Everyone over a certain age fears that one day a momentous event outside one's control may occur that will change one's life forever. It happened to Alix Kates Shulman and her beloved husband.
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Alix Kates Shulman: My name is Alix Kates Shulman and my book is "to What Love is A Marriage Transformed" it's a memoir. On a moonless summer night my husband fell 9 feet from a sleeping loft to the floor and did not die. He can't remember it and I no matter how indelibly the details of that night are branded on my mind, still can't fathom it. We had just arrived at our summer house, which is on an island of the coast of Maine in a very remote corner with no electricity, no road, nothing. We went immediately upstairs to our sleeping loft and fell into a profound sleep. Then in the middle of the night, suddenly I sensed something was wrong, I sat straight up in bed and I saw that the space beside me was empty he wasn't there. I looked down over the edge of the loft and there he was hurled up like a fetus. I had that ominous feeling when I saw him lying there on the floor, that nothing would ever be the same again. He had lost his short term memory from the day of the injury on, he remembers nothing. He had a frontal lobe which means that his cognition was way of base. He knew his name and the date of his birth, although he knew my birthday he didn't know my name. One of the speech therapist gave me an intimation of what was coming. She said that she thought that his inability to know even that he was in a hospital, was because his memory was so damaged that he couldn't hold in his mind even for two seconds, any information at all. My calling was to bring him back to health. It was a long time, it was a year before I realize that, that wasn't going to happen. It's a huge undertaking, you have to be completely responsive to them, you have to know what stage they are in, you have to devote yourself. You have to be able to put your own desires on hold while you care for them. Many people suggested that I should get somebody else to care for him either by putting him in the nursing home or by hiring a full time caregiver for him and just kind of forget about him and get on with my life. I can't abandon him just because he has disabilities. He is the same man I always loved and he cuts on me. He is very appreciative, he thanks me a hundred times a day for what I do for him and for sticking with him. He says, thank you for sticking with me even though I am such a dummy. Now that has to make me feel good. When Scott had an aneurysm when we were living in Hawaii, we had to have emergency, heart surgery and on the gurney, on the way into the waiting room they let me see him for a moment and he looked up at me and he said, I want you to know one thing you were truly loved, that really moved me deeply and moves me still. Someone who says a thing like that to you and that you know, is saying it truly, you would never abandon no matter what happened.

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