John Lydon said his ailing wife of 42 years would be “loved every step of the way” as she continued to live with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Sex Pistols icon explained that he’d spent most of last year finding the right kind of carers for Nora Forster, who became his wife in 1979. He’d revealed her diagnosis in 2018.
“All girls and they all love Nora and she loves them,” Lydon told the Metro of the people he’d hired. “I found I was being selfish by being the only caregiver. I was denying her female company. Silly little things that absolutely mattered to her that I was oblivious to, like nail varnish and ladies’ banter and lipstick. I was being ridiculously overprotective.”
The rocker reported that he’d spoken to Nora via video chat every night during his ongoing spoken-word tour in support of 2020 memoir I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right. “There’s little acknowledgements, then the last three minutes are gone from her life completely,” he said, “but she’ll remember things from 20 or 40 years ago absolutely vividly. It’s an amazing thing to watch, a human brain deteriorate and yet escalate in clarity in certain things.”
Asked if he thought people might be surprised that the couple has been together for so long, Lydon responded: “Well, they wouldn’t expect me to be kind, considerate and caring for other human beings but you’ve got to look at my long and complex history. I was taking care of problem children when I was 15. That was before the Sex Pistols so I was well prepared for them.”
While music has remained part of the couple’s relationship, Lydon admitted that old British comedy was a stronger connection. “When I was young I had meningitis and lost my memory, which is how I could connect with Nora’s situation,” the vocalist explained. “I used British comedies to get me back to being a human being and I think that’s keeping Nora somewhat stable.”
“Unlike my memory loss, I had hopes of recovery – it took four years – but I’m afraid my poor baby won’t… it’ll just get worse for her,” the rocker continued. “But she won’t go down without fighting and she won’t go down without laughing. And she certainly, certainly will be loved every step of the way.”
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