HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 03/16/2018: The cover of my grandparent's wedding album.

Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment. 
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 02/20/2018:  My grandmother, Maria Durao, stands in the doorway of her home in Newington, Connecticut. 
She and my grandfather, Ramiro Durao, have lived in the quiet suburban home since 1980 after immigrating to Hartford, Connecti
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 02/20/2018: My grandmother, Maria Durao, stands in the doorway of her home in Newington, Connecticut.
She and my grandfather, Ramiro Durao, have lived in the quiet suburban home since 1980 after immigrating to Hartford, Connecticut, and raising their children. The home was built the same year they married, in 1959.
Even in his deteriorating health, my grandmother refuses to move her husband to an assisted living center and plans to care for him in this home until she is no longer able to. Most neighbors know them and occasionally check in.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017:  My grandmother, Maria Durao, assists my grandfather, Ramiro Durao, during a regular breakfast routine in their kitchen in Newington, Connecticut. 
My grandfather, Ramiro, eats at the kitchen table alone while my grand
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, assists my grandfather, Ramiro Durao, during a regular breakfast routine in their kitchen in Newington, Connecticut.
My grandfather, Ramiro, eats at the kitchen table alone while my grandmother eats by the sink, usually looking out the kitchen window. My grandfather now has a tendency to eat rapidly and has occasionally spit up food or made a mess while eating which has led my grandmother to leave him at the table alone wearing a bib while she eats in a separate area.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT -  12/18/2017:  Family photos hang on the walls of my grandparents' home in Newington, Connecticut. Center, a photo of my grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, with my eldest uncle Victor. 

Recently, I learned that my grandparents'
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/18/2017: Family photos hang on the walls of my grandparents' home in Newington, Connecticut. Center, a photo of my grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, with my eldest uncle Victor.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, sits on the bed in their master bedroom of their home in Newington, Connecticut. This bedroom now sits vacant for most of the year while my grandfather, Ramiro, sleeps in a private bedroom
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, sits on the bed in their master bedroom of their home in Newington, Connecticut. This bedroom now sits vacant for most of the year while my grandfather, Ramiro, sleeps in a private bedroom across the hall and my grandmother sleeps in the guest bedroom down the hall. He initially moved into his own bedroom so a bed could be set up against a wall equipped with safety rails to meet his needs. My grandmother could no longer sleep in the same room with him.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands with his walker in the doorway of his kitchen at his home in Newington, Connecticut. 
He stopped in the doorway to see what was going on while my grandmother interacted with her gre
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands with his walker in the doorway of his kitchen at his home in Newington, Connecticut.
He stopped in the doorway to see what was going on while my grandmother interacted with her great-grandchildren in the porch of their home.
On the walls hang decorations, photographs, and souvenirs from years of travel and vacations that they took together before my grandfather became ill.
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HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - Mid 1970s:  A family photograph of my mother Dina, grandmother, uncle Jorge, and grandfather at their home on Hamilton Street in Hartford, Connecticut, where my grandparents raised their children after immigrating to the United Sta
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - Mid 1970s: A family photograph of my mother Dina, grandmother, uncle Jorge, and grandfather at their home on Hamilton Street in Hartford, Connecticut, where my grandparents raised their children after immigrating to the United States. My grandmother worked in a factor off of Hamilton Street that has been converted into loft apartments that I know live in.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/18/2017: My grandmother drives to the grocery store across town in Newington, Connecticut. 
For almost 20 years Maria did not drive until Ramiro's health began to change so much that his driving abilities were visibly declining
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/18/2017: My grandmother drives to the grocery store across town in Newington, Connecticut.
For almost 20 years Maria did not drive until Ramiro's health began to change so much that his driving abilities were visibly declining. On several occasions he would become lost or disoriented while driving and my grandmother would blame it on "getting old". To the rest of the family, this was an initial indicator that his health needed to be addressed.
Usually she will load him in the car with her whenever she needs to leave the house . Occasionally, but rarely, she has had a family member sit in the house with him while she runs errands. Several times she has left him home alone unattended.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/05/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, consults with a physicians assistant about Ramiro's health while he lays on an examination table at their primary care physician's office in Newington, Connecticut. Although his dementia ha

NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/05/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, consults with a physicians assistant about Ramiro's health while he lays on an examination table at their primary care physician's office in Newington, Connecticut. Although his dementia has become severe, they still do not consult with specialists, but rely on their primary care doctor for guidance. A large factor in my grandmother's caretaking is the financial requirements that better healthcare and caretaking demand. She avoids hiring visiting nurses, senior center programs or services, or any additional and optional care due to the financial costs and hopes to not pass a financial burden from her or her husband's health onto the rest of the family.

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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/18/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, manicures my grandfather's hands in the living room of their home in Newington, Connecticut. This is a monthly routine she has conducted since she learned the expense of having a doctor or
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/18/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, manicures my grandfather's hands in the living room of their home in Newington, Connecticut. This is a monthly routine she has conducted since she learned the expense of having a doctor or senior center service provider do it for them. Each month she will spend an hour soaking his feet and grooming his fingernails and toe nails.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/12/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, lifts her sweater to show the remaining marks from shingles in her living room in Newington, Connecticut. Shingles can be caused by a weakened immune system and increased stress. Since my g
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 12/12/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, lifts her sweater to show the remaining marks from shingles in her living room in Newington, Connecticut. Shingles can be caused by a weakened immune system and increased stress. Since my grandfather's illness, my grandmother has begun taking additional medication for her health including Xanax and blood pressure medication. While she had shingles she would not allow anyone into the home which went on for several weeks.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/14/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, sits at the table after drinking a fiber supplement while Maria washes dishes from their lunch in their kitchen in Newington, Connecticut. 
My grandfather, Ramiro, eats at the kitchen tabl
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/14/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, sits at the table after drinking a fiber supplement while Maria washes dishes from their lunch in their kitchen in Newington, Connecticut.
My grandfather, Ramiro, eats at the kitchen table alone while my grandmother eats by the sink, usually looking out the kitchen window. My grandfather now has a tendency to eat rapidly and has occasionally spit up food or made a mess while eating which has led my grandmother to leave him at the table alone wearing a bib while she eats in a separate area or at a different time.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, with her daughter (my mother) Dina Jorge, and great-grandchildren Vada Marie and Weston in the porch of her home in Newington, Connecticut. 
Maria helped raise and was the primary babysitte
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/09/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, with her daughter (my mother) Dina Jorge, and great-grandchildren Vada Marie and Weston in the porch of her home in Newington, Connecticut.
Maria helped raise and was the primary babysitter for 6 of her 9 grandchildren for much of their childhoods in this home. Now, when her great-grandchildren visit she smiles more and has a clear sense of decreased stress. Throughout her life, she has been a caretaker of children. She attributes being a mother and the opportunity to raise a good family as one of the main reasons to marrying my grandfather. Now he is the one she takes care of full-time.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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Archival - HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 05/03/1986: My grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, lean in for a kiss while my father, Fernando Jorge, holds a bouquet behind them at my parents' wedding in Hartford, Connecticut. While looking at this photo my grandmo
Archival - HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 05/03/1986: My grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, lean in for a kiss while my father, Fernando Jorge, holds a bouquet behind them at my parents' wedding in Hartford, Connecticut. While looking at this photo my grandmother said, "I didn't remember that we kissed at your mom's wedding."
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 03/25/2017: My grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, outside of the Portuguese Church of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut, following the funeral procession of Ramiro's brother Manny. 
It was one of the rare opportunities for my gr
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 03/25/2017: My grandparents, Maria and Ramiro Durao, outside of the Portuguese Church of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut, following the funeral procession of Ramiro's brother Manny.
It was one of the rare opportunities for my grandparents to see much of their extended family and members of their Portuguese community. My grandfather did not understand who's funeral he was attending.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands in the kitchen window of his home in Newington, Connecticut. 
My grandfather used to spend much of his time outside doing yard work or working on something around the house. Now he
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands in the kitchen window of his home in Newington, Connecticut.
My grandfather used to spend much of his time outside doing yard work or working on something around the house. Now he spends the majority (or entirety) of his day inside his home usually repeating the previous day's routine.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, lays down a tarp in Ramiro's private bedroom in their home in Newington, Connecticut. Every night she sets out a tarp incase he gets out of bed to use the bathroom. She normally locks him i
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, lays down a tarp in Ramiro's private bedroom in their home in Newington, Connecticut. Every night she sets out a tarp incase he gets out of bed to use the bathroom. She normally locks him in his bedroom and leaves a bucket or bedpan for him to use so he doesn't wander through the home while she sleeps. She has invented these solutions over the years of his declining health to ensure he can stay in their home for as long as she can physically take care of him.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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Archival - VALE DA TRAVE, PORTUGAL - 01/25/1959:  My grandmother with her flower girls on her wedding day in Vale da Trave, Alcanede, Portugal. She had a joint wedding with her sister in Portugal before immigrating to the United States to start a family w
Archival - VALE DA TRAVE, PORTUGAL - 01/25/1959: My grandmother with her flower girls on her wedding day in Vale da Trave, Alcanede, Portugal. She had a joint wedding with her sister in Portugal before immigrating to the United States to start a family with my grandfather who had already been in the United States before writing to her to convince her to marry him. She knew that by marrying him and moving to the United States she would have the opportunity to work and raise a good family which is all she wanted in life. When asked about their love story, she laughs and says, "I love him but I was not in love with him."
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, uses a shoelace to tie the bedroom door of my grandfather's private bedroom in their home in Newington, Connecticut. She locks him in to prevent him from wandering through the home while sh

NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, uses a shoelace to tie the bedroom door of my grandfather's private bedroom in their home in Newington, Connecticut. She locks him in to prevent him from wandering through the home while she sleeps. She has invented these solutions over the years of his declining health to ensure he can stay in their home for as long as she can physically take care of him.

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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands in the shower of his bathroom in Newington, Connecticut, before getting ready for bed. My grandmother assists him with bathing every day but forces him to do as much as he is physic
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, stands in the shower of his bathroom in Newington, Connecticut, before getting ready for bed. My grandmother assists him with bathing every day but forces him to do as much as he is physically capable of.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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Archival - HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 05/03/1986: My mother Dina and grandfather Ramiro dance at her wedding in Hartford, Connecticut.

Archival - HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - 05/03/1986: My mother Dina and grandfather Ramiro dance at her wedding in Hartford, Connecticut.

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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 03/04/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, hugs her daughter, Dina Jorge, in the kitchen of her home in Newington, Connecticut. 
My mother Dina helps her with many of the tasks of maintaining the home, finances, and legal matters. M
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 03/04/2017: My grandmother, Maria Durao, hugs her daughter, Dina Jorge, in the kitchen of her home in Newington, Connecticut.
My mother Dina helps her with many of the tasks of maintaining the home, finances, and legal matters. My mother and uncle, Victor, call almost daily to check in but visit only weekly if possible.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, sleeps in his private bedroom in Newington, Connecticut. 
My grandfather sleeps in a private bedroom and my grandmother sleeps in the guest bedroom down the hall. He initially moved into h
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 04/02/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, sleeps in his private bedroom in Newington, Connecticut.
My grandfather sleeps in a private bedroom and my grandmother sleeps in the guest bedroom down the hall. He initially moved into his own bedroom so a bed could be set up against a wall equipped with safety rails to meet his needs. My grandmother could no longer sleep in the same room with him. Every night she sets out a tarp incase he gets out of bed to use the bathroom. She normally locks him in his bedroom and leaves a bucket or bedpan for him to use so he doesn't wander through the home while she sleeps. She has invented these solutions over the years of his declining health to ensure he can stay in their home for as long as she can physically take care of him.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/14/2017: My grandmother's hand and wedding bands resting on her furniture at her home in Newington, Connecticut. 

Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 09/14/2017: My grandmother's hand and wedding bands resting on her furniture at her home in Newington, Connecticut.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, does laps through the hallway while Maria sits on the couch watching television in the living room of their home in Newington, Connecticut. He does laps for almost 20 minutes several times
NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - 01/29/2017: My grandfather, Ramiro Durao, does laps through the hallway while Maria sits on the couch watching television in the living room of their home in Newington, Connecticut. He does laps for almost 20 minutes several times a day. My grandmother hardly notices him walking by and is undisturbed while she watches television or colors in her coloring book. She requires him to occasionally move around to maintain what physical strength he has left.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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Archival - NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - Mid 1990s: Myself in the living room of my grandparents' home in Newington, Connecticut. They helped take care of me through the early years of my life and the home remains virtually the same as it was 20 years ago. 

R
Archival - NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT - Mid 1990s: Myself in the living room of my grandparents' home in Newington, Connecticut. They helped take care of me through the early years of my life and the home remains virtually the same as it was 20 years ago.
Recently, I learned that my grandparents' marriage had many flaws and my grandfather was not the perfect husband I always thought he was. This revelation about their unpassionate and imperfect marriage has led me to see my grandmother's caretaking and sacrifice in a different light. She continues to care for a husband who did not appreciate her and while his memory fades from dementia, she has to live with the pain he once caused her and she does it with a sense of strength, purpose, and commitment.
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