I was flipping through the channels on the television when I noticed a WNBA game wasn't a game, but a news cast. I stopped to see what had happened, to find out that President Reagan had passed away this afternoon. Just an hour earlier, I had been in my car listening to NPR when they reported that Nancy Reagan had said this afternoon that he was entering the final days. Apparently, "days" was being too optimistic.
He has publicly battled Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade now, and has probably suffered from it for longer than that. In recent years, he has been unable to recognize and remember close friends and family members and in the last few months could not even tell who Nancy was, his wife of more than 50 years.
Of all of the diseases that I could be afflicted with, I believe Alzheimer's or any similar mental disease would be the most painful. I can not imagine loosing control of my thoughts, emotions, and actions. Not having the ability to clearly and rationally approach a situation as simple as someone walking in the room is terrifying.
Promising research is indicating that Alzheimer's may be preventable though. It appears that through diet and mental and physical exercise, you can keep your brain in top shape and fight the atrophy that causes diseases like Alzheimer's.
So keep those creative juices flowing, work that crossword, and go for that walk. It may mean that you remember who I am in 25 years...