With Words That Once Were His: An Alzheimer's Experience

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9781887747370: With Words That Once Were His: An Alzheimer's Experience
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Dianne Forbis used to say jokingly that she married her husband John A. (Al) Forbis for his vocabulary. Al loved words. He used them well, and over the decades they spent together Dianne honed and expanded her own vocabulary. Al passed on his love of language to everyone he met, including his students at Ricks College in Rexburg, ID., where he taught interior design for 20 years. When the student evaluations would come back with comments such as, “He uses words that are too big,” Al would reply that he saw his job to develop more than just their design skills.

But little things began to go wrong. Al began to lose the details of his life – the record-keeping and detailed preparation and follow-through associated with teaching. He shifted to a less stressful job on the college campus. He began to phone Dianne several times daily to recheck his schedule. He forgot family members he has known well.

Then, Dianne watched helplessly as the devastating destruction of Al’s mind finally eroded his ability to understand and use even simple terms of what had once been a grand and impressive vocabulary. The language loss was but one collapse as the disease dismantled learning, perception, personality and finally bodily functions.

With heartbreaking and evocative narrative and poetry, Dianne chronicles the maddening decline of her husband – and her reactions of despair, anger, sadness, resignation. At 121 pages, this book is a short read, but its exhausting and haunting journey will stay with you long after you put it down.

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From the Inside Flap:

Alzheimer's wreaks havoc on the victim's family members and friends, as watchers are yanked to new corners of despair. How do you cope with a husband's decline? Dianne Dibb Forbis expresses her sobering journey in candid narrative and gripping poetry.

About the Author:

Biography Dianne Dibb Forbis

Dianne Dibb born (1938) to Walter and Mary Dibb in upstate New York. She was one of nine children. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1964 with a B.A. in Graphic Arts (a minor in English). She has done some graduate work in English. She taught junior high English and art in the California public school system.

In 1965 Dianne married J. Al Forbis, a designer. The couple had three daughters. J. Al accepted employment in 1977 as a faculty member in the Interior Design Department of Thomas E. Ricks Jr. College in Rexburg, Idaho. Dianne worked for many years with a Rexburg printing and card production company, which is affiliated with a national corporate organization. She did promotional writing, authored articles for a newsletter to business associates, did much proofing of catalogs and follow-through of printing projects. In association with her experience in the greeting card industry, she was twice a member of the judging board for the annual LOUIE awards (International Greeting Card Competition).

Dianne has also done free-lance writing. Her published materials include 27 poems and 22 articles in national and regional periodicals. For ten years Dianne has been an adjunct faculty member in the English Department of Thomas E. Ricks Jr. College (now in the transition of becoming Brigham Young University—Idaho, a 4-year college).

Dianne’s husband, J. Al, died in August 2000 of pneumonia aggravated by Alzheimer’s. Dianne and Al have ten grandchildren.

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Dianne Dibb Forbis
Published by Legendary Pub Co (2000)
ISBN 10: 1887747370 ISBN 13: 9781887747370
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