Friday, April 17, 2009

Husband Wears a Chef's Hat

Diana Friel McGowin

I intend to outlast this thing, to stay on any and each plateau white knuckled, and endure any slipping with stubborn fight, not giving up until a true treatment is found. And then I intend to be one of the first in line.

Humor will save us and our families from ruin. Laughter gives the same venting release as a scream, but is much more socially acceptable.

I never knew life was so beautiful around me, before. I wonder what I was so busy doing before this diagnosis, that I missed the true fragrance of flowers, loveliness of rolling hills, enchantment of a baby's smile? - Diana Friel McGowin
I think that the first friend and classmate who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease was when we were living in Denver; at that time I knew relatively little about the disease (still know very little). Since that time, there have been other classmates and other friends who have been diagnosed with this Thief.
Diana Friel McGowin was only forty-five years old when she began to struggle with memory lapses and disorientation that signal the onset of Alzheimer's disease. At that time, even less was known about Alzheimer's.
Michael Mullan, M.D., University of South of South Florida, wrote in 1993 that
"Finally, it is worth noting that Diane's piercing insight into her mental state is uncharacteristic of AD -- the faculty of self-awareness often being sacrificed early. Fortunately, it is the preservation of these mental capacities that make such a book possible. These variations in the clinical picture and the difficulties of diagnosis should turn our attention to support groups directed at AD and related disorders to ensure support for those individuals who do not easily fit the diagnostic picture but nevertheless need and deserve as much support as more easily recognizable cases receive.
"Who else needs support? Well, undoubtedly the friends, relatives, and carers do. Witnessing the demise of a loved one is understandably difficult. The time from learning to understanding and accepting the diagnosis, the period of self-education, and the search for treatments are characteristic phases through which the caregivers pass."
In 1999, Mia Farrow starred in Forget Me Never, based on McGowin's book.
I very recently learned that another friend has been diagnosed with this disease - which so saddens me . . . my friends are slipping away . . .

D.A.R.E. Rally

I've only attended three D.A.R.E. Rallys; this is the fewest number of students I've seen. This year some of the schools did not have this event in the budget, which explains the lowered attendance. However, these kids SOUNDED as though the Goldie Harris Gym was filled to the rafters. Their enthusiasm and excitement was quite evident.
The 14-year-old singer on the gym floor has a powerful and beautiful voice. We heard her sing last year at a musical in the Seguin Palace Theater. She is phenomenal! Remember her name (we will be hearing more about her, I'm sure): Natalie Rose
Check out her singing on YouTube.

Everyday Moments of Life

Dear God,

Someone once said that writing a novel is like driving at night with your headlights on--you can only see a few feet ahead, but you can make the entire trip that way. Living a life is like that, too, I think. Certainly a life of faith. Give me the grace, O God, to live such a life . . . and to realize that though the light given me is never as much as I would like, it is enough. It is enough.
~ Ken Gire (page 19)

Columbine - a decade later

(Illustration by Jeff Neumann, The Denver Post)

We weren't living in Denver at the time of the Columbine school killings, but like the rest of the nation, were shocked - and so very sad.

On the tenth anniversary of this tragic event, two journalistic books have been published, written by reporters Dave Cullen and Jeff Kass.

Reading and television viewing