of our time together. Thank you Lord and Sharon for these, I will cherish these forever as that is where you live now, deep in my heart and memories.

    Cary Ulrich

  • Janne Clinto

    This brought me to tears. I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s recently and so sad for not only my future, but my husband’s. This was so beautiful that it brought hope to my heart for not only the pain that is coming, but the sustaining power of love.

    • caitlinburm


      We are so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but hope that we can remain a resource to you during this time. We will be keeping you and your husband in our hearts and minds.

About The Author

Profile photo of Mara Botonis