Another “reblog” to consider
Originally posted on ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (in Christ Jesus):
The movie started out as an endearing story of a man who was deeply in love with his wife of 44 years. He was so in love with her that he could not imagine being “away from her.” Even though his wife’s Alzheimer’s had taken away her memory of their 44-year marriage and she fell for another man with the same illness, the husband was intent on not being “away from her,” or so it seemed. Sadly, by the end of the movie she was not only away from him, he was away from her in both body and in soul.
Well into the first half it seemed as though the movie was trying to draw me in to sympathize more with him than with Alzheimer’s. Naturally, we can and should sympathize with the psychologically complex issues surrounding Alzheimer’s and the grief felt by those whose loved ones are stricken with this insidious disease. But I found myself less enlightened about the disease and more perplexed over the real meaning of unconditional love and life-long commitment to a spouse.
At one point in the movie I was hopeful when a frustrated, young punked out girl visiting her relative in the Alzheimer’s ward found herself sitting next to the husband who had been abandoned. In response to the teenager’s inquiry as to why he was there, he mentioned that he was merely watching his wife because he wanted to be with her. The punked out girl said, surprisingly, that she “should be so lucky as to have someone who could not stand being away from her.” I really was expecting the storyline would continue offering the husband’s character as faithful and persistent in loving his wife unconditionally. Without question, this kind of fortitude in our oaths of marriage is what God requires for everyone and what each human soul longs to experience; unconditional love and commitment.