Living with Alzheimer's: 'Love will keep people together'

CORVALLIS, Ore. - They met on a blind date when she was 18.

For 59 years, Dick and Ginny Weinman were inseparable.

"Ginny was a very sweet person," said Weinman, an author and retired broadcaster. "She was a very loving mother."

They were inseparable in good times, and in bad: Ginny was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 62.

"The body is there," Weinman said, "but not just the mind is gone, but the whole person is gone."

Ginny died last december at age 77.

Afterwards, her husband wrote an article on the couple's experience entitled, "I'll Never Know."

The essay has been published nationwide in the new book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's."

The story recounts his visit with Ginny in her care center on their 57th wedding anniversary.

"I felt my body trying to rise with her. She wanted to speak but only emitted sounds from deep in her throat, 'arrgghh--arrgghh,'" Weinman recalled. "I silently shouted, 'What are you trying to say?'"

Weinman imagines her saying, "I know you. You're my Richie. I love you."

"Is that it?" he wonders in anguish. "Is that what's she's saying?"

Weinman ends the essay with 3 words: "I'll never know."

What is the message he hopes readers will take from his story?

"Might be really trite," he said, "but love persists, and love will keep people together."