Vanishing Act

Cover Image Nav Alz

You may have read in earlier posts on my blog, Midwest Mary, how my husband and I met. I was a freelance feature writer for the Chicago Tribune and wrote a story on magician Terry Evanswood. Terry gave me Marshall’s name as a reference. I interviewed Marshall over the phone for that article, and then a year later, I wrote a feature on Marshall.

Marshall was a magician, creator of Marshall Brodien TV Magic Cards and Magic Sets, and played the character Wizzo on Chicago’s Bozo Show. The Tribune article was titled “Vanishing Act” in reference to him retiring from the show after 26 years.

Marshall was an incredible magician and entertainer but I would tease him that he was his best illusion. He carried himself so well few would suspect he’d dropped out of school at 16, was not a multi-millionaire, or didn’t do much of a workout in the gym.

Now I often think of the title of that Tribune article because it feels as if he is vanishing as I watch him progress through Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike other physical illnesses, there’s no remission with Alzheimer’s. It can plateau for periods of time but never to the point that its existence is undeniable.

I lose a little of my husband every day. My heart breaks to see that vibrant, energetic, larger-than-life, wonderful man disappearing in front of my eyes. The sadness in me never subsides as the disease always progresses, moment by moment, day after day, year after year.

(You can find extensive information on Alzheimer’s disease on my Navigating Alzheimer’s Facebook page.)

©2016, Mary K. Doyle



  1. May God continue to bless you and Marshall, filling you with the grace to endure in His love. My heart is with both of you as you journey together.

    You really touched my heart this morning by sharing so honestly. Thank you.

    With love in Christ,


    1. Thank you, Bernadette. You are so very thoughtful. Your kindness warmed my heart.God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

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