Cynthia Fantasia Shares Her Experience as a Spouse Caregiver in her Book, In the Lingering Light

About-Cynthia Fantasia

In-the-lingering-light-cynthia-fantasiaBy Cynthia Fantasia

In The Lingering Light: Courage & Hope for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver

2014 held such promise.  I was retiring from my very exciting career as Pastor of Women at a New England megachurch, Bob(husband) and I had so many plans: spend time with each other, with our grandkids, long walks, and maybe, even buy that condo on our beloved Maine coast. Sure, Bob had been acting a little strange, but it was probably because of some slight depression – nothing to worry about.  Until that doctor’s appointment, at our son’s urging, the end of January.  Moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Disease!  What????   My world, my dreams, my plans, exploded.  Walking out of the doctor’s office, Bob looked at me and said, “See, I told you there was nothing wrong with me!”  Thus began our journey through the dark and cruel world of Alzheimer’s.

That day in the doctor’s office – diagnosis day – he asked me a question: “Cynthia, how are you going to handle this?”  “I guess I’m going to live in Disneyworld.” Bob would create the reality and I would go along with his “truth.”  My two goals were simple: 1. preserve Bob’s dignity  2. preserve my sanity.  And so we set out on our journey.

Bob’s condition was quite aggressive and things got bad really fast. The time came – all too soon – when a heart-wrenching decision had to be made.  In my book, that chapter is titled: Two Roads Diverge. The plan was to go to lunch with our son. The truth was, we were going to lunch but it was at a memory care facility and it was a one way trip for Bob.  The night before was agonizing: the last night Bob and I would sleep together in our bed of 48 years.  He slept peacefully, I didn’t sleep at all – memories flooded over and through me, I questioned my decision, and soon was filled with guilt (normal – but nevertheless painful).

Things moved rapidly from there, Bob declined, became more aggressive.  Thirty four months from diagnosis to death – I was reeling.

An acquaintance, from a publishing house, contacted me (days after Bob’s memorial service) and asked me to write a book chronicling our journey. “People need to hear your story, Cynthia. It will help others because your real-life experience will give their journey credibility.”  With great trepidation, I embarked on another journey: to honor Bob’s life, to honor God Who gave the strength to endure and even thrive, and to offer a guiding light to those who are living in the time of ‘lingering light.’ Through the stories of other “traveling companions,” and a “traveling light” nugget, I hope others will find hope and courage as they travel through Alzheimer’s.


Cynthia Fantasia served for 24 years as Pastor of Women and Service at Grace Chapel, Lexington, MA and speaks nationally and internationally.

She was one of 15 pastors in North America selected to join a cohort, through a Templeton Grant, investigating the relationship between science and faith.

Cynthia was the co-founder of GCScience – which now has an international internet following of over half million.

Cynthia is also a contributing author in Mothers Have Angel Wings by Carol Kent, and 30 Ways to Embrace Life by Lucinda McDowell.

She and her late husband have three adult children and five grandchildren.

cynthia fantasia (facebook)



Share the Post:

One Response

Subscribe to Our eNewsletter

SUBSCRIBE to our weekly eNewsletter! Be among the first to know about new authors, podcasts, events, and more for help on your dementia journey. As a welcome gift, you may download our FREE booklet “Caring for a Mother with Dementia,”  featuring 15 quality titles. Subscription is through You may unsubscribe at any time.

Support Our Mission

Your support enables us to continue to provide quality resources for dementia caregivers. We appreciate any donation. Thank you for your support!