Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview on Family Saga Novel Brought To Our Senses
Heads up so you can tune in and listen to my interview with the fantastic Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks about my new dementia fiction saga Brought To Our Senses. You can hear our interview for the first time on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 1 pm CST, or you can listen anytime afterwards right here. Lori and her panel have great perspectives on the topics of the novel and bring up some really good points. Let me know what you think about our discussion! Continue reading →
Hooray! It’s been a long journey to get to this day. I want to take a deep breath and enjoy this accomplishment. The November release of Brought To Our Senses is well timed because it’s National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. This book will speak to those affected by dementia and those charged with the care of aging parents. Continue reading →
A powerful love song pays tribute to family and tackles Alzheimer’s disease
Sharing the album x by Ed Sheeran from her music library, my daughter recently reminded me of the incredible power of music. My husband and I were driving her back to begin her sophomore year of college, and she selected the soundtrack for our road trip.
My daughter has excellent taste in music, and like me she is really into it. Music in our family is not a luxury, but instead a basic necessity like indoor plumbing or electricity . . . or chocolate. I’m a fan of Ed Sheeran too, who isn’t? He’s talented, introspective and sensitive and all that, like another British musician who also makes the female population go weak in the knees. So I was content to hum and tap along to his tunes as the miles and cornfields rolled by.
When the song “Afire Love” started up my daughter announced, “This song is so sad, Mom. It’s about Alzheimer’s disease. Just listen to the lyrics.”
Because I’m a big fan of her memoir The Glass Castle, I thought it was time to read another one of her books. I enjoyed The Silver Star and the fresh perspective offered by its twelve-year-old protagonist Bean. She and her older sister Liz are left to fend for themselves thanks to their selfish mother Charlotte, whose only concerns seem to be her lack of a singing career and herself.
I chuckled many times at the juvenile logic and rash actions of feisty Bean, like when she decides how to handle her biggest adversary—the big baddie Maddox—by killing him. When she realizes the error of her judgment, she decides to slash his tires instead. Sounds just like how an adolescent girl would think.
Time and again the two sisters face difficulties and conflict while their mother is nowhere to be found, only to have her show up . . . too little, too late. Thank goodness for Uncle Tinsley, who takes his nieces in and helps them out after their mother goes missing in action. Tinsley really is the hero to Bean and Liz, and I would have liked for him to be a bigger part of the story. He remained a mystery in many ways: his own life, his relationship with his sister Charlotte, and his feelings for and interactions with his sister’s daughters.
Alzheimer’s Daughter by Jean Lee is a triple threat memoir with an unthinkable premise. One parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is a crisis, two parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is a disaster. Dual diagnoses and decline at the exact same time is a tragedy of epic proportions.
Alzheimer’s Daughter follows adult sisters, Rosie and Annette, as they discover and manage the progressing cognitive impairments of their aging parents. Ed and Ibby Church are a loving couple in their eighties who’ve been married for over sixty years. Their two children are united in efforts acting as responsible caregivers to keep the parents they love safe through heartbreaking decisions, from the first telling hints of memory lapses through the inevitable end of life issues.
Brought To Our Senses, Chapter 2: screwed-up family relationships
“We haven’t even figured out where to start, and we’re already at each others’ throats,” said Tom, his voice trailing off as he looked out the window into the harbor.
Elizabeth ran her hands through her hair and leaned back in her chair. “You know, we’re not like these other families,” she said with a nod to the diners around them, “privileged and perfect in their blue blazers and obnoxious jewelry. And we’re never gonna sail off into the sunset.”
“Yeah, I know, I don’t expect a miracle. But we should be able to sit down and talk without someone going off, for crying out loud.”
I came across this enlightening quote on parenthood from actor Peter Krause:
Isn’t that the truth? After struggling to raise your own children, it’s so much easier to understand what a hard job parenting is and how easy it is to make mistakes as a parent. This hindsight makes forgiving our own parents a much simpler task! Just food for thought on a gray Sunday afternoon. Do you agree with this quote on parenthood?
I just finished reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy and absolutely loved it. The book was an emotional roller coaster for me with the laugh-out-loud antics of the Wingo siblings, the sadness of the physical and emotional abuse dished out by the Wingo parents, and the sheer terror of the criminal act committed against the permanently down-on-their-luck family.
I appreciated how the three siblings remained devoted to each other throughout the family’s hardships and the inevitable collapse of their parents’ stormy marriage. I totally enjoyed the bizarre tiger tale, the white porpoise mission, and the turtle vendetta, and loved how those adventures and many others were skillfully woven into the climax and outcome of the novel.