A California wife found her own way to combat her husband’s worsening Alzheimer’s — writing a book of all her favorite memories with him.
Willa Robinson, 68, of Santa Clarita, wrote the book, 52 Ways to Love My Man in hopes that it will help her husband, Vernon Robinson, 78, remember all their happy times together as he battles Alzheimer’s.
“I can see the good that it does with him, by reading the book and looking at the pictures,” Willa told InsideEdition.com. “The hope is that he will always remember who we are."
Willa, founder of independent publisher Knowledge Power Books, explained she started seeing signs of his Alzheimer’s two years ago when he started asking the same questions, calling several times in a row, and forgetting people they had met.
“When the doctor gave us a final diagnosis, it really hit us,” Willa said. “Even though we had seen the signs, when it’s final, it’s kind of a different atmosphere.”
Since then, the couple, who are great-grandparents, said they have been adjusting to a new way of life.
“I’m still learning how to react and how to not get too emotional, not get too upset,” Willa explained.
Vernon added, “It’s terrible, I’ll tell you, but we’re surviving. It’s okay. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
The book, she explained, was already in the works by the time he was officially diagnosed. She had wanted to gift it to Vernon ahead of their 51st anniversary, but another year went by before she was able to continue writing.
It includes a collection of 26 stories she recounts about their relationship, and 26 memories of him written by their close friends and family.
When she was able to gift the book of memories to her husband, it was clear the hard work was worth it.
“I usually go through it every day — a section at a time I read,” Vernon explained. “It brings back a lot of memories and different experiences and different people in the book. It’s real nice.”
Willa said she hopes the book will go on to help other couples deal with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to help find a cure for the devastating disease.