Bill and Anne have been married since 2007 and have been together for 18 years. However, his disease, dementia, made him forget even the precious moments of his life.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 27, 2019. It has since been updated.
Sometimes, real life is so much like reel life. Anyone who's watched 50 First Dates would remember that Adam Sandler's character had to work at making his girlfriend, then wife, Drew Barrymore fall in love with him every day because she had short-term memory loss. While it was a happy romantic film, if you have to go through something like that in real life, it can be most disheartening. But, one moment of joy is enough to make it all worthwhile.
A woman had a moment of joy like that when her husband of 12 years, who is suffering from dementia, wanted to marry her again. He thought that she was his new girlfriend and forgot that she was the mother of his child. The couple remarried after 12 years at their home in Aberdeen.
Bill Duncan, 71, and Anne, 69, have been married since 2007 and have been together since 18 years, however, Bill's neurogenerative disease makes him forget some of the most precious moments of his life. He thought Anne was his new girlfriend and wanted to get married to her.
“We’d been to a family member’s wedding earlier in the month, and clearly it touched Bill as he turned to me not long after and said that he wanted to be with me forever,” Anne told the Independent. “He asked me when would we be walking up the aisle together, and I thought he would just forget he’d asked me that, but then the next day he said it again.”
The moment had more significance since he has been a lot more affectionate towards Anne since he proposed. "Bill has been so affectionate ever since I accepted his proposal, lavishing me in kisses and cuddles. Since his diagnosis, his displays of affection have become scarce, so to have all of this love radiating from him towards me has been truly wonderful," she told the Metro.
Their ceremony took place in the garden and it was "very emotional. I’m just so happy that he still loves me this much after all these years of battling dementia. Bill is a wonderful man and has always brought joy to other people’s lives throughout his career as an entertainer, and he’ll never stop bringing joy to mine," she added, according to the Independent.
She wore a white dress for the garden ceremony and there was a beautifully decorated cake. Her friends helped her decorate the garden for the event, which was attended by a small group of friends and family.
The couple met in 2001, when he was an entertainer and magician, and got married in 2007 and have a daughter, Andrea. Three years later, she observed that he was struggling with remembering things. They visited the doctor who gave them the heartbreaking news. For nine years, she has been taking care of him full time. The diagnosis has been a tough one on both of them.
"It can be difficult adjusting to life with dementia for both the sufferer and their partner, and we’re always looking for ways to still enjoy ourselves. We attended a friend’s party last year, and as Bill and I took to the dance floor, it was like all of our troubles melted away. Dancing together helped us forget dementia for that moment, and it was like my old husband was back in my arms – it was beautiful," she told Metro.
Even in times of challenges, just having the love and support of your loved one can be calming. "We knew it could help other people in similar situations and give them a chance to escape their worries, so we set up a dementia-friendly disco and it’s been a real success," she said.