I would like to welcome my good friend and fellow author back to Readful Things. Elaine has been doing a tremendous amount of work promoting her book and teaching others about the field of Alzheimer’s research. She is also a very kind person, who has been there for me through my own struggles having a family member who is going through this disease.
If you have ever wondered about what this cruel disease can do to a person, a family and the patient themselves, Elaine’s uniquely personal perspective may very well be of use to you.
You can find out more about Elaine and her book here: www.IWillNeverForgetBook.com
You can find her book for sale
Dementia’s Silver Stars
Tragically as our Baby Boomer generation matures into the Silver Stars, some of those “stars” don’t shine as brightly as they use to, mostly due to Dementia. Alzheimer’s specifically is a devastating condition that robs us of our loved ones. It’s also allows for some of the most bewildering events, remarks and experiences that defy logic, reasoning and reality.
Since I have literally walked, actually more like trudged, in the shoes of a caregiver to my mother with Alzheimer’s, I am able to share the humor with the heartache; explore the mystifying with the plausible; describe the agitation and the calm.
In my memoir I Will Never Forget-A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia, I detail Mom’s heartwarming and inspirational life. The “why I wrote this book” behind-the-scenes background, is almost as interesting as the book itself and is often the case for most authors.
My mother’s is a story that needed to be told. The same woman who graduated with a BS in chemistry in 1945, went on to earn a Masters in Education and taught high school math is the same one who literally could not add 2+2 a few months before she died. As she steadily unraveled piece by piece, her lucid moments waned precariously.
Those of us who have been intimately or peripherally affected by Dementia know all too well how unpredictable the disease manifests itself from one person to the next. Some mysteries in my mom’s journey she took to her grave and will never be revealed.
Just before my mom quit driving, thank God without incident, she actually renewed her car insurance. The abridged version of an intricate and complicated long story, is that she wrote a total of nine checks to her car insurance company because she couldn’t remember writing even one. Five of them were on consecutive days!
Baffling! What warped reality guided her to address five envelopes correctly, put on a stamp, and then drop them successfully into the mail slot five days in a row? How is it possible?
As Mom drifted farther into her own time line, she started having visions of her own mother, my grandmother who died when I was only six years old. Mom was even overheard talking to her “mother.” Mom’s quest to find and “take care of” her mom presumably was the catalyst that drove her to escape her locked assisted living facility like the great Houdini!
How does a petite, 86 year-old woman slip out of her secure home undetected literally in the middle of the night? Mom was found after being outside for more than five hours, in 25-degree temperatures, in very early April, in literally nothing but red flannel pajamas! And lived!
My award-winning memoir is a humble and respectful tribute to my mother and everyone ravaged by Dementia and rendered altered in its wake. I am donating to Alzheimer’s research from book sales and speaking fees in part so that my daughters don’t have to write a book about me one day.