For Better or Worse
Hilda stabbed her husband of forty-five years in the back with a butcher knife as he was bending over to pick something up in the garage. Richard’s left lung was pierced and he quickly collapsed. He crawled into the house and head for their bedroom to call an ambulance. She followed him in there in rage, ready to strike again. With the knife held high above her head, Richard reached for a gun in his nightstand and shot a bullet into the floor in hopes of stopping her from stabbing him again. Hilda lunged forward, Richard shot her. The bullet ripped through her left wrist and into her hip. She fell to the floor, then got back up again, with knife still in hand. Her daughter then burst in the door and convinced Hilda to drop the knife. The police and ambulance arrived shortly thereafter.
Hilda had been diagnosed with a rapid onset form of Lewy Body dementia six months prior to this event. Hilda refused treatment, Richard kept her secret for too long. He loved her so much; he didn’t want to release her to a supervised dementia facility where she really needed to be.
That horrific incident was in October of last year. Hilda is now in a dementia facility bound to a wheelchair and on hospice. Richard comes in everyday to hold her hand and stroke her hair. He stays for hours; she rarely recognizes him. His love for her is stronger than the behavior of her disease. For better or worse indeed.