2. Chris & Jayne Roberts
Chris Roberts has the most fantastic attitude to life. “Take it by the danglies,” he cajoles us all. “And run with it!” This enviably positive approach might be because of – or despite of – his dementia, which he began to develop a decade ago when he was just 50 years old. It’s a view that is undoubtedly strengthened by the deep love and support of Jayne, his wife of 26 years.
It was a joy to talk to the couple down the line from their home in Rhuddlan, North Wales during Covid lockdown. I’ve long admired them for their wit and wisdom, their courage and powerful insights into living with Chris’s mixture of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia – with a dollop of the lung condition emphysema thrown in for good measure. “I’m just greedy,” laughs Chris. And my conversation with them didn’t disappoint.
Theirs is, in fact, a love story that opens with the flighty giddiness of youth, develops into the multi-layered complexities of family life and, after taking a seismic hit in the form of early onset dementia, subsequently adapts to the devastating fall out as the pair of them mine new depths of mental and emotional strength in adversity.
“Chris has always been the man I’ve loved,” Jayne told me. “But it has only been since his dementia diagnosis that I’ve seen what he is capable of”.
The podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested, not only in this incurable condition, but in life, love and relationships, in honesty and trust.
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