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The Long, Slow Slide of Alzheimer's Disease: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on September 26, 2014

A Home with No Memories

The first thing you notice upon entering is the array of Post It notes strewn throughout the house. Every room is adorned with little reminders. Take pills at noon….take out the garbage Monday…..brush your teeth…..mow lawn…..they all seem like simple reminders that might be found in any home in the world, but keep reading….

Your niece's name is Julie…..she is two year's old now……the dog’s name is Bruce…..you were born in 1960 in Topeka…..

No, this is not a normal home.

Yes, there are pictures on the wall, the gallery of your life, but this gallery has name tags to remind you just exactly who these people are or were, and what role they played in your life.

No, not normal at all.

The lawn was mowed three times last week. You simply could not remember if you had done it, so you did it again, but that’s okay because there is safety in staying busy, and a feeling of accomplishment, and if you are accomplishing something then by God you can’t be that bad off, right?

A life-long blessing for children is to fill them with warm memories of times together. Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood.
Charlotte Davis Kasl

Ah, but what about those who cannot recall the blessings of childhood? What treasures do they pull out on the tough days of adulthood?

Exercise Is Good, Right?

You walk daily with your dog. A few years ago it was a way to stay busy and get in better physical condition, so you would walk throughout neighborhoods and around the circular walking path at the local park. Then the day came that you got lost on the circular walking path and could not find your way to the parking lot where you left your car….a circular walking path!

Now you stroll the city walking path, a seven mile long fenced in safety area that goes one way till the end, where you turn around and head back again, with no fear of getting lost. Your dog knows the way, so the two blocks from home to the path is not that difficult.

Exercise is, indeed, good, but it has become a way for you to feel some self-worth, so often you overdo it, strolling hours until your body is weary, and of course you forget to eat meals, so the diseases and illnesses are never far away, and you are losing weight and with it your immune system.

You are fifty-two years old and you have Alzheimer’s Disease…..

And you are my best friend!

Source

Life Is Good

So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.

Helen Keller

Profound words, Helen, but what if those memories are scrubbed clean from your heart?

Your best friend is named Bill Holland. He sends you an email every morning that says “good morning, buddy, and Happy Monday,” or “good morning, buddy, and Happy Tuesday.” The reason is obvious, is it not?

You share text messages throughout the day, little reminders of a friendship that began nearly five years ago. During those five years a solid bond of brotherhood was formed, based on mutual respect and eventually blossoming into a love. You are a good man in a horrible position, or as you have heard it said, a spiritual being having a very human experience, for nothing is more human, and de-humanizing, than Alzheimer’s Disease.

First words out of your mouth….life is good! Can it be so? Is it possible to have an appreciation for life when it is slowly fading away?

You believe those words, and anyone who knows you has to believe them too, for how can those of us who are truly blessed refute the words of a man whose future can be measured in months rather than years? Whose freedom will be determined by the effectiveness of those Post It notes and the degree of safety there is in leaving him alone during the day?

Nights In White Satin

Which Is an Illusion?

“Cold hearted orb

That rules the night
Removes the colours
From our sight
Red is gray and
Yellow white
But we decide
Which is right
And
Which is an Illusion”

I am reminded of those lyrics by the Moody Blues when I think of you. The colors have been removed from life for you, replaced by the realization that not too far in the future there will only be grays. What was once a slow, gradual slip into the realm of nightmares has become a free fall, and what was once truth is no longer.

How does a man stand strong when the very foundation of his life has crumbled? How does a man carry on and in fact declare that life is good when he can’t even remember what that life once was?

And perhaps, my friends, the answer lies within the question itself.

More information

A grateful friend
A grateful friend | Source

Yes, Life Is Good

We come into this life kicking and screaming, and when the stop sign has been posted, and the never-ending highway in fact is a sink hole, there comes the realization that what we have is now and nothing more.

Clinging to the past is a fool’s chore, and planning for the future is the act of a robber baron. All we have is now!

That is the lesson you have taught me, and for the remainder of my life, I will be grateful. This is the moment to be grateful for, and this is the moment to hold onto, kicking and screaming as the inevitable slow slide continues for all of us. Yes, your slide is much faster than ours, but the lesson learned should be the same for each and every one of us.

Carpe diem! Grab hold of that sucker and squeeze from it every ounce of life possible, for if you are looking for guarantees from the future you will inevitably roll snake eyes.

Yes, dammit, life is good. One does not need a memory to appreciate a brilliant sunrise. One does not need a memory to experience the joy of friendship or the warmth of true love. One needs nothing but the moment, and a willingness to embrace it all as what it is, a gift that only comes once. It is a gift worth fighting for, worth grasping, and worth appreciating, and if any of us ever lose sight of that fact then heaven help us, for we have missed the main point in life.

Life is about living, and life is about love.

And you, my friend, are alive and loved!

Post it on your forehead….I am loved!

Post it on the bathroom mirror….I am loved!

Post it throughout the house devoid of memories for there is only one memory worth having and that the one you are creating right now…..

Life is good!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello PS my dear friend!

      It is an ugly disease for sure, one I hope I do not have to deal with again. Wishful thinking for sure.

      I hope you are well; blessings and hugs heading your way.

      bill

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill

      This was a journey that I took with a precious Aunt and with my Momma. And it was one I would not wish anyone to have to take.

      The words you spoke as you shared this caused the tears to resurface that I had left unshed for many years.

      O, if only this nemsis is cured....

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carb, it is an ugly, unforgiving disease and I hate it...and yet I am grateful and honored to be Jim's friend as he goes through this trial. He has become a brother to me and it is remarkable to be with a person who knows they are dying and who salutes each day with the words "life is good." Kind of puts things in perspective. :) Thank you!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I know that you wrote this many months ago, but I found and read it today. What an unkind illness. I lost my mother to Alzheimers, years before her death in 1998, and now I see my next door neighbor, my dear friend, in the end stages of this disease. She no longer knows my name, her children, or her husband of 65 years. Her thoughts wander, her words ramble, and conversation with her is a distant memory. Nancy Reagan called it "the long goodbye". How blessed is your friend to have you at his side. With that, his life is good.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, you took away the exact two messages I was attempting to convey. As for dementia, I have no idea what the distinction is; all I know is it is an ugly disease no matter its name and my heart goes out to those who are suffering from it. Thank you for your compassion and understanding.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good evening Bill. Tilson said it best. This disease is a "merciless thief." It ravages all those it touches, the individual and their families. My father had developed diabetic dementia be fore he died at the age of 76. Dooctors make a distinction between it and Alzheimers, but I don't quiye understand it.

      I take away for this beautifully written and heart=felt hub two things to keep ever in front of me and my loved ones (whatever their mental or physical limitations) Life is good and we are loved. Thank you Bill. Blessings. Theresa

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I'm so very sorry. I wish I could tell you with certainty that your dad is happy but I can't. Take care my friend and thanks for sharing your personal experience with us.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      My father has Alzheimer's and it has been difficult to watch. My mother convinces herself he is happy in his own world, but I am not so sure. He is quite violent at times and I've never seen happy people act that way. I guess whatever gets her through the day is good... I just wish there was some cure for such an awful illness. And I just wish I could believe he is happy. Thanks for sharing this, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you, Rajan, and thank you. I'm very sorry for your painful loss. It is a sad thing to witness.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, I can totally relate with this hub. Dementia caused by Alzheimer's overtook my mom in her last years and it was very painful to see a life lived so full, slowly fading along with the memory.

      Your love for your friend shines throughout this hub.

      Brilliant write and very touching.

      Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I'm so sorry that you have been touched personally by this disease. It is ugly for sure, and incredibly painful to watch a loved one shrink before our very eyes. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Have a wonderful weekend and blessings always

      bill

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Bill I had no idea about this disease and then all at once my mother and my mother-in-law had it. The notes yes and more than anything the two of them held onto their names. At the last though my mom said she was me and she called my name constantly. Everyone was me, then. That hurts more than anything...and knowing I could do nothing to make her better. I so hope they get this disease soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love is always most important, Deb. Always was...always will be. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Memories may fade, but there are those worth remembering for always, even if the notes are reminders. There is still a flicker of LOVE. That is the most important.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Lurana! I appreciate your compassion and your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Alicia! Thank you as always for the visit.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      This is so powerful. So well-expressed and moving and heartfelt...my praises for your writing and my blessings for you and your friend. ~Lurana

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Alzheimer's disease is a horrible disorder. This is a very touching hub, Bill. Thank you for sharing your experience with your friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Mike! Just trying to raise awareness with a personal slant. :)

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      A great hub about a horrible disease, Bill. Many thanks for sharing such an informative article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I always appreciate you stopping by. I'll be by to read your new chapter in a little while.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, thank you for sharing your personal experience. Yes it is difficult to read, and live through, but it is also a triumph of the human spirit and it shows the importance of love.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Great advice and great in depth look in a terrible disease.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This was so lovely and difficult to read Bill. You are so right about living life in the moment. Spending time at my parent's retirement community as well as enjoying my daughter has reminded me of that in these last years.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna. This was a very personal story and I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciated the message.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is a reminder to enjoy every moment of life. Too soon our journey comes to and end, with some it begins with memory loss. I am touched by this story and your words of encouragement.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, very true....what does NOW mean to someone with no memory? Thank you for sharing your personal story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zaiden, it is a frightening thing to see, and especially if you are a loved one of the victim.....I hope your grandfather is just showing signs of old age and not dementia or Alzheiemer's. Thank you for the visit and for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I would walk there....it sounds like an adventure. :)

      Thanks lil' Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Julie. My friend was 46 when he was diagnosed. He was a business executive and suddenly began forgetting meetings.

      Anyway, thank you for stopping by. I'm always happy to see you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe my friend, I hope that too....and soon. This disease robs so many people of joy. I am tired of it.

      I owe you a visit. You posted late last night while I was off the computer, so I'll be there shortly.

      Aloha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes I do, Martin! Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      For my mother who is a victim of Alzheimer's, NOW is often very confusing. Sometimes there seems to be no memory--a reminder to me to enjoy my NOW.

    • Zaiden Jace profile image

      Zaiden Jace 4 years ago from Oregon

      Amazing hub. It can be frightening to think about that one day you can forget who you are as a person. My grandfather seems to be getting more and more forgetful in his old age often mixing up his kids or leaving the stove on. He scares me sometimes but he always has a smile on his face so it makes me worry just a little less.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      I know about this disease all too well: my grandfather passed away from this and we dealt with alzheimer's patients all the time in my mother's nursing home. My craziest story? John, the dude from Tulsa, OK. He always wanted to walk there. From Colorado Springs. Yeah. LOL...but thank you for sharing such a good subject. :)

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, interesting and touching article about a horrible disease; I am recently 50 and it is a wake up call to realise that this can strike at any time and without warning. I think the post its and emails, greetings will all play their part in simplifying the things we need to remember to do. Your friend is living in the now and that is a cause for happiness in spite of everything else - very inspirational.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Someone very dear to me had a grandmother who had Alzheimer's. Someone very dear to me had a mother who died of Alzheimer's. The register in my heart skips a beat when someone very dear to me is speaking and then skips a beat as a word that is right on the tip of her tongue looks back at her for a nanosecond and then flies off into an overcrowded word cemetery.

      I felt sad reading this beautiful hub of yours at 1:45 AM on Wednesday morning.

      Just wanted you to know, Bill, that your compassionate hub tribute to your friend moves me to be more attentive of every precious moment as it happens. Staying in the moment helps soften the sadness.

      I hope they find a viable cure for this dreaded disease.

      Aloha, my friend!

      Joe

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. You, I'm sure, already know what I'm going to say.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I'm afraid his body is not going to heal, but I think he has prolonged the disease through positive thoughts and actions. He is an incredible human being and I am lucky to know him.

      Thank you my loyal friend.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      travel_man, good to see you again and yes, this is truly a dreaded disease. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki it is indeed an unending question. I hope, if faced with a similar tough situation, that I handle it as well as my friend does.

      Thank you as always!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Useful information & good visuals. Thank you for raising awareness. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's illness. I've read that dementia/ Alzheimer's is rare under people age 60. My mother is 62 yrs old and was recently diagnosed and I ask myself why if she is not that old, but then again, it's not always a symptom of old age according to studies. It's very depressing to watch someone close to you deteriorate mentally and physically right before your very eyes. Unfortunately, the disease progresses. Bill, I understand what you mean about life being good, but at the same time, it's not a bad thing that he is telling himself that life is good because thinking positively aides the body to heal faster at least what the law of attraction says. voted ++++

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      The mom's cousin who used to be a terrific educator (district supervisor in education) was crippled and wasted by the disease. Alzheimer's is really a dreaded disease.

      Thanks for sharing, Sir Bill.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hello Bill, your friend is so fortunate to have you still in his life. It must be very difficult for you on a daily basis. What a cruel disease this is, and more than that when the sufferer is so young. You can't help but wonder why? But then again, that is one of life's unending questions.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you are never late to my party. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my work, and the love in your heart shines through with your comment.

      blessings always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, that is high praise and I thank you for it. It tells me that I continue to improve with my craft and that pleases me. What pleases me more, however, is the response to this hub. We must be more aware of the gift we have been given. There is no "do overs" with this gift, so we really should concentrate on living life to the fullest.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, there is no doubt about it my friend, life is a gift, and I don't plan on wasting it. Thank you...thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Bill, this is beautiful, as the love in your heart for your friend is evident no doubt, and it truly does make one's heart pang when we see someone suffering with this disease, along with their family, especially.

      I read an interesting study with nuns living at a convent who agreed to donate their brains to science to study Alzheimers, and what they found was amazing that those nuns who stayed active (using their brains, reading, writing : ) and the like) their brains did not get that gray sludge that overtakes one's brain when Alzheimers is present, and those who were content to not stimulate their brains developed Alzheimers.

      Yes, a powerful reminder that THIS day is what is most important!

      I am sorry I am so late to the party, as I am once again back to my regular work week, as my grandchildren have gone back home.

      Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is by far, the most beautiful hub you have shared with us. I have worked with so many with this debilitating disease. I have a R.N. friend who remembers nothing of her past. Her husband visits her daily, she doesn't know him. She was a L.P.N. instructor when this happened to her, she was 50 years old. It is a reminder to us all to live each day and be happy. I hope you write more of this type of inspirational hubs. It made me more aware of just living without worrying about the little things that bug us...

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You remind me with this tender tale, Bill, that all we really have is today! Like that saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is unknown. That's why we call today the present - it's a gift.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I am quite certain that you have seen more than enough of this disease in your line of work. Thank you for your compassion and caring heart.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I am blessed to know my friend and to spend the last years with him....and he will be with me always.

      hugs and blessings always

      bill

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Alzheimer's is a terrible thing, it takes away so much, but you're so right, about love.

      This one went right to heart, so very powerful!

      Take care my friend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Life is good indeed!!! Living every minute of every day...embracing it and squeezing every bit of excitement and joy from it. It is frightening and sad and frustrating when that loved one loses the color in their lives that you spoke of. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may for sure.

      Again you have nailed it, my Friend.

      Sending Angels aplenty to you this evening ps :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, thank you so much. This one was from the heart and I'm happy that you liked it.

      blessings always and a big hug for you

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, thank you! I love it when someone says that it is my best. It means I must be improving at least a little bit.

      I really do appreciate it. Thank you again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Debbie and I am fine my friend. Thank you for asking, and I hope this finds you well.

      Thank you for reading, commenting and caring about this disease. It is an ugliness that I wish we could eradicate. Until then, though, I hope this helps some family members deal with this.

      blessings to you,

      bill

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful....I love the way you have said...Post it every where that you are loved...

      Thank you for sharing this with us Bill.

      Blessings and hugs

      Dahlia

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Bill, I think this is your best piece. Just beautiful. Don't know what else to say.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Hello bill.. how are you my friend.. this is a wonderful hub.. You wont believe it but... I just took a little class in this disease ... what a horrible disease.. I was told when they do autopsies on these people that have this disease, i was told their brain looks like spider webs is the term that was used.. there are 5 steps in this disease.. it is so sad..

      Blessings to you bill I am sharing this gem

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill and you are right....there are no guarantees. I could drop dead today from a heart attack and my friend live another five years.....all we have is today!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. What a cruel disease. My grandmother and an uncle both went through this and it is awful. I hope your friend knows that he or she is loved and has a great friend in you. This is a great message about embracing life, there are no guarantees so live in the present and share your love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, one of the remarkable things about this disease is that once the patient reaches a certain stage they really are quite happy and worry-free. My friend is not there yet, and every day is a ticking bomb as he knows he is closer and closer to the day when he will have no freedom at all.

      Thank you for sharing your story and for your compassion.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally! I would read that book but I've been living it with my friend for five years now, and the story isn't over yet. :) This is an ugly disease that is as cruel on the victim as it is on the family members who must deal with it.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, So many people I know have been touched by this awful disease. My mother-in-law and my aunt, who I have loved dearly all these years, are two of several. My aunt lost her battle several years ago, after being permanently rendered incapable of speech. Her only comfort was someone reading the Bible to her.

      My mother-in-law is slipping away daily. Notes do her no good because she cannot remember to look at them. Sometimes she cannot fathom what the notes mean, even though she wrote them. She has lost a lot of weight, and of course her personality is all but gone. But just as you said, she looks at her life as if it had not changed a bit from years ago. If you ask her how she is, she'll say 'I'm doing great!' There is some comfort in the fact that she has no anxiety over her situation.

      Voted this beautiful and emotion-packed article way Up, my friend ;) Pearl

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Great Hub about a fascinating subject and a very cruel disease. One of the best reads about this disease that I have ever read is a book called Still Alice (fiction) - the book is about a lady Doctor who did all the things you talk about - go for a run and forget her way home and write notes and could not remember why she had written them. She was of a similar age. A quite remarkable read. So glad you are able to highlight this terrible disease Billybub - definitely Voted this one up.

    • Anonymous00 profile image

      Anonymous00 4 years ago

      No problem my man.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anonymous, thank you very much for taking the time to read this important article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzi, it is a painful thing to experience, but friendship stands tall and provides comfort where needed. I would hope we all stand tall when we are needed by our friends and family.

      Thank you for your compassion and friendship.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ yes, there is pain in this hub, but as you pointed out, there is a celebration of the moment, and that is the message I want heard. We only get one shot at this life, and today is the gift that we need to concentrate on. If I did tonight I will have died living to the fullest.

      Thank you for your kind words and understanding.

      bill

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      Anonymous00 4 years ago

      This is a great write up. I like your style too. Good one Bill.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      What a great friend you are and you are right by saying all of us know someone who has been affected by this dreadful disease. I have had many friends who have a parent with Alzheimer's at different stages. Thank you for this beautiful show of friendship you have through the hard sad times.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      This is a very emotional piece, Bill. You are right. There are few people whose lives have not been effected by this horrible disease.

      My brother stepped into his own little world of dementia and has to be kept on strong psychiatric drugs as he is a danger

      to himself and others. The body is there, but the mind is gone. A man who once held himself to high standards and was an impeccable dresser, now sits in his PJ's all day and watches TV. He has no memory from one day until the next. Every day he asks why our Mother and Father have not visited him. And, everyday he has to be told that they died years ago.

      And, every day he goes through the grief of learning of his parents death. His short memory is a blessing, until the next day, when he has to hear that his parents have died, all over again.

      If we do not have our memories, then we do not have much.

      There is much pain in your hub, Bill. But, there is an awakening that we only have this moment, this day and

      we must make it count because we do not know what tomorrow may bring.

      Thank you for sharing with us, Bill.

      DJ.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, it is an ugly disease that eventually is harder on the family than it is on the patient....I just want to raise some awareness and make people realize how precious life is. :) Thank you for seeing that and I'm sorry for your loss of your aunt.

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      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      Bill, This is a beautiful description of Alzheimers, even though a disease like this isn't lovely. One of my aunts passed away from this disease a few months ago. It was hard on her family once she no longer recognized them and had to be put in nursing care.

      I like the way you make us look at our lives differently. From now on I'll enjoy one day at a time.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mjboomer, take all the time you need to wipe those tears. :) Thank you for visiting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sheri!

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      Mike Elzner 4 years ago from Oregon

      Very moving, Bill.....Please allow me to wipe the tear from my eye. Thank You for sharing your love of a friend with us, here. Today is all we have and our love will see us through even beyond the ravages of Alzheimer's.

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      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Very sweet. Thanks.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, certainly not I. :) You are right of course. I have tried living alone and it was a miserable experience.

      Thanks my friend. Have a great day with that lovely family of yours.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A beautiful tale of knowing what is important. I priorities have a tough time sometimes. I suppose we each in our own way need a friend like your friend and a friend like you, for who is without their own illness.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, I think most of us have seen the effects of this killer. Thank you for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I love you too, and thank you. Pretty important message, yes? :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I couldn't read it to Bev because I couldn't stop crying. :) Thank you for understanding what it took to write this.

      love always,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Starbright, I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, as you know, this disease touches many families in this country. It is heartless and horrible, and I wanted all patients to know that they are loved and remembered. :) Thank you my dear friend.

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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Great information, Bill. I've seen the results of this disease and it is horrible.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Oh, how I love you! :)

      Your friend sounds like a lovely person. If a man who struggles to remember the good things in life can still say "life is good", then we certainly have no excuse not to do the same.

      Thank you for sharing, Papa Bill!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      What a sad, sad disease. This piece written to and for your friend is very well written. The emotions elicited and the education offered are priceless. I imagine you had to pause several times while writing this to let the tears clear from your eyes.

      Not only are you a great writer, but you are an awesome human being, Bill. My prayers are with you and your friend.

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      Lucy Jones 4 years ago from Scandinavia

      Brilliant hub and well told true life story. Thank you for sharing.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, this truly comes from the heart and can tell that. Seriously, Bill you are a wonderful man, husband, father, friend and so much more. God bless you and thank you for having the courage and faith to share this with us about your friend. My grandfather (my dad's dad) had dementia, which is not totally the same as Alzheimer's, but still has a lot of the same characteristics. It is truly hard to watch someone as they go through that and remember all too well. So, thank you quite frankly for your honesty and compassion, too. Have voted way up and shared all over!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I wouldn't be surprised if she does.

      Thank you for sharing it and for your kind words. This one was from the heart. :)

      Drop me a line and let me know how your freelance writing is coming along.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Made! This one was very personal and I appreciate you taking the time to learn about my good friend.

      Hugs from across the Atlantic

      bill

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      A beautiful post with an important message. I'm emailing this to my daughter straightaway. She works as a carer with older people who suffer with Alzheimers and dementia. She comes home with some sad stories but some amusing ones too. I wonder if she has to do the things you've described here with her clients?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, the message is clear and yet most of us ignore it. We would all agree with the message and yet most of us ignore it....until the day comes when our days are numbered and then......

      Thank you my dear friend. I appreciate you greatly.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thank you so much for reading this piece of my heart. I am blessed to know this man, and I am a better man because of him.

      Carpe diem my friend.

      bill

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      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      This is a very heartfelt hub. I understand what you are saying. He is your friend and nothing's ever going to change that. You don't see his disease, you see the person, your friend. I know some people with Alzheimer's and I know what the disease is doing to them and their life, but they are wonderful people who live right now in this moment, and right now life is good. This is a very touching and honest hub, Bill.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      We all know someone who has been afflicted with this horrid disease. I have seen all stages and in early stage it is difficult to see. So the bottom line is wake up, enjoy the sunrise, love all you can, enjoy your day and appreciate each moment. Well written as always Bill...

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Put it on a post it Bill, you are good! A good writer, a good person, and a good friend. This hub oozes with the love and affection you feel for your friend, and unfortunately it is tinged with the sorrow you feel for him as well.

      Alzheimers is a merciless thief, one we can't catch or stop. It robs its victims of so much from thought to dignity but the saddest part of all is the loved ones who watch and try to cope with the ravages of Alzeheimers.

      Appreciate now! You know I believe in life and love and I totally agree with you - Carpe Diem while you have the chance!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.