“A true love story”: Husband with Alzheimer’s proposes to wife

Andover, Connecticut — Peter and Lisa Marshall’s wedding day was unforgettable, according to Lisa. But her husband has forgotten it. 

“It’s the saddest part because you want to reminisce, and you’re alone in the memory,” she said. 

Three years ago, at the age of 53, Peter was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Eventually, he not only forgot his wedding day, but he also forgot his wife. Lisa became just another nameless caretaker, with their entire history together erased.

And yet, a whisper of their love must have remained — because all of a sudden, Lisa said, her husband started courting her, as if they’d just started dating. 

One day, when a wedding scene came on TV, Peter pointed to the screen and said, “Let’s do it.” 

“And I said, ‘Do what?’ And he pointed again. And I said, ‘Do you want to get married?!’ And he got this grin on his face and he said, ‘Yeah.’ So he fell in love with me again,” Lisa said. 

Lisa accepted his proposal. A few months ago, she staged a wedding for her already husband. 

lisa-and-peter.jpg
Peter and Lisa Marshall on their second wedding day.  Dan Brehant Photography

“I can’t even describe to you how magical it was. He was so present. And he was so happy. And it was very touching,” she said. 

Lisa said Peter hadn’t been this lucid in weeks. Unfortunately, it was a Cinderella moment. The clock struck midnight and by the next morning, this wedding too was lost to the fog. But Lisa said she fully expected that.

“I’m the one who’s going to remember that. And that’s going to help me heal later, because it really is a true love story,” she said. 

Alzheimer’s can take away so much — but fortunately, love is almost always the last to go.

Lisa, who works with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise awareness of the disease, has documented her family’s experience with Alzheimer’s on Facebook. You can follow their story here


To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com.