Monday, September 29, 2008

Finally: Real Answers To That Age Old Question...

Why did that chicken really cross the road?

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! That every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem onthis side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash........reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Note: I can't take credit for writing it, only sharing it. This is one of those emails that has been going around, and things just keep getting added on. Who knows its original source? And, who cares. It made me laugh out loud and I hope it did the same for you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Legacy Of Theresa Wilson

It's amazing to think that because one man and one woman fell in love, a family legacy was born. I treasure and honor the memory of my Mom and Dad, Ralph and Theresa Wilson, and my amazing family. It is incredible that in her lifetime, and in mine, a disease that many of us had never heard of is now approaching epidemic proportions.

A few short weeks ago, Theresa Wilson passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. It is in her memory and that of her sister, my Aunt Dorothy and in honor of all those families battling this disease I am participating in the 2008 Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk. My siblings and I have committed to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, as well as for care and support for people already affected by the disease.

Memory Walk funds help the Alzheimer's Association advance important research into better treatments and a possible cure for Alzheimer’s. And for the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

Currently more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's. Unless we find a way to change the course of the disease, 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by

If you’d like to support the fight against this terrible disease, you can follow the link on the right to donate to our team.

On behalf of the millions of Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s, thank you for supporting my efforts.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Free At Last

My beautiful, gentle mother, Theresa, was released from the bondage of Alzheimer’s disease Friday afternoon, Sept 5th, 2008. Although the worst of her suffering occurred during the end-stage, in hindsight, from the first symptoms until her death she probably had the disease for at least 8 years. This is consistent with what research shows about the disease, that from onset to death, the average length of time is about 10 years.

In those early years of her illness, we didn’t realize that forgetfulness, repeating questions, and other mildly unusual behavior was anything other than getting older. And my dad, her champion and protector, covered so well. When she stopped cooking, he made it seem as though he enjoyed it and it was his turn after all these years. When she stopped driving, he’d often tell her that maybe she’d drive again “when she was feeling better” He was so quietly diplomatic and face saving. Rarely, if ever asking for help.

I see it all clearly now, I didn’t then.

As things began to get worse, we got more involved, but still, he took care of her. His patience, love and quiet suffering…we knew she was declining but had no idea how bad it was. When he died suddenly 2 years ago, the grief of losing her partner of 63 years was too much for her to bear. She plummeted, and my siblings and I got a crash course into this devastating disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease is becoming a national tragedy. While more deaths still occur from cancer, heart disease and other ailments, Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death in America. In 2008, there are over 5 million Americans with Alzheimer's. Experts predict that 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's in their lifetime. This disease is quietly growing into a national epidemic.

It’s an insidious, cruel illness, not only robbing the victim of their memory, but also, the very essence of their personality. It begins a process of grief and loss that can last literally for years. My mom’s been gone for awhile, and yet, there were days when she would smile at me with some level of recognition. Days when I would walk in and say "hi mom" and she respond "hi honey". On those days of lucidity, my siblings and I would go home and send a family email, sharing a ray of sunshine; as if there was a glimpse of hope with each story of recognition. Those moments were gifts.

We can read the research reports, and listen to the doctors, nurses and caregivers speak from their experience. We can share stories with other families who have loved ones suffering; but in the end, we can never really know what level of cognitive ability the suffering patient has. Every person is affected differently, every family has different experiences.

My niece was getting married Saturday, the culmination of a year of planning. My mom let go the day before, and I'd love to think it was because she wanted to attend. After years looking at, through and past us as we sat with her; on this Saturday she and my dad were looking down and she was saying "Wow, it's so great to see everyone. I haven't seen any of you in years, and now I see you all because I am last!"

At last.

Note: I wrote a blog last September that was, an ironic but somehow appropriate prelude to this one. Code To Freedom