Peter Marshall, who suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s, has lost his past. Forgetting has meant that he has a strange chance at a second love—with the woman he fell for the first time, Lisa.
For 12 years, Peter and Lisa have been wed, but at 56, Peter’s illness has increased very quickly. Lisa has remained at his side, despite days when he can’t even remember her name. She knows — and more importantly, he knows — that they love each other.
“He doesn’t know that I’m his wife. I’m just his favorite person,” Lisa said to NBC News 4 New York. “I don’t need to have a label. I don’t need a name because our hearts are connected.”
She started documenting their struggles and their journey on Oh Hello Alzheimer’s.
“I think that in the beginning it was me just really screaming, ‘Look at this! Look at what’s happening to us!'” Marshall said. “I was horrified. It was a desperate cry. It’s been a support for me and a bunch of other people who get it and are going through the same thing.”
Over the winter, they watched a televised wedding together and Peter had an idea. He turned to Lisa and proposed, having forgotten that they were already married. Lisa was surprised but accepted.
They set a date and vendors who knew Lisa’s daughter, who planned the event, donated services to help. Peter was thrilled and spent the service grinning at his bride. Lisa did likewise.
“It was so perfect. I couldn’t have dreamt for a better day. It was so magical,” Lisa reported to NBC. “I can’t remember seeing him so happy for so long… I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I [got] to do it twice.”
The ceremony was a few months ago, but already Peter has no memory of the event. He still has not forgotten that Lisa loves him and he loves Lisa back.