My Parents Got Divorced, Then Both Got Alzheimer’s and Forgot They Are Divorced: Now They Are Back Together

My Parents Got Divorced

My parents, Jack and Diane, were the definition of the classic old couple. Dad, a retired firefighter who always had a dad joke at the ready, and Mom, a former librarian who could make silence reign until next week. They seemed unshakable to me.

I was 24 years old, busy with my own life, when they dropped a bombshell on me. They asked me to sit down like it was an intervention, and then they said it: they were getting divorced.

I was speechless, trying not to spit my drink out in surprise. “What?!” I managed to blurt out. “But you guys are like the epitome of ’til death do us part’!”

Dad just shrugged, his trademark grin lighting up his face. “Well, even poster children need a change of scenery from time to time.”

And Mom, always wearing her scowl, added, “Your father’s snoring is driving me to an early grave.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “Mom, you wear earplugs to bed!”

After that announcement, Dad moved to a bachelor apartment on the outskirts of town, surrounded by sports memorabilia. Mom, on the other hand, joined a book group that seemed more focused on yoga than literature. Life went on like this for a few years. Dad’s place turned into an ESPN shrine, while Mom’s book club evolved into a haven for gossip among retirees.

Then, out of the blue, Dad showed up on Mom’s doorstep with a bouquet of flowers and a confused look on his face. “Um, hello, Diane,” he said, scratching his head as if he had fleas. “Do I know you?”

Mom squinted at him, equally puzzled. “You look familiar. Are you selling something?”

I stood there, popcorn in hand, watching this awkward reunion unfold like it was a sitcom.

As it turned out, both of them had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They forgot they were divorced. And married, for that matter. Talk about a plot twist.

So there they were, these two forgotten lovers, rediscovering each other like awkward teenagers on their very first date. Dad would bring Mom flowers every day, and Mom would scrutinize him until she realized he wasn’t a door-to-door salesperson.

The way they interacted was straight out of a comedy sketch. Dad would try to win Mom over with his best dad jokes, only to forget the punchline halfway through. And Mom would shush him when he got too loud, only to forget why she was doing it in the first place.

And me? I was stuck in the middle of this circus, playing the role of the frustrated daughter trying to prevent her parents from burning the house down.

“Dad, stop trying to barbecue in the living room!” I’d yell as I snatched the lighter out of his hands.

“But Sarah, I thought I was grilling steaks for your mother,” he’d protest, genuinely confused.

Mom would chime in from the other room, “And I thought I smelled something burning!”

It was chaos, but there was a certain sweetness to it all. Watching my parents find happiness amidst their forgetfulness reminded me that love truly knows no bounds.