Michael Joyce may have spent the last eight years struggling with Alzheimer’s, but there is one thing that he will always know for sure: he loves his wife.
In a story that is reminiscent of the legendary romance depicted in The Notebook, 68-year-old Michael recently proposed to his wife Linda after he forgot that they had already been married for 34 years.
According to his wife, Michael has been fighting “an uphill battle” with Alzheimer’s since he was diagnosed in 2010. Though he struggles to remember day-to-day events, Linda says that she was “stunned” when he was able to remember his proposal for an entire week after popping the question.
Linda, who is a 64-year-old Auckland resident, says that he plucked up the courage to ask her for her hand in marriage a few hours after he had gone to bed for the night earlier last week. Upon emerging from their bedroom with a confused look in his eye, Linda asked him what was wrong.
“I could see he was trying to ask me something, but he just couldn’t quite get the words out,” said Linda, according to The Mirror. “So, I held his hand and asked him ‘what is it my darling? What are you trying to tell me?’ He looked at me with tears in his eyes and with a stutter he said, ‘will you marry me?’
“I thought it was just one of those things to do with this Alzheimer’s. But then the next morning, he woke up and remembered everything and was so excited for our wedding day.
“And on the day of our ceremony, he woke up and said to me ‘today’s the day’ and he was so happy. In his head and in his heart, it was what he wanted to do. He wanted to get married.”
The happy couple got hitched for the second time at Hamilton Lake in New Zealand last Saturday.
“We were just meant to be. We are devoted to each other forever and I’ll love him until the end of time. Love truly conquers all,” says Linda.