OKLAHOMA CITY - It was a beautiful love story.
William Wilmoth and Sarah Norwood were high school sweethearts who reconnected and enjoyed 27 years of enchantment.
Inseparable - if not for Alzheimer's.
"Her mind, she was just dying inside. To watch that and not be able to do anything. No hope, no cure, you know? Both her parents died of cancer. And that was her worst fear," said Christy Holland, Sarah's daughter.
Sarah's disease has lingered for almost a decade and Christy has been by her side, helplessly watching her best friend disappear.
"You have no idea, no idea, when your mom doesn't know who you are. Looks at you with a blank look. She doesn't remember you anymore. That's awful. That's awful. You know what I mean?" Christy said.
Like so many others, Chisty thought she could handle it. With the blessing of her brother and family, the Hollands modified their lives to accommodate their mom.
"Why wouldn't I? Why wouldn't I take good care of her?" Christy told News 4.
Christy was the primary caregiver for several years, struggling to make it but afraid to admit she was overwhelmed.
"Nobody gets it. They'll ask, 'How's your mom?' And you'll say, 'She's fine.' She can't talk, she can't eat. But I go, 'She's fine,'" said Christy.
The heart wrenching reality came in 2012.
Through tears, Christy told us, "The hardest day of my life, the day I took my mom to Emertus and moved her in and had to say goodbye."
Looking back, Christy regrets not seeking support from the Alzheimer's Association of Oklahoma. Seeing other people, she learned later, is like a healthy dose of medicine for the soul.
She said she's grateful for the support of her younger brother, Paul, and the "What if?" plan they already had in place.
"While your parents are good and healthy, I would get with them and say, 'What are your wishes? What do you want if something were to happen? Because we want to do what you want us to do.' Then when you make the decisions, you won't have siblings fussing."
Christy treasures those rare moments of clarity and drenches her mom with endless love and tenderness for as long as she can.
She's s now on the board of the Alzheimer's Association and raising awareness. This ruthless disease has changed her perspective.
"To not live in fear but to live with hope. Be proactive, make people aware, love my family and do the things I want to do because I don't know, I'm not promised tomorrow. Ya know? It makes you live differently," she said.