There's a great misconception out there.
You hear it in every joke and every wisecrack.
Gordie Howe's friends and family members know it, as do millions more. There's nothing funny about dementia. Nothing funny about Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Hockey celebrates his 85th birthday today, although it's arguable as to whether he really knows it, knows what the milestone means. Knows what a birthday is, even. His son, Mark, tells the Detroit Free Press that his father "is struggling. I think his memory might be down to two minutes, maybe five on a good day."
Gordie Howe is a once in a century athlete. There are arguments as to who is the greatest player in the history of hockey. Always, always, his name is included in the discussion before a minute or two has gone by. Beyond that, he may very well be the most respected player the game has ever known. I will never, ever forget the Gordie Howe moment I witnessed during a charity game in Barrie, Ontario, some thirty years ago. Howe wasn'tRead More »from Gordie Howe turns 85. Mr Hockey’s story can teach us all about dementia’s “long goodbye”