Excellence: A Renewed Mind In The College of Education
The day before Thanksgiving 2016, College of Education professor Dr. Timothy Norton received a diagnosis that made being thankful difficult. His doctor informed him he had a type of dementia—and it was most likely Alzheimer’s, which had affected both his mother and uncle. Instead of being bitter, Dr. Norton decided to write down his deeply personal thoughts and emotions, writing he is now sharing with the world in a book, Alzheimer’s: My New Life Begins.
For six months, Norton wrote about the ways the disease was impacting his everyday life. “If my thoughts and experiences can help others in their journey," says Norton, "then my life will not have been traveled in vain.”
Norton also recalls learning from his mother about the different stages of the disease. While she didn’t remember people and places, she never forgot how to pray. He writes, “Her ‘renewed mind,’ given to her by God at her new birth, never faded.”
Norton writes honestly about how Alzheimer’s will impact his faith, his family, his work, and eventually bring about his death. He reminds that memories are what make our living a remembrance: “When we can't remember, we not only lose our past but we also lose our reason for the future.”
While the book reveals the awful nature of Alzheimer’s, Norton says it is really about Christ and His faithfulness to each of His children. “It is a book revealing the truth of the continuance of my life in Him and not a book about the end of life,” says Norton.
Norton does believe God can heal him. “I cannot by faith say that I do not have Alzheimer’s. I can by faith say that I can be healed of Alzheimer’s,” he writes. He also points out whether God chooses to heal him or not, God is in charge of his life and will work His will and purpose into it.
The book can be purchased through Amazon.
[Note: This article is featured in our Fall 2018 issue of Excellence magazine. To read the complete issue online, go here.]