Christian Chronicle

A favorite aunt has lived a full life; now she battles Alzheimer’s

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

ALLEN, Texas — Aunt Melba has no idea who Harold Tidwell is, but he loves her.

He loves her from deep in his soul. He cherishes her as if she were his own mother — a role she fulfilled for him and Gail Tidwell, his wife of nearly 50 years, after their parents died.

Harold Tidwell, 78, is an elder of the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in this fast-growing suburb north of Dallas.

Never has he known life without Aunt Melba.

At age 97, Melba Warrach is frail and suffers from an advanced form of Alzheimer’s disease.

She resides in the Bluebonnet Memory Care unit at Christian Care Centers’ newest senior living community, which opened last year.

The Greenville Oaks church donated five acres for the Allen facility. It’s the faith-based nonprofit’s third location in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The others are in Mesquite, east of Dallas, and Fort Worth.

“Do you know who I am?” Harold Tidwell asks after hugging Aunt Melba on a recent afternoon.

“Art?” she replies.

The late Art Haddox directed the Herald of Truth television ministry in Abilene, Texas. He was one of Aunt Melba’s four brothers — all of whom served in World War II.

Read the full story.

Related story: Music for the soul: Gospel songs still resonate with dementia patients (reporting from Mesquite, Texas).

These stories appear in the May 2017 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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