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Alzheimer's Caregiver: “I Will Remember For The Both Of Us”

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2023 3:00 am

Alzheimer's Caregiver: “I Will Remember For The Both Of Us”

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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March 8, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Laura Sangster shares her love story between her and her husband. All was well until her husband, Fred, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

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Exclusions apply. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show, including your stories.

Send them to OurAmericanStories.com. They're some of our favorites and you know we really mean that. Today we have a listener story from WHO in Des Moines, our great I Heart Station 1040. Laura Sangster had a tough childhood and a very tough first marriage, but then she met her husband Fred. Here's Laura sharing her story. I was married 40 years. I found out after five years of marriage that he had sexual addictions and he was living, had another life 38 years out of the 40. I didn't want God to be mad at me, so I didn't want divorce. My kids, everybody wanted me.

I mean it was awful and I just thought I was so scared. My health was going down. I did lay counseling.

My counselor, he said, no the Lord does not want you to be living like this anymore. So I worked for a law firm. Everybody knew who he was and what he was doing. After I decided to divorce, they were just so elated. They put a party on and they said you need to find somebody that cares about you. So five years later they wanted me to do eHarmony. They were all on eHarmony. Some of them were engaged and you know and it was like you've got to do this.

Well I filled out the application after a lot of pressuring and then Fred name came up. Anyway we started talking. You know you talk first and then you mail questions back and forth.

First name and no email nothing. So it's it's quite a process that you go through. Then when you feel like you're ready to just say hey I can give my phone number or my email address, then you can do that.

So after about oh I would say probably two or three weeks after that I would say probably two or three months. We just really knew a lot about each other. We met first of January for the first time in person.

He came to Minnesota because he had meetings there. It was like we had known each other for years and he he came by the table and stood up and he just stood there and I thought who is this and he said Laura and I said yes and he said I'm Fred. We sat there for five hours and then we sat on the parking lot and then the next day his one meeting was canceled. He says are you going to be available and I did and it was just like that's why I call my prince and I always have because it was like it was just a Cinderella story and and we just knew. I mean there was no doubt and I had no intentions of ever getting married again. But he treated me such a gentleman and such a wonderful Christian man. It was just like God just put him in my life.

I really believe that God really put him in my life. When he asked me to marry him in February I thought you know I told him right out. I said you know what I need to pray about this and I said I don't want to talk to you or any connection during this time because I said I really need to pray to God that this is what he wants me to do.

And I thought well if he finds somebody else that's fine it wasn't meant to be. That's the way I thought about it and people can believe I did that. My heart tells me I need to do that. So I did. And it was two weeks actually to the day that I told him and I prayed and prayed and prayed and everything no connection. And then one morning I woke up got to work and it just said you need to call him now and say you would like to go out with them again.

I did. So it just all went from there. We wrote our vows together. It says our promises to each other. First and most importantly God will be the center focus of our relationship with each other.

I want you to know that I will always make prayer the foremost in any given situation and our day will start and end with prayer. I want to be someone who reminds you every single day how much you're loved. I want to be someone who fills each day of our marriage with happiness and beautiful memories with you. I want to be someone you can trust and share with absolutely everything along the pathway of our life's journey together. I want to be the one person you know who can always turn to someone you can laugh and cry with. But most importantly I just want you to be able to be yourself. I want to sit next to you hold you walk with you and share our innermost thoughts.

These are my promises to you. Both of us were on the same track. That's where it started and then our we had beautiful trips we we just had it just a beautiful life. And then I noticed one day that he just like stood in the room middle of the room and just was like just puzzled like didn't know where he was or whatever and I thought oh my gosh what's going on. Anyway I noticed little things here and there and his mom passed away with Alzheimer. Then we had him evaluated this was in 2014 I think he was diagnosed with Alzheimer. And you've been listening to Laura Sankster tell her story about a dreadful first marriage liberation through a divorce and ultimately finding Fred those vows they were just so beautiful oh my goodness ours weren't as good I wish I wish we'd spent more time on ours and were as thoughtful by the way I met my bride on the internet as well on on the internet as well on match.com third couple to ever be married on match.com and we're really proud of that and I knew it when I met her that was my person that was my soulmate and clearly Laura knew Fred was the person for her for the rest of her life. When we come back more of this story and what happens next as Alzheimer's beckons. This is our American Stories. So here at our American Stories we bring you inspiring stories of history sports business faith and love stories from a great and beautiful country that need to be told we can't do it without you our stories are free to listen to but they're not free to make if you love our stories in America like we do please go to our American Stories.com and click the donate button give a little give a lot help us keep the great American Stories coming that's our American Stories.com. 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either you or him so i had appointment facility and he was it was really hard i've been in a lot of caregiver groups i got him in involved right away just to keep his mind going there's a lot of neat places alzheimer association has places everywhere every state and there's groups that they zone into what they can still do and give them encouragement and that's what i would just say is find a caregiver group right away find out all the information all the steps because it helps prepare you if you don't look into that or get the support from that end it's awful it's awful and and i was right away with him and i think that kept him going longer than he would have been because i kind of kept him in with people that were like him and it was so important because he didn't feel like he was different then and that is so important that is so important because people don't understand i had we had lots of friends fred had fred's for 75 years and we had a church family we had bible studies we did social things all the time and we're your family we're here i mean these are long years friends anyway after he was diagnosed everybody fell off the face the earth totally they're gone and one pastor told me he says well they just don't know what to say or do and i said no that's wrong that's when you need your family i it was hard so i tried for a few years with everybody and i just thought i i don't have the energies to do this anymore it's not worth it you might know what to say but you can say hey i've been thinking about you so get connected right away and learn they have great support groups great support groups for both you go to meetings with both and that and fred and i did and then you have your own caregiving groups but now to this day he doesn't know who i am he knows him special you know but he's content in his world and that's been real hard for me and it was our anniversary on july 5th and i'm gonna cry these words came to me it says remembering for the both of us i just sat down by my computer and i wrote this in 10 minutes it just flowed out of me it says memories are unforgettable and i only wish i could say to you remember when but i know you can't so i will remember for us both i talk to you about the past hoping that it triggers some memory of our past but in reality i know in my heart that i will need to remember for us both when i say i love you so much you in turn tell me that's nice my hugs seem a mystery to you your eyes speak why are you hugging me and you receive it with no response with a hug back i miss those hugs you were the best hugger of all and i always with saying i love you my pj love you my pj a name you gave me at our wedding which means precious jewel and i called you my prince like in cinderella but now i only can rest in my heart those expressions of our love and knowing i will remember for us both memories are never forgotten deep down inside you i know they are there in your heart when we talk about god your eyes shine that makes me teary-eyed because i know you are aware that he is with you i will forever keep the memories for us both and that just flowed and it's like thank you lord because i needed that it's something told me to just sit down and just pour it out and one main thing i want to say don't let the little things get in the way because you're going to have differences you're going to have little things that are happening all the time but that's what i try to tell people married people and even older people i said you know the little things don't matter because what look at with fred i never even dawned that this is going to happen and if we would have harbored on the bad stuff we would not even had a beautiful marriage like we did but it was beautiful and and we would talk we would definitely talk about if something was wrong we would talk right away very rarely did we have any problem at all even when i took care of him for five years when he got bad we still had good moments and precious moments and even when he went in i could take him but i can't take him out anymore i'm much stronger than i ever have been because i see he's planted people on my pathway he's helped me to find a good place for fred all i want to do is inspire people no matter how hard things can get you just got to trust there's a reason for and the lord will put those people in your pathway when you need them my oldest son is 53 he's in a nursing home right now and he has is called whitmore's disease and it's not it's foreign to the us it's only in tropical areas and maybe puerto rico they don't know how he contracted you only can get it through contaminated water or soil what it does is it destroys he's got permanent brain damage kidney damage liver damage and then my other son is ms and a girlfriend i have 53 years we're very very close like sisters she ended up having in the hospital same time i was there she's got demantia so i do have a load i look at everything and it doesn't bother me to the point of just saying why lord i never ask why just give me the strength to be able to be there however i can i taught them her family how to speak to alzheimer i'm looking at it that the lord has planted me in these situations that's the way i live i i look at it and say i don't like it i need a break but he has put me in positions to be able to help and and that that's how that's how i comfort myself and like i said i don't like it but i only have two alternatives either to be really upset or you know okay lord what do you want me to do and that that's that's where i'm at i have my days believe me and not that i don't sit and cry sometimes not that i don't you know i mean it's normal and i think it's good it's like a pressure cooker you've got to let some of the steam out and it's okay it's okay to cry and that's what they they they kind of help you with too is when i first went to caregiver it's okay to cry it's it's okay to say what you're feeling and you know because it does it really helps you really helps you make stronger be stronger and a beautiful piece a sad piece but a real piece so many millions of people living with alzheimer's and it's tough but hearing this voice well this voice of affirmation and hope even within it all and a special thanks to faith and robbie and madison for their work on the piece and their collaboration laura sankster's story the story of how she lives with alzheimer's i need to remember for us both she said he doesn't know who i am but he's content in his world again the story of laura sankster a listener's story of beauty here on our american stories excuse me did you know that when you use the roto app to buy a car roto actually finds all the secret available rebates and discounts specific to you so the price i see is my unique price that's right the lowest and best does roto do this for every customer or just customers named catherine well that depends wait how do you spell catherine k-a-t-h just kidding it's for every 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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 04:20:18 / 2023-03-08 04:28:14 / 8

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