...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
When Pumpkin was seven, she boycotted a certain tuna company until they used Dolphin-Safe nets. When she started eating tuna again, I asked her if it had been worth it. She replied, 'It worked, didn't it?'

At ten, Charlie became a vegetarian, which totally took me by surprise. She said the conditions in which animals were raised to be later slaughtered for human consumption, was not only inhumane, but also unhealthy. All I knew, was that this meant that if I wanted a hamburger, I would have to visit a drive-through!

At thirteen, when other girls her age were consumed by thoughts of the opposite sex, she was raising money from door to door donations to help a homeless shelter!

I don't know what cause she'll take up next, but Charlie has always had the ability to surprise her father!" smiled Chuck, not realizing he was to be her next cause.

Soon it was lunchtime, and everyone had to take their medications, injections, etc. Chuck stayed out of the way by working a crossword puzzle in Jerome's living quarters behind the Administrator's office.

Charlie found the curriculum at Galilee Christian School harder than the public schools she had just come from in Montana and North Carolina. Even so, she felt confident that with a few weeks of catch-up studying, she would overtake the rest of the student body in the tenth grade. Maybe then, the principal would place her back in the eleventh, where Charlie felt she belonged.

When lunchtime rolled around, Charlie found herself eating alone. Had she unknowingly done something to make everyone avoid her like the plague? She wondered why Jenna Hanna had treated her so rudely at the mall on Saturday. Did this have something to do with that?

Jenna's kinder twin, Kendra, took the new girl aside and explained that one of the others had said that they had heard from someone else, that Charlie was hanging out with "Mad" Maggie at the bus stop; that Charlie's father was going mad, and that she would go mad, too. There was even a rumor going around that Chuck's disease was contagious! Charlie could refute the first rumor, but the last two were harder to dismiss with any certainty. When confronted by the ignorance of others, she had to admit that she knew little about Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease, herself.

After school, Jerome dutifully picked up his niece. Since he was still in bad temper, Charlie assumed that this was always the way he was.

"Uncle Jerome," asked Charlie, on the drive back to Twin Yucca, "am I going to get Alzheimer's Disease?"

"How do I know?" responded Jerome.

"Did you know Daddy would get it?" continued Charlie, undaunted by her uncle's coldness.

"Of course not," he replied.

"Is there any way to find out for sure if you're going to get it next?" she asked. When a close relative becomes affected by AD, the first reaction is condolence; the second is fear of being next. Jerome was well acquainted with these emotions-- better than he wanted to be.

"You ask too many questions," responded Jerome, sharply.

"Is Alzheimer's Disease contagious?" she asked. She had to know, ill-temper or not.

"You get Alzheimer's Disease because of bad luck, or because of bad genes," answered Jerome. "It's not the flu!"

"Grandma said that Great-Grandpa Overholt had Alzheimer's Disease. Did he give it to Grandpa through his genes?"

"Probably," Jerome replied, hesitating to be more definite than that. "About five percent of AD cases are thought to be familial. Researchers have been after me for years to be tested for the gene that causes Alzheimer's, but I keep turning them down. If I have it, I don't want to know."

Charlie was quiet. She thought of the plans she had made for her future, and wondered if she might want to know what lay ahead. Then she considered her father, and wondered if she might want to know how best to prepare for his future care by knowing if she would be next, or not. If she became affected with Alzheimer's, how could she take care of her Daddy? But, that was IF she had this gene her uncle was talking about. Such foreknowledge had the power to change her plans, both immediate and future. She didn't WANT to know, but Charlie felt she HAD to know. Secretly, she began to make plans to find out more about this test, and more about the disease, itself. These decisions required a kind of bravery that Jerome did not possess.
continued on next page...
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!