Skip to comments.Supremely Poignant: Sandra Day O'Connor Blesses Alzheimer Hubby's Affair
Posted on 11/14/2007 10:52:46 AM PST by dead
The retired Supreme Court justice's spouse, John O'Connor, has had Alzheimer's disease for 17 years, and after moving into an assisted-living center in Phoenix, he began a romance with a fellow patient also suffering from the mind-debilitating ailment.
But the justice isn't jealous - the O'Connor family believes the love has given John, 77, a new lease on life.
"Mom was thrilled that dad was relaxed and happy and comfortable living here and wasn't complaining," their son Scott O'Connor, 50, told Phoenix's KPNX-TV.
Scott said that when his father recently arrived at the Huger Mercy Living Center, he was depressed.
"He knew this was sort of the beginning of the end," said Scott O'Connor. "It was basically suicide talk."
Then John O'Connor was moved to another part of the center, where he met a lady simply known as Kay.
They are often together and hold hands, Scott told KPNX.
"Forty-eight hours after moving into that new cottage, he was a teenager in love. He was happy."
< snip >
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
No one can know how much the man was in control of his faculties.
As much as I dislike Sandy, I think it’s a mature and rational reaction on her part.
Likely that he’s been a completely different person to her and toward her for a while now, which is why he’s in the retirement home.
Does Kay’s family know that their mother is being abused by this facility? She is not of sound mind. If there is sexual contact, it’s Rape.
This really is a very sweet story. Good for Justice O’Conner for sharing it.
This disease is truly devastating to all affected by it.
Too much information, thank you.
Very HEALTHY reaction Sandra!
Sandra Day O’Connor.
Ronald Reagan didn’t make many mistakes, but he sure did make one colossal mistake with her.
Sandy is dealing with this in a very dignified manner.
What an unenviable situation. The headline is a little silly. It’s not like they’re running off for a tryst in the broom closet.
I know, I’ve had relatives with Alzheimer’s. It’s very tough if you don’t come to the understanding that they are no longer capable of being WHO you remember them to be.
It truely is among the cruelest of diseases.
Not a big fan of the meds they use, either -— violence is one of the side effects of some.
And who would the rapist be, Kay or the male figure here?
If both are suffereing from the same ailment, I don’t see why Kay would be the innocent one. Do you?
I believe the toughest choice Sandra and the family of Kay had to make, was institutionalizing their family member. I would suspect both families are happy their loved ones have found a comfort that replaces the fatalistic nightmare each faced alone. And yes, when you’re institutionalized in those places for a majority of the time you’re just that, very very alone, isolated and cut off from all that came before.
O’Connor is not one of my favorite SCOTUS Justices (then again, she’s not the worst either), but I must applaud her on this. She’s handling it in a very healthy way.
There was a movie based on a situation like this, that came out within the last year. Except it was a woman entering the nursing facility, and the husband went to visit her every day. I cannot remember the name of the movie, though.
I agree. The very fact that they decided to put him in an assisted-living facility (esp given that I’m sure they have the means and wealth to take care of him at home). means that he has changed so much they can no longer recognize him or he can recognize them. It’s really awful.
By whom? When two senile Alzheimer's patients start a romance, who is the "rapist?"
I have early onset Alzheimer’s and I’ll be danged if I can convince my girlfriend that the nurse I met at the doctor’s office who diagnosed me, has given me a new lease on life.
Hmmm, I wonder how “Honey, Its not what you think, I have Alzheimer’s!” will work as an excuse?
None of our business, in my opinion.
I’ve also heard of the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s patients who can’t remember that their spouse is deceased. When they are lucid enough to ask for their spouse and are reminded that this spouse has passed away, it is like hearing this devastating news for the first time. Over and over again.
Many recommend just saying that the spouse is busy or couldn’t make it that day.
Very sad. I admit this story seems a bit voyeuristic, but it is also educating people to the real challenges this horrible disease brings to the whole family.
Are you serious?
It sounds like he is holding on to the best part of humanity that he remembers - love.
He is an old man who just wants someone to hold his hand.
That’s not the name of the movie I saw. The Notebook had James Garner in it, correct? If so, that’s not the one. It was something like “It’s time to go” or something like that.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a loved one afflicted by this.
>>Does Kays family know that their mother is being abused by this facility? She is not of sound mind. If there is sexual contact, its Rape.<<
If two people with Alzheimer’s have sex why would it automatically be rape.
And why would it be the man that is charged?
I am truly sorry you had to witness those things.
<P.I pray that they find a cure for this terrible disease.
Former President Clinton says... "I keep telling Hill I've got Alzheimer's, but she wants a note from my doctor."
Film... at 11!
Series as a moose attack, ap.
Nah, jest havin' a little fun on a very serious topic. No disrespect meant to anybody with family members or friends so afflicted.
I know, I have a couple of relatives who had it, and the pain it creates is real. In our family, humor was the only relief.
I haven't heard of the film you mention.
Boy, was I way off. It was called "Away from her" I hope I'm destined for this situation, just yet! :-)
LOL...little too slow
What a blessing when "the train" did come by and took him home.
One time at the home we asked if he wanted to sit in the TV room.
He said, "No. There's dead people in there."
Wondering if he had developed a sixth sense or something similar we looked in the TV room and there were about a half dozen residents sleeping in chairs.
Took him for a ride in the car and passed the Shrine Temple and he recited his initiation perfectly.
Knew hymns. Knew scripture.
Don’t most Alzheimer’s patients live in the waaaaay past.....my grandmother did. I took family pictures when I went to see her......she didn’t know who I was, but she knew who her parents were.....so it doesn’t surprise me that an Alzheimer’s patient would revert to teenage behavior.
Fittingly what slowed me up was then inability to remember Gordon Pinsett’s name.
Caught a glimpse of the movie as the lady of the house was watching it
and his presense caught my attention. He’s a bit of a Canadian treasure.
Whenever I have difficulty recalling like that I am reminded that
both my grandfather and father developed what I grew up knowing as senility.
I am somewhat resigned to the posssiblity that it will be my fate as well.
God Bless you, I wish you well in everything you do.
Get as much fatty acids or DHA (think fish oil/flax seeds) into your diet as you can.
My mother in law has Alzheimers (as did her late sister) and the rapid progression is stunning. She can remember her sons, myself and my sister in law; and our older children. The younger ones (four boys all born in the last 14 years) she can't. Who are they? Are you going send these kids back to their parents? Its as though there is some 'line' in her brain and anything after that certain point is gone. She can't remember that her sister is gone; she will call her neice to ask how her mom is doing (she remembers how to dial the phone; but can't 'learn' to use a microwave or a remote control). It is heartbreaking.
Abused? The article said the two senile old people sit next to each other and hold hands. Or do you know something we don’t know?
In my father’s dotage -— in the two years before he died —— he called all the CNA’s “Doll” and kissed their hands. I was grateful that they accepted his gestures in good humor. Even people who are losing their mental capacities need affection and love: God bless them all.
I’m sorry but adulterous sex in a nursing home is disgusting