I Will Never Forget is the incredible true story of the author’s talented mother’s poignant and humorous journey through dementia. From superb stories of Elaine’s childhood, her controversial name, tales of smoking’ dragons, the feisty teenage years and a near paralyzing accident, her mother Betty Ward’s wonderful character is revealed.
Over time, as their relationship evolves and a new paradigm is formed, Betty begins to exhibit goofy actions, uncharacteristic verbal assaults and bizarre thinking. Although clearly mystified by her mother’s irrational behaviors, Elaine does not initially appreciate the extent of Betty’s mental decline. Her mother’s amazing ability to mask the truth clouds Elaine’s vision and prolongs her denial until one cataclysmic explosion of reality over an innocuous drapery rod launches a waterfall of destructive events.
As her mother’s brilliant mind is steadily destroyed by dementia’s insatiable appetite for brain cells, Elaine accompanies her mother on her one-way journey through Alzheimer’s mystifying haze. Elaine cherishes her mother’s fascinating visions of her own mother, masterful Houdini-like disappearances and finally a stunning rally to take control of her own destiny.
I Will Never Forget is a heartwarming, humorous, honest and deeply moving story pertinent to everyone touched by the insidious effects of Dementia. Learn from Elaine’s unwitting mistakes as she weaves her way through her mother’s unpredictable disease to capture insightful and effective intervention strategies.
The author donates a portion of every book sold to Alzheimer’s research “in part so that my daughter’s don’t have to write a book about me one day.”
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“She was a kind, brilliant and talented person all of her life until Alzheimer’s took hold leaving an agitated, bewildered and compromised woman in its wake. I was NOT the easy kid to raise, that would have been my brother. But after a decade of great personal sacrifice and unspeakable losses, Mom started her descent into dementia. I stepped up as she slid down, grateful to give back to the woman who once gave so much!” – author Elaine C. Pereira
My review of I Will Never Forget
This book is great. Of course, it does deal with a difficult issue — one which I know only too well, as I had two grandmothers with dementia — but it is wonderfully written. I Will Never Forget tells a fantastic story, and does so quite well. Periera masterfully weaves stories from different time periods, and it flows seamlessly.
I found myself nodding as I read about how she perceived her mother’s symptoms. Periera noted that her mother was increasingly forgetful, repeated herself, was strangely suspicious of people, and was increasingly (and surprisingly) hostile. She would also laugh when she pretended to understand something (something of a cue) as well as engage in “verbal recycling.” However, it didn’t register that there was something seriously wrong. I understand that. As my grandmothers’ health declined, family members noted that certain behaviors seemed peculiar, but no one suggested (or wanted to suggest) that dementia or Alzheimer’s was the cause.
I also was able to relate (as will most caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s/dementia) to Periera’s responses to her mother’s odd behaviors and words. At times, she was confused and worried, others sarcastic and exasperated. To the casual observer, it might seem inappropriate that one would be sarcastic or exasperated — that a family member shouldn’t be impatient or quick to react. However, after having dealt with it firsthand (and not knowing what was going on — or as Periera called it, a “naive misconception of her situation”), I can tell you that’s quite normal. It’s also a difficult thing to wrap your head around, and adjust to.
Periera wrote this book with such grace…it made it an endearing and charming read. She shared her mother’s story in such a loving manner and it presented her with such dignity. This book is a family’s story, not unlike your family or my family. It is completely relatable and vulnerable.
Those of you who can relate to Alzheimer’s/dementia will seriously appreciate I Will Never Forget. It’s so valuable to know that you’re not alone in what you’ve experienced, and that you reacted and behaved normally in response to it. If you can’t relate to the illness, this is a perfect book for you. It is written in such a way that you will develop an understanding of the disease, and compassion for those who suffer from it — and those who love and care for them.
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.