“Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember has been stolen,” said renowned author Jarod Kintz.
This was not particularly true for 83-year-old Melvin Amrine who went missing a day before Mother Day in Little Rock, Ark. Amrine suffers from the neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer’s disease which not only took his memory and judgment, but also rendered him unable to perform regular daily activities.
When Little Rock police received a call from Melvin’s frantic wife, 86-year-old Doris, duty officers Sergeant Brian Grigsby and Officer Troy Dillard embarked on a search and found him two miles away from home, sauntering, but not aimlessly.
Although he did not remember where he lived, he had not forgotten where he was going: He wanted to buy his wife flowers for Mothers Day, a tradition which he had upheld every year since she had given birth to their first child.
One of the police officers recalled in an interview to Fox16, "I said, 'How you doing Melvin?' He said, 'Fine sir, how are you?' I said, 'I need you to get in the car with me so you can go back home.' He said, 'Tomorrow is Mothers Day and I need to get my wife some flowers.'"
The officers not only gave him a ride to buy flowers, they also paid for them when he fell short of cash.
"When I saw him walking up with those flowers in hand, it just about broke my heart because I thought 'Oh he went there to get me flowers because he loves me,'" Doris told Fox 16.
Every day, millions of Alzheimer’s patients around the world strive every minute to carry on with their lives and struggle to reminisce – hopelessly clinging on to the strands of precious memories that are continuing to slip away from them.
This story proves that their brain might not remember a loved one, but their heart never forgets.