Michael and Linda Joyce have been married for 34 years. Unfortunately, Michael, who has Alzheimer’s disease, recently forgot.
One night he went to bed particularly early. A few hours later he got up and looked “very dazed and confused.” Linda could see that her husband wanted to say something to her, but was having trouble putting his thoughts into words.
“So, I held his hand and asked him, ‘What is it my darling? What are you trying to tell me?'” she recalled. “He looked at me with tears in his eyes and with a stutter he said, ‘Will you marry me?'”
Michael was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010. He is often disorientated and experiences trouble communicating with others.
Linda couldn’t believe it. Her husband of 34 years had asked her to marry him for the second time.
She knew she couldn’t break the news to Michael that they were already married and had been for over three decades.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked and totally speechless for a minute,” Linda told the Mirror. “But of course, I just told him ‘Yes, my darling, I’d be delighted to marry you.'”
Out of the blue Michael asked Linda, his wife of 34 years, to marry him.
Linda assumed that by the next day Michael would forget his marriage proposal, but she was shocked when he asked her when they were getting married.
She told him they could get married that coming weekend.
Linda said yes to his proposal and she started to plan their second wedding.
At this point she was still concerned he’d forget, but continued to plan a special ceremony, at Hamilton Lake, New Zealand, for the two of them.
“I thought it was just one of those things to do with this Alzheimer’s, but then the next morning when he woke up and remembered everything and [he] was so excited for our wedding day,” she recalled.
Linda went online and searched for a celebrant for their ceremony. After she shared her story she received many offers for free. One was from Gareth Duncan, who ended up volunteering his time.
“I mean, what a lovely story—the story of love, patience and commitment,” Duncan said.
Linda and Michael exchanged their vows during a small ceremony on January 20.
— Stuff.co.nz News (@NZStuff) January 20, 2018
During the week leading up to their second wedding, Linda remained impressed with her husband.
According to Linda, Michael “is classed as being in the later stages of Alzheimer’s,” so his ability to remember his second proposal and their second wedding every day for a week was nothing short of a miracle.
“There’s been a lot of sadness and a lot of frustration, and despite all the fogginess, today has been pure joy,” Linda said.