Anyone who has been a caregiver to a parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia will find things to relate to in Mike Glenn’s musings about his mom. I did. (see my posts Wash One Another’s Feet?? and Washing Feet (continued)). As the “decider” of the family Mike’s mom did not gracefully accept her son’s new role as her guardian. She was often angry and she let him know it! She didn’t want to give up her car keys; she didn’t want to move from the home she had lived in for years; she didn’t want to leave her church for the one Mike was pastoring. However, her continuing descent into dementia made these things necessary.
Mike came to see that:
“Her happiness was no longer the goal; her health and well-being were.”
To others facing a similar situation he says:
“The only thing that matters is if you can live with yourself and the decisions you make…. No one has figured out Alzheimer’s. Don’t be angry at yourself because you didn’t figure it out sooner, faster or better. You did the best you could, and sometimes, that’s all you can do.”
Mike maintains his relationship with his mother by stopping by for coffee with her every morning and is able, at times to relive family memories. He realizes that her time at the piano is her way to pray, and he finds humor in some of her comments to him, many of which he “tweets.” For example:
- “My friends tell me you’ve been talking about me. How do you get on that internet thing so I can talk about you?”
- “Your sermon was short (I went about 22 minutes). After all week, I thought you would’ve come up with a little more.”
- Well, if you’re to going to buy me a car, get me a chauffer like that lady in the movie.”
Nobody’s journey with dementia is the same, but reading about the experiences of Mike and his mom can help us feel less alone. This was a moving story, but frankly repetitive. It would have made a better essay or article than a book.
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VERDICT: 4 stars
The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255