Posted on July 24, 2014 by Jamie Floyd
On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos released a statement indicating the owner of their franchise, Pat Bowlen, is stepping down as a result of his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen has been living with the disease for a few years, but chose to keep this private.
As I listened to the reporters describe Mr. Bowlen, I was struck by the recurring use of the word “was.” Mr. Bowlen was this or that.
In reality, Mr. Bowlen IS. He is still very much alive. His family cares about him, loves him, and, I imagine, finds ways to adjust to his memory impairment on a daily basis.
Mr. Bowlen IS still the man who loves the Broncos, who established their winning tradition, who loves to bicycle. And, since his family lives with him, they will engage him daily by remembering for him that he loves all these things.
There will be days when Mr. Bowlen will feel a strong connection to his family because they encourage him to think about everything he loves: The Broncos, those Superbowls, the outdoors, bicycling, wearing cowboy boots, laughing at practical jokes and being part of the team. Mr. Bowlen IS. Let’s refer to him with the respect he and his family deserve.