Traditional wedding vows often include the words “in sickness and in health” and “as long as we live,” but these marriage promises can be tested when one or both spouses are living with cognitive decline.
A dozen couples shared in the Valentine’s Day spirit by renewing their wedding vows in a special ceremony at Stoneybrook Memory Care in McKinney, Texas. The event was a way for the brides and grooms to reconnect with their spouses and reminisce about their first meetings, since dementia often allows a person’s long-term memories to remain intact the longest.
Far more than a memory-prompting exercise, the vow renewals also gave the spouses of residents a chance to re-express their own commitment to their relationships, despite the disease, and to find support through other families experiencing the impact of dementia.
“These people made me believe in love,” said Rev. Angela Stone-Campbell, the ceremny's officiant, told the McKinney Courier-Gazette. “It’s important to always recommit to who you love and what you believe in.”
Most of the couples have been married for more than 50 years. Together, they tallied 879 years of marriage.
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