Introduction to the Book
Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy tells my story – that of an amazing 30-year relationship between a young American girl and a delightfully colorful, wickedly eccentric and considerably older Romanian gentleman. As the narrative begins in 1975 we meet, fall in love and have a three-year whirlwind romance. I’m 25; he says he’s 52. Despite the gaping difference in our ages (which later turns out to be even greater than I thought), life is happy and carefree, and we frolic about like a couple of love-struck teenagers. When the romance ends our love endures and we develop a new relationship. We become best friends. Then we become inseparable. Our closeness deepens as the years go by until we become steadfast life partners – true soul mates.
Then around the year 2000 something starts to change. Little by little Ed’s mental capacity and functioning begin to decline. He begins drinking to excess and he becomes hostile, belligerent and verbally abusive toward me. Our relationship goes awry. I don’t know if I can take it any more. I’m not aware he’s developing dementia, I just think he’s become incredibly mean and hateful. I desperately need to end the relationship, but love him too much to abandon him. Great struggles, tragedy and – ultimately – joy ensue.