Black & White
6 x 9 inches
- Fiction, Family Life
- Health & Fitness, Diseases, Alzheimer's & Dementia
- Family & Relationships, Aging
Alzheimer's, Dementia, Senility, Old Age, Aging brain function, Serious memory loss, Old age diseases, Aging parents and relatives, caregiving, sandwich generation
Mama, I'm Here
My Mom died in 1993. Not much was known about Alzheimer’s at the time and we definitely didn’t have the Alzheimer’s drugs we do today. In fact, medical opinion was that the only way to know if someone actually died of Alzheimer’s was to biopsy their brain after they died. Now they can detect the brain plaque that indicates Alzheimer’s at an early stage. I’m a child of a Mom who had Alzheimer’s. Every day I think about it. There’s a blood test you can take to determine if you will get Alzheimer’s, but I really don’t want to know ahead of time. I’d rather it be like a surprise party and everyone jumps up at once. I don’t want to think about it for years before it happens. I don’t want to wonder if I should go out of the house with a note pinned to my blouse giving my name, address, phone number and to whom I belong. What if you don’t belong to anyone?
I pray they find something to stop Alzheimer’s in its horrible progression. I don’t care if by then I have forgotten where my keys are...I can sew them to my purse. What I care about is bigger than that. I’m a writer, I worry that I won’t remember what words are. I’m an actor, I worry that I won’t understand my lines. I’m a director, I worry that I won’t remember how to direct. I’m a mother, I worry that I won’t know my children. I’m a teacher, I worry that I will forget how to teach. I’m a school bus driver, I worry that I will forget where I am and how to get back. I’m every man, I’m every woman. Every night before I go to bed I pray that Alzheimer’s will never happen to me.
I moved back home to take care of my Mom who had Alzheimer’s and my Dad who had severe Dementia. I didn’t just write Mama, I’m Here, I lived it. Caretakers suffer along with the ones they love.
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