Alzheimer’s Disease May Steal Your Memory, But It Can’t Steal Love

Sycamore Couple “Officially” Tie the Knot after 55 Years of Marriage

Alzheimer’s Disease may steal your memory, but it certainly can’t steal the love from Lucia and Milt Badt. The couple had their “first” official wedding ceremony this Sunday at Brandywine Living at The Sycamore in Shrewsbury, as they celebrated 55 wonderful years of marriage surrounded by family and friends.

Alzheimer’s Disease may steal your memory, but can't steal love, dementia, alzheimers, memory care, love The couple met back in 1960 at a café in Udine, Italy, where Lucia was from. Milt, who just so happened to be sitting in the same café, was stationed at Aviano Air Force Base at the time, and noticed that Lucia was in need of a lighter to smoke her cigarette. He quickly came to her rescue, and as he says, “We’ve been on fire ever since.” The couple married in April of that year at a small civil ceremony in a village near Lucia’s hometown. It took 55 years, but the Badt’s finally got their very own special “white dress” wedding ceremony.

In the fall of 2013, Katy Badt Frissora, Lucia and Milt’s daughter, made the decision to move her parents.It had been a traumatic few years, starting in 2009, as their dementia worsened, and the couple had to transition from their beloved home to Brandywine, which would be their third memory care community.

“For me, while their special day was of course beautiful, what was more important is that Claudia, INVEST Coordinator at Brandywine, and the entire staff, recognize the importance of having a true memory care family and neighborhood,” said Katy. “Many residents who live amongst my mom and dad most likely don’t get to go to weddings anymore. The emotional challenges can be too much even for the most ambitious.”

Alzheimer’s Disease may steal your memory, but can't steal love, dementia, alzheimers, memory care, love The ceremony was complete with the help of Brandywine staff, Katy’s family, friends, neighbors and the local community. Lucia and Milt had a complete playlist full of traditional wedding tunes and their favorite songs, a beautiful and delicious wedding cake that was baked by a Brandywine employee’s sister, and a photographer in the making, who happened to be the 8th grade son of a Brandywine nurse.

Milt patiently waited at the end of the aisle for his beautiful wife, decked out in a tuxedo jacket, looking sharper than ever.

Lucia, who was escorted down the aisle by her daughter, wore a gorgeous beaded gown, complete with a veil that was graciously donated by The Barefoot Bride in Red Bank for her special day. She even had her very own hand made, embroidered handkerchief, an Italian tradition, which was crocheted by Katy’s neighbor that insisted she have it for the occasion!

It wouldn’t have been a “Lucia and Milt wedding” without the two of them cracking jokes with one another as they stood at the altar saying their vows. After they finally said their “I do’s,” Lucia, Milt, and guests spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating with a sparkling champagne toast, delicious desserts, and plenty of dancing!

Alzheimer’s Disease may steal your memory, but can't steal love, dementia, alzheimers, memory care, love

“It’s such a great feeling knowing that for a day, the residents got to hear wedding music, toast to love, see a bride, and eat fancy cake,” said Katy. “And just maybe, for a day, in the recesses of their minds, they went back to their own weddings or their children’s weddings, and even if the smiles didn’t always appear on their faces, their hearts were feeling some type of joy and happiness. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”