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Keith John Paul Horcasitas

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Forward to Alzheimer's Disease Book
Monday, January 26, 2009  7:25:00 AM

by Keith John Paul Horcasitas

Literary Criticism

I was blessed to able to write a Forward to Kim Zabbia's book, Painted Diaries: A Mother and Daughter's Experience Through Alzheimer's Disease:

"Who but a caregiver can understand how Alzheimer's is truly a family disease? Who but an artist can plunge into the mysteries of the mind? Who but a journalist can articulate Alzheimer's losses so vividly? Who but a courageous, witty person could take less than a full deck of life's cards and play the game so passionately?"

You may want to see if it is available in your area.

Painted Diaries

Lou Howes, a newspaper reporter, kept a diary until Alzheimer's disease robbed her of her ability to read and write. Her daughter, Kim Howes Zabbia, a teacher, writer, and artist, took excerpts from this journal and interspersed them with her own writings and paintings to provide a moving, intimate portrait of a family coping with what Lou called "Al, Mrs. Zheimer's son." We feel Lou's pain and frustration as she tries to cope with her loss of memory and mourn the slow transformation of a once witty and vibrant woman into a shell of her former self. During the course of her mother's illness, Zabbia began work on her master's in fine arts at Louisiana State University. Her art eventually became a means of expressing the emotional bond between mother and daughter, a psychological bridge created by her venture into the surreal world of Alzheimer's disease. Told with love, humor, and sensitivity, this eloquent account is recommended for all collections. Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn., Ohio

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