Jan 25, 2014

I Told Him I Would Help Be His Memory

My husband is 81 years old.

I Told Him I Would Help Be His Memory

Born in Brooklyn, now we live on a lake in Minnesota. I am 65.

This is the second marriage for both of us. We’ve been married 20 years.

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By Jill Ballard

When I was dating Bob, I asked him to tell me all his stories. He was an only child and his parents were deceased.

I loved all the stories he told me and treasure them today.

He remembers he once boxed in the golden gloves at Madison Square Garden and he was born in Coney Island Hospital – both which he loves to share will different people we meet on our travels.

I tell him some of the navy stories – remind him he was in the Korean conflict not Viet Nam – the fun story of when he was in Japan with his sailor buddies.

More important when we were dating he listened to my stories.

I told him a story of when I was 4 years old going to my great grandfather’s house who sold Hartford Insurance. He had a deer head on the wall and would take it down so I could play with it. I wanted that deer head after he passed but somehow it went from a small town in Iowa to a great aunt in California.

Bob heard my story and when we were dating he bought me the most wonderful courting gift – a deer head from a flea market.

I have that on our wall today.

We are on a trip to Florida today from Minnesota, several people we’ve met he’s told his Brooklyn boxing stories but couldn’t remember the town we have lived in for 12 years.

I tell him that’s ok – he turns to me and I fill in the blanks.

I told him I would help be his memory.

I treasure his enjoyment of talking with people.

We are a team.

I love him dearly and it was the other way around, he would be there for me.
Bob Ballard retired after a successful career in commercial real estate and lives with his wife, Jill Ballard on a lake in Minnesota. Jill retired from a career in sales management to spend more time and care for her husband. They enjoy watching the grandchildren fish from their dock and sharing in their lives. Every day is a gift and they try to live each day to its fullest.

Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room