I met my dear friend Michael over 30 years ago when we were both wait staff and bartenders at Jerome’s Restaurant in Chicago. His partner, Greg, whom he had recently met at the time, became an immediate friend as well.
Greg, after a variety of jobs in social service agencies, became quite an acclaimed architect completing the landscaping for the Bahai Temple in Wilmette, designing Bahai headquarters in Tennessee, designing a home for a Saudi Arabian Prince, running his own architectural firm with several employees.
About 10 years ago Greg was diagnosed with early onset of Altzheimers and small slivers of him have been disappearing ever since. The once vibrant, acute, intellectually sharp person he was, has been evolving into a new person, filled with the same (perhaps even deeper) love and humor, but without all the tools for expressing himself, without all the tools for consistently remembering the details of small tasks–like brushing his teeth or getting dressed or needed words.
Michael has maintained a blog (one of his several) about his experiences loving and caring for Greg. His last blog entry is as touching as they get. I guess the miracle of Altzheimers is that it can, when you least expect it, pull the veil away and offer poignant glimpses of what was/ is/ could be, simultaneously distilling life’s very essence.
This is to Michael and Greg who always help me to remember what the miracle of love really is. Visit Michael’s blog and read for yourself.
(M & G’s art show at our house last January.)