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Turn these pages, and you will find yourself surprisingly inspired by a murderer locked up in prison, a drug-using football player who dreamed of the pros, and a selfish, womanizing dare-devil who died and met God. You will root for a husband and father whose marriage was a battleground, a homosexual man searching desperately to belong, and an innocent lamb who lost, in a single moment, everyone he cared about most. And you will rejoice that their sins and their pasts were no obstacle for heaven. All of these men became living beacons of hope, walking proof of the triumph of the human spirit over darkness. In the heat of the fiercest of spiritual battles, when all seemed lost and these men were left with nothing to stand on but stormy seas, they were given a lifeboat, a new path in life-one that they never dreamed of, not for an instant. They were pulled in a different direction that, at first, they didn't want, and then at last, they loved. In the boat of safety, they sailed with sure victory into breathtaking, unknown vistas. This book exposes the inner lives of six remarkable men: their private guilt, masked pain, secret hopes and loves-things they normally do not share, but perhaps with one human being. Yet, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they have openly revealed to us what most men never do, their souls. While this book may be about six males, it is for everyone, because it is also a book about a woman. That woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the boat of safety for all of us, the surest and safest passage to the heart of her Son. She is our victory and sweet reassurance that God's plan is infinitely better than our own; and she is our challenge to follow her Son, no matter the cost, no matter how fierce the battle. Read the stories of these brave men, and you will inevitably come away with a desire to climb in the boat with them and sail safely home.
Horace Lennon was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1998. The Sixth Battle: A Story of Alzheimer’s, Love, and Faith began as a journal of his death by dementia written by his daughter, Mary Lennon Koch. Throughout his journey, she records much of the sorrow and ugliness that accompanies Alzheimer’s—along with an unexpected beauty arising through love and faith. As the disease progressed, Horace journeyed erratically backwards through time. The progression through his working and pastoring years was almost imperceptible. World War II followed, and he lingered there for extended periods. At the same time, he forgot his wife but not her love, and he was tormented with uncertainties about his relationship with God. Eventually he became like a little child and then grew as helpless as a baby. Even so, he understood love and faith to his dying day. Throughout his journey, the loving support that he received from his wife, six children, grandchildren, and extended family offers a testament to the love and faith of his family. No two Alzheimer’s stories are the same. The purpose of The Sixth Battle is not to provide a checklist for the days after the diagnosis, but rather to offer an account of Alzheimer’s to help others prepare for their own experience, and to share a story of love that transcends circumstances and faith that testifies there is more than what is seen here on this earth.

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