Patti Davis, MORE.com columnistby
In 1994, when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we became the most famous family dealing with this disease. At that time it was shockingly new to release such a thing publicly. There was a shroud of secrecy and shame over it. It is, after all, an embarrassing illness, rife with unknowns. You simply can't predict what parts of a person will vanish, or what unexpected and awkward things they might say or do.
But my parents decided to tell the world, and my father wrote a heartbreakingly lovely letter to America. I had the salve of both friends and strangers offering my family prayers and sympathy. But because Alzheimer's was still not openly discussed, I had no one to talk to about suddenly becoming a daughter who was losing her father to this mysterious and relentless conqueror. Obviously, there had to be other people out there in the same situation, but I didn't know who they were.
My sister Maureen and I began talking moreRead More »from Ronald Reagan: My Disappearing Dad