The day I finally beat my grandfather in chess was one of the saddest days of my life.
I was lucky enough to have the sort of childhood that came with regular summer vacations to my grandparents' home down on the gulf shore in Florida. We'd do all sorts of exciting stuff, fishing, sailing, swimming, sitting on the beach. But my favorite was when Grandpa and I would set down to a chess match. I really looked forward to this, even though Grandpa always kicked my ass (thoroughly). He wasn't the kinda guy to pull punches, but rather to beat ya, and then show ya how he did it. As I got older, smarter, and more patient our games got closer, but that's only a relative term.
Then, one year, the game was totally different. Grandpa was struggling to keep track of the game. Making costly mistakes, and not punishing me for mine. You see, Grandpa had Alzheimer's, or something similar to it I suppose (I'm not a doctor). I won that game, but there wasn't anything to celebrate, as winning a board game meant little when compared to the effective loss of a grandparent.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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