Readers Respond 9-3-11

Column on spouse with dementia hits home with reader
Denham Springs, La.

   I just read Peter Finney Jr.’s column about the Farinellis (“When a spouse no longer recognizes who you are,” Aug. 20). I happen to be traveling the same road with my wife of 43 years, as of Aug. 31.
    While it was God’s suggestion through my wife, we had a ceremony to renew our vows on Nov. 7 last year. For several months before, my wife intermittently forgot that I was her husband, and, for the entire month of October, she believed her husband was away working out of town, and I was just a friend of the family who was there to take care of her. She knew I was Kenny but not “her Kenny.”
    On the 31st of October, she was having a particularly bad day with confusion, so I took her for a ride. While we were out riding, she looked at me and said, “Since my Kenny isn’t coming back, would you like to marry me?”
    I jumped at the opportunity, and our kids jumped in and went all-out. We had the service at our parish church, and when we arrived at home after the service, our kids had done it all. We were surprised with a full line of reception goodies, including a two-tier wedding cake, with an arrangement of nine roses at the center of the bottom layer, to represent our nine children, and a crystal (plastic) bride and groom on the top.
    She has managed to hang onto the fact that I’m her husband almost all the time since. In fact, I’ll look at her and tell her I love her, and she’ll say, “You must, or you wouldn’t have married me twice.”
    It is a suggestion! There are special graces from the sacrament. I can only say, “Tap into God’s grace!”
    I hope this suggestion helps the Farinellis.


St. Stephen High School memories last a lifetime

     I wanted to tell you how very much I enjoyed Beth Donze’s article about St. Stephen High School (Aug. 20 issue). My phone has been ringing constantly from friends and family who have read it. She captured our school spirit perfectly. It had all of us going back in time and reliving those happy memories. The column gave us St. Stephen girls a burst of pride seeing all of the photos and captions. Even though our building may be gone our lifelong friendship and memories will last forever.


Tragic Watts’ killing demands response
New Orleans

    I would like to thank Peter Finney Jr. for doing such an outstanding job communicating the tragedy of Marvin Watts’ death (July 9 Clarion Herald, ‘Sister, why is it easier to get a gun than a job?’), and for issuing a powerful call to action. He captured his spirit, and our despair, in an inspired way.
     We need more people shouting from the rooftops about the evil that is overtaking our city, and I think he said it about as well as it could possibly be said.
    Thank you!
Director of Development
Reconcile New Orleans, Inc.

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