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Memories Fade, Love Lives On

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Everyone has dreams such as getting into their dream college, being able to become what they’ve always wanted way back when they were children, but there has always been a longing for love. Not a friendly love nor a family love, but real love. People describe their perfect relationship as their special other posting about them on social media or buying them expensive items that they didn’t ask for. But this couple will really blow your mind about how committed they are to their bond that no one can break, not even the absentmindedness that begins to eat at your brain. The Hill couple is the epitome of love, loyalty, and sacrifice as they are diagnosed with Alzheimer.

The Hills began their love story with a handshake at college in 1945 and decided that they wanted to be together forever three years later.  After their 68 years of marriage, it has struck them that Mr. Ward Hill has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, two years before Eloise Hill was, the disease slowly taking away any memories the couple has had together. Alzheimer is a disease that can lead to memory loss and confusion for several years or a lifetime. The disease has, dejectedly, no possible cure to halt the loss of memories. As the couple begins to live their life at a memory care facility, documenter Allison Hess follows their heart shattering story with photographs.  

Hess has interacted with the old souls, sometimes them forgetting her the multiple times she’s visited them due to the disease. The love they have for each other makes everything just as sad as they are a day away from forgetting everything they’ve ever loved. Eloise claims to have fallen in love with Ward the first time she set her eyes on him, knowing well that “she was going to marry him.” The nine years Hess has been with them have included “Ward not being able to recognize his wife”, but their hands will still be intertwined nonetheless. Because he was diagnosed with the disease years before she was, the symptoms are stronger than hers. Although Eloise, too, suffers from Alzheimer’s, she is still able to remember the little things, which then gives the conclusion to Hess that “even when one is diagnosed with an illness, it should not define them.”

The story of Ward and Eloise represents love and commitment. It is the fight through the overpowering disease of Alzheimer’s that brings them together. It does not even bother them one bit as they continue to love each other, though sometimes forgetting each other.

“I think it’s important to realize that when you know someone who has been diagnosed, that you have to try to live in their reality just as much as yours. When looking at my photographs, I would like people to consider what they might have in common with Ward and Eloise, rather than what sets them apart.”

– Allison Hess

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Memories Fade, Love Lives On”

  1. fatima g on November 18th, 2016 2:31 pm

    This was a very profound and amazing story. Your writing style is amazing! Very very very very very good job!

    [Reply]

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Memories Fade, Love Lives On