Mary Lennon Koch
Horace Lennon was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1998. The Sixth Battle: A Story of Alzheimer's, Love, and Faith began as a journal of his death by dementia written by his daughter, Mary Lennon Koch. Throughout his journey, she records much of the sorrow and ugliness that accompanies Alzheimer's-along with an unexpected beauty arising through love and faith. As the disease progressed, Horace journeyed erratically backwards through time. The progression through his working and pastoring years was almost imperceptible. World War II followed, and he lingered there for extended periods. At the same time, he forgot his wife but not her love, and he was tormented with uncertainties about his relationship with God. Eventually he became like a little child and then grew as helpless as a baby. Even so, he understood love and faith to his dying day. Throughout his journey, the loving support that he received from his wife, six children, grandchildren, and extended family offers a testament to the love and faith of his family. No two Alzheimer's stories are the same. The purpose of The Sixth Battle is not to provide a checklist for the days after the diagnosis, but rather to offer an account of Alzheimer's to help others prepare for their own experience, and they experience similar situations and to share a story of love that transcends circumstances and faith that testifies there is more than what is seen here on this earth.