We lost her precipitously and slowly — some days she was here with us, other days in her elsewhere, a forgetful, amiable, smiling person with a different connection to reality. For our very young children, we explained that she was like a forgetful bear, to be gentle, patient, and kind.
He went a similar road, also very slow and sometimes shocking vertical plummet to not knowing who we are and the history we share. One day he knew me; the next time, I was a very kind lawyer lady who brought delicious homemade yellow cake with chocolate icing to the meeting.
Before our loved ones finally left, they beamed golden, glowing words with sudden, surprising intent: I love you.