Couple shares Alzheimer's diagnosis in heartbreaking Christmas letter

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Open a mailbox during the month of December and there's bound to be at least one holiday card inside. They're usually filled will well wishes and cheer.

But for one couple, their Christmas letter is a way to update their loved ones on their health and the hope they have to take this year's memories on to the next. 

"Last Christmas we shared Barb's Alzheimer's diagnosis," Harold Arnold wrote. "This year we would like to share what's happening in our lives. If you ask Barb how she's feeling, she will answer, 'I feel fine. I just tire easily. I have tremors in both hands and forget things and have to jot down a quick reminder.'"

"She loves to take walks, read, warm at the fireplace, listen to music and talk radio shows, visit with friends and family. While Harold is helping, Barb is also learning how to cook, do household duties and all the fun stuff," he continued in his letter.

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"Words like understanding, giving and receiving, sadness, happiness, dignity, appreciation now have a much clearer meaning to us. Enjoy every moment you have. This Alzheimer's disease has taught us the true meaning of love, which to us is sharing. Barb and I are now closer than in years and enjoying life as it is," he wrote.

The Alzheimer's Association said its hotline receives the most calls during the holidays because after long absences family members notice memory and personality changes.

They say the Arnold's Christmas letter is an example of a great way to prepare friends and family for those changes they might see.

For a list of symptoms, click here.