I was the luckiest kid in the world because my Uncle Allen was in the TOY business! On weekends when my Mom took us from the city to the burbs to visit her brother and his family, I would get the nod from Uncle Allen, the ‘you want to check out the garage’ nod? He’d let me pick something to go home with: a board game, a puzzle, an action figure or one of the earliest handheld computer sports games. Uncle Allen had a generous spirit. He was an eternal optimist, playing liar’s poker daily with him co-workers and typically winning I’m told. Even when he developed fronto-temporal dementia his stock phrase – offered every 4 minutes – was ‘good, good, you’re good, it’s gonna be good.’ I know there were hard times too and his family were champions caring for him until his death. But I try to keep a little piece of that optimism for myself, and to pass it on to my kids if I can. I was the first member of my family to graduate from medical school and today I’m still proudly wearing the watch that Uncle Allen bought me for that occasion. He was so proud of me and that meant the world. Dementia Spring is dedicated to his memory as much as it is to the millions of people like him who have struggled with dementia.
Marc Rothman, Louisville, Kentucky
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