I began writing Alzheimer's Daughter shortly after my mom died. Dad lived another year. I kept writing, trying to find resolution. The words on the page became my daily connecting point with my parents. Through my words I felt as though I was able to explain to Mom and Dad what happened to them, as well as the actions my sister and I had to take to keep them safe.
I am the kind of person who reads for support. I read to learn. So, during the path of my parents' disease, I searched for books to help. I found many about the medical science and theories of prevention of Alzheimer's through lifestyle and diet, but there were few personal accounts.
As soon as I'd find a book that looked good, I'd devour it and search Amazon for another using the key word 'Alzheimer's,' looking hundreds of books deep. Many were negative in tone with longstanding strife between elderly parents and adult children, and even greater disagreement between siblings trying to share the caregiving role. I know there are plenty of negatives to this disease, and in Alzheimer's Daughter I write about those challenges honestly, but I needed positives to keep me afloat. So, I wrote Alzheimer's Daughter, combining love with honesty. I wrote what would have helped me.
I've been asked if writing brought peace. I'd like to say yes, but it really didn't. The entire time I wrote I struggled because I felt guilt. Alzheimer's is a private disease. It's hard to talk about.
Right up until the actual moment of pushing the 'publish' button, I felt anguish because I didn't know if I had the right to tell this story.
Peace has come to me through reactions to the book and reviews.
"There are smiles and tears in this tale of ultimate love, that which sees this family through a myriad of very hard choices. This book is worth reading, worth saving, and worth consulting if the unfortunate need arises. There are many books written about Alzheimer's. This one opens the door and let's us in."
Alzheimer’s Daughter is a beautifully written tribute to the extraordinary love and lives of the author’s parents. The story offers a map on how to maneuver through the pitfalls of dementia care while honoring our parents with dignity and love through faith. The memoir reveals a modern day path many others will travel as dementia snowballs into an epidemic as baby boomers age. The journey of Alzheimer’s Daughter leads the reader through a tragic but rewarding love story with heart, like a true version of The Notebook."