A Cruel Disease

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, August 15, 2002

A Cruel Disease

We knew it was coming, but hearing that it has come still makes us sad.

Former president Ronald Reagan is reported to be slipping in his terminal battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Sources close to the 40th president report that Reagan's mental deterioration has accelerated in recent months and that he no longer recognizes his wife, Nancy. One source says that on some days Reagan will recognize Nancy as someone familiar to him, but on other days she's just a blank.

Until a few months ago, Reagan's physical condition had held steady, even as his mental faculties continued to decline. But a source close to the family says he's becoming more difficult to deal with. Both his physical and mental problems have gotten worse.

It is a long goodbye, as Nancy Reagan once remarked. And now that we've heard that the actor Charlton Heston also has Alzheimer's, we are again reminded of the cruelty of this disease.

So, pray for Ronald Reagan and Charlton Heston and their loved ones, who will bear the greatest burden of all. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.