My mother was afflicted with AD at age 68, I diagnosed her and grieved her slow decline then. A few years later, I had cancer and a friend called me to see how I was doing and said “thank God your mom doesn’t understand” and this was the cruelest thing of all— my mom was needed then more than ever and her slow decline into forgetfulness did not help me forget her need. She did teach us, my children and nieces and nephew and brothers; that a life well lived, is never forgotten even when the memory fails…. the essence is kept in the heart of those they touched.