Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her family have been in the news for an unusual reason. Many of you know that Justice O'Connor's husband has Alzheimer's disease, and she retired to help him through this. He has been living in a home for people with Alzheimer's disease. He no longer knows his wife, and he has fallen in love with another woman who lives at the facility. The family is courageously and lovingly supporting this romance, as he is happy and that is what they want for him. The courage that Justice O'Connor's family is showing by coming forward with this not too uncommon situation is, in my mind, on the level of Betty Ford going public with her alcoholism. Betty Ford made it known that the disease of alcoholism knows no social class. She helped others - especially women - address their disease without shame. Justice O'Connor and her family are doing something just as monumental by going public with the quite common Alzheimer's dilemma. Others faced with this will relate, and know there is no shame in admitting that their beloved mate, who no longer knows them, has fallen in love with someone else. Sharing our pain lightens our burden. Hooray for this courageous family.
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