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  • Today marks the two-month anniversary of my father's death. When I think of my father, which is often, this is the first picture that I see in my mind.

    Dad resided in a "memory care unit" due to being in the latter stages of Alzheimer's. As he shuffled slowly and unsteadily down the hallway, eyes vacant, the first thing I thought of was a zombie. It is the strangest feeling in the world not to recognize the man you spent the first 18 years of your life with.

    I put my arms gently around him, afraid I would shatter his fragile frame, and whispered in a ragged breath, "I love you."

    I felt helpless as I held his hand, helped him to the bathroom, wiped the steady drip of drool from the corners of his mouth. His face retained a haunted look of despair. I never saw him smile or heard him laugh again.

    Dad had battled Alzheimer's valiantly, but the disease ultimately won the war.
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