A look at Annabel Bowlen's years with the Broncos.
The announcement by Mrs. Annabel Bowlen this past week of her Alzheimer's diagnosis was a blow to all of us.
No one could have expected this, just as several years ago it was just as shocking to find that our beloved owner Pat suffers from the same affliction.
Sometimes the greatest strength shows itself in the most difficult of situations.
A couple of weeks ago a cousin of mine who is a police officer was honored for an act of heroism in pulling a man from a burning car.
My cousin's father said, "We all like to think we would have such courage, but we never know until we are tested."
So too has Annabel demonstrated such courage, and she now does so every day.
After Pat's diagnosis and upon his decision to step back from the daily running of the team, Annabel assumed a greater role as a spokeswoman in many situations.
This was never something she sought or desired, but she did it, always with grace and dignity.
And with strength.
It is not easy to have an ill husband, five children, and all of Broncos Country listening to you and judging your behavior and every word you utter.
But Annabel did so.
There was a number of times when we were speaking together, usually at Ring of Fame dinners and halftime presentations, and she has always been so concerned about doing the right things and saying the right things for the fans.
Annabel has always put what was expected of her above whether or not she wished to take the stage at all.
She always has preferred the background, but she stepped forward to represent her dear husband Pat, as well as our team and community, as she felt was required of her.
Annabel could have said no. But she never did.
And now we need to be there for her, as Annabel Bowlen has once again shown great strength in her candor regarding this terrible disease.
She could have chosen to stay quiet.
She could have asked others to speak on her behalf as time goes on, thus keeping her private medical condition private to herself.
But she did not.
Annabel spoke out not just for herself, but for everyone else who suffers, or who has suffered, or who will suffer in the future, as well as for their friends, families and support systems.
She has told us all that standing tall and being honest is the first step in facing a situation and, frankly, conquering it.
Annabel Bowlen shows us as much strength as much strength as the greatest of her players.
With so much grace, strength and dignity, she can stand up to anything.
And we all should be entirely supportive of Mrs. Bowlen, who is showing us the way each and every day.