2010VolendamElvonsmallElvon died last night.  For those who have not been following my blog, he had had Alzheimer’s for more than 10 years.  He faked it well for a long time, and we sailed all around the world, as much as possible.  He liked it, became familiar with cruise ships, and the crew were a big help.  A year ago June, we moved into Fountaingrove Lodge, a cruise ship that doesn’t leave the dock, where we both got help and support.  Thanks to Susan for doing the leg and paper work, which was considerable.

Elvon continued to decline, and went from a walker, to a wheelchair, in August.  He had become very fearful and it wasn’t always easy to get him to transfer, even to the chair.  The Lodge’s care-giving staff were wonderful, and I blessed the fact that we were here.

Then came the fires.  They started in Silverado, and Susan let me know around ten-thirty.  I could smell smoke in Santa Rosa.  When I turned on the TV, and found they were less than three miles away, I had to get us out of there.  Elvon would have been severely traumatized by the Lodge evacuation, and I couldn’t have waited until it happened, which was around three am, and was horrific, by all accounts.  We made it to a Holiday Inn in Fort Bragg, which worked well, until I smelled smoke from the Redwood fire and took the Scalbergs up on their kind offer of their house in Carmel.

It was perfect, only Elvon continued to lose ground.  He became more and more fearful of his transfers, until he would only get up for dinner, and that was a huge struggle.   About ten days before we could get back into the Lodge, he got up in the middle of the night, and used the commode as a walker. I woke up when he fell and broke his leg. That was almost two months ago.

He never recovered.  The Lodge survived, and I am back in our apartment.  There is much devastation very close, but our buildings are OK.  Elvon moved into the Memory Care unit here, with hospice.  He liked it, thanked us, and continued to thank his care givers.

His entire family, daughters Cathryn and Susan, Sister Esther, her husband Herb, and their daughter, Kris, visited the weekend before Christmas.  He was happy to see all of them, and it seemed to give him closure.  He barely said another word.  Last night, when I went to his room for movie night, I found him dead in his bed.  He must have gone peacefully, as there was plenty of staff on the floor.

We would have been 24 years married, tomorrow.  A better husband, no one ever had, and I miss him terribly.  But it’s good to know he is in a better place, with nothing to fear.  There will be a celebration of life in January, and we’ll publish the date when it has been established.