Thanks YouAreHere. Yeah it was really tough, and to be honest was one of the things that put such a strain on our newly-formed V. The move to a nursing home was a sad but necessary decision.
LV wasn't at all argumentative (alas that was my vice), but she was sure sad and confused. And she got into a lot of inadvertent mischief, which was possibly the biggest problem. Stuff like leaving the microwave door open when cats were around, then closing it without looking inside and using it as a "timer." Or the time she tried to put a fork away in a plug socket. Stuff like that. She really had to be watched constantly. And then of course when she gets stressed out she starts having "stomach trouble," so soon the incontinence started. That was really, really hard to handle. Especially since she'd try to clean up her own mess rather than get some help. She didn't want to trouble other people with her problems, ya know? I just can't express how tragic it all was.
Her stress levels eased way back down once she was in the nursing home, paradoxically. For years she was free of the incontinence stuff. And as I said, having her "at arm's length" like that actually helped me to rediscover my old relationship with her. But the sadness in me deepened again, as over the years, she slowly slipped away.
I miss her a lot. I hear things like her old favorite Carpenters and John Denver songs and it pulls my heart strings all over again. Had I a genie and three wishes I'd wish her back again (with her whole mind restored). But I do take comfort (even as an atheist) in knowing that she's not in that sad awful state anymore.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"