Loving husband writes poem for wife living with dementia

Dan and his wife Nanci have been together for over 60 years, since Nanci was 14. They grew up together, got married and raised four children. In 2020 Nanci was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia and she moved into a care setting. It is Dan’s hope that she will always remember how much he loves her and that he always will. To honor this sentiment, Dan wrote a poem about their life together.

Dan’s thunderbolt
Dan and Nanci met just before her fourteenth birthday. Dan’s best friend had stopped by to ask Nanci out. “When she came to the door and stepped onto the small porch to talk with him [the best friend], he got the date and I was hit by the ‘thunderbolt,’” shared Dan. “One month later, with the blessing of my best friend who decided he did not want to date her again, Nanci and I were dating, and the rest is our history.”

Nanci and Dan were married in August of 1965.

Dan and Nanci
Dan and Nanci

Living with Lewy body dementia
In 2020 Nanci was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. It is a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function because of abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time.

After her diagnosis, Nanci moved into a residential care setting, and Dan, not wanting to be far from his wife, moved in to help care for her personally.

In the hopes that she will never forget how much he loves her, he wrote her a poem and gave us permission to share it here. “I wanted to help Nanci remember the important events and parts of our lives together,” Dan said, “and to know that my feelings for her will only grow stronger as we go through this challenge side by side.”

I Can’t Ask you to Remember
A poem by Dan

I can’t ask you to remember
Where we first met that day.
Up on the porch, you lit my torch
And took my breath away.

I can’t ask you to remember
Six years of slow and fast.
I moved away, came back to stay
And you said yes at last.

I can’t ask you to remember
The sweet family times we had.
Two of each, for us to teach
And guide as mom and dad.

I can’t ask you to remember
When all the kids were gone.
We grew so close, what I loved most,
The growing was never done.

I can’t ask you to remember
If I’m your husband, or just a friend.
Honey, either way, it’s ok.
We’ll make memories once again.

I can’t ask you to remember
The memories of the past.
The who’s and what’s, the where’s and when’s
Are memories that can’t last.

But I pray you can hold on to
This one memory, and always will.
How I love you so, with a love that goes,
Far beyond until.