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Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

I love to read. I always have. I read every day. Every day. Sometimes I manage a few minutes while I grab a quick lunch. During more than one blizzard and rainstorm, I’ve happily indulged in an all day binge. I almost never leave the house without a book. I can’t imagine a day without a book. Alright maybe I can, but it makes my blood run cold.

I inherited my love of the written word from both my parents. When I was growing up, they read every evening after dinner. For years we traded paperbacks back and forth. When I was a teenager it was history and historical fiction. My Mom was my key trading partner. When I got older, we shared best sellers, legal thrillers and crime novels. My Dad is now my book trading partner. Reading is one more thing that Alzheimer’s, the thief, has stolen from my Mother.

Along with crossword puzzles. Mom was a crossword puzzle fanatic. She did the Boston Globe puzzle everyday and both the Globe and New York Times puzzle on Sunday. We put puzzle books in her stocking, as well as paperbacks, every Christmas.

Mom hasn’t given up books completely. She can still read but it’s hard to follow plot lines or enjoy a good yarn when your memory is fading fast. I have seen her read and re-read the newspaper two or three times in an afternoon. Each time she fusses or fumes over some crime or other, laughs at a cartoon and smiles at the “good news” news. But she doesn’t do the puzzle anymore. And her grasp of current affairs is gone.

On the plus side, she must be my biggest fan. She can read one of my stories once or one hundred times. Each time she sees it with fresh eyes and she never gets tired of my tales. Of course she is more than a little bit biased. On the other hand, she doesn’t mind or miss them when my Dad packs up the papers and magazines and carts them off to the recycling bin.

Alzheimer’s runs in families. My grandfather had it, now Mom. I can’t help but wonder how well I might cope in my Mother’s faltering shoes. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I am not a particularly fearful person. I’ve leapt into new and different challenges and adventures with hardly a quiver, shiver or shake. I’ve reinvented myself at least three times, lived abroad, traveled around the world, built an organization from scratch, rebuilt two broken teams, bungee jumped, gone a mile deep into the earth and skied glaciers. And had a ball doing it all.

But there is a hell of a lot about Alzheimer’s that scares the bejesus out of me, a long and growing list. Loosing the joy of curling up with a good book is definately on that list.

Does Alzheimer’s run in your family? I’d like to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going – just click on Comments below.

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Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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