Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband has fallen in love with a woman at the home for Alzheimer’s patients where he lives, and the retired Supreme Court justice has reportedly told her family she is just relieved that he is happy, according to an Arizona TV report. O’Connor’s son, Scott, said his father, John, was like “a teenager in love,” and that his mother was “thrilled.” (USA Today)
What the commentators said
O’Connor’s “remarkable” life has “just become more remarkable still,” said Andrew Cohen in The Washington Post’s Bench Conference blog. It’s “particularly poignant” that O’Connor reportedly was “thrilled” that her husband—who no longer recognizes her—had “found happiness again in the clutches of the cruel disease.” Her “charity and kindness” are an example for us all.
O’Connor’s “grace” won’t just help her family, said James Oliphant in Tribune’s The Swamp blog, and the woman named “Kay” who has come into their lives. It “isn’t uncommon” for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s to fall in love with new people, and O’Connor’s bravery will raise awareness and help other’s through a crushing struggle.
This is the farthest thing imaginable from “an indictment” of the O’Connors’ 54-year marriage, said John Faherty, Mary Beth Faller, and Connie Cone Sexton in The Arizona Republic. O’Connor is “having to say goodbye to the relationship as it once was,” but it must be a comfort to see her husband “at peace, finding quiet happiness.”