It’s said that life is a sum of one’s memories.
“And that is my very favorite picture of him ever,” Martha Brown said about her husband, Martin.
He joked that when he looks at the collage of his pictures, “I look at them to think ‘God, how did I get old so quick?” Martin said with a laugh.
Their memories together are filled with love.
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“And you’re the sweetest man I’ve ever known in my life with the biggest heart,” Martha told Martin.
“Only had one fight in our whole life,” Martin said.
As older adults they are a relatively “young” couple. They’ve been married just nine years, but they’ve already faced two lifetimes worth of challenges.
“The trouble is you think you have time. And when you love somebody, we may not have tomorrow,” Martha said, reading a quote from Gautama Buddha.
After just six years of marriage, Martha noticed that Martin’s memory was starting to fail.
“At home I would notice that he could not follow the story line in television programs,” Martha said.
Martin was developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“And we didn’t actually get the diagnosis until January of ’16,” Martha said.
In October of ’16, the two raised awareness about their struggle at the Alzheimer’s Walk in Fort Worth.
But a month later, Martin experienced a string of health complications.
Martin can no longer get around on his own, but Martha, “I love the ability that she has, and never gives up on me,” Martin said.
They’re still finding joy just being together. And although the memories from Martin’s life are fading, he still clearly sees how to continue treating each moment.
“We have to take every day as if it were our last day,” Martin said.
Just two days after this interview, Martin went into a coma. And just days after that, Martin passed away.
“So, it’s been just over a week since Martin passed. How are you?” NBC 5’s Kristin Dickerson asked Martha.
“It’s harder than I thought it would be,” Martha said.
Planning a funeral, finding a new place to live, those are the easy parts.
“The hard part now is—when I see a billboard on the side of the road and I think ‘oh I want to tell Martin about that when I get home' and he’s not here,” Martha said.
Now, a new pile of old memories is where Martin’s hospital bed once stood.
“Spent all day yesterday going through boxes, and this is the treasure that I found,” Martha said while looking at pictures from Martin’s childhood.
This is the first time Martha has ever gone through these old pictures. They are tangible pieces of Martin’s life and how he lived it.
“I will continue to say he is the kindest man I ever met in my whole life,” Martha said.
She said to have known his love was an honor, and worth her broken heart.
“Absolutely, I’d do it again in a minute and I wish I had more.”