Summary: It is extremely difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages his or her mind, robbing him or her of memory, thinking abilities, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine C. Pereira shares the sometimes heartbreaking and occasionally humorous story of her mother’s journey through dementia, as seen through the eyes of her little girl.
Pereira begins by oﬀering entertaining glimpses into her own childhood and feisty teenage years. Through it all, Pereira shares how her mom’s unconditional love and creative parenting style helped mold an opinionated young woman into a resourceful adult who eventually would move mountains on her mother’s behalf. As Betty Ward slowly begins to wander down the dark and narrow corridors of Alzheimer’s, Pereira details her mother’s amazing ability to mask the truth until something as innocuous as a drapery rod suddenly launches a waterfall of events. As their roles shift and a new paradigm forms, Pereira transforms into a caregiver who blindly navigates dementia’s unpredictable haze while her mother orchestrates Houdini-like disappearances and surprisingly rallies to take charge of her own destiny.
I Will Never Forget shares a powerful, emotional story that can help people aﬀected by dementia take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.
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My Views: I believe it is extremely difficult to write a book like this. Being so close to your loved one, watching them die and then to be able to pour it out into words needs extreme courage. Though it’s beneficial and almost therapeutic to take it all out, it doesn’t mean that it is as easy. Hats off to Elaine for her courage and perseverance to follow through with this book.
I love the way this book has been compiled. It is not just about Dementia but so much more. It is about Betty Ward, the woman, the strong, beautiful person that she was. However, sadly, that makes the twist of fate all the more worse. To see such an independent woman in a dependent position is not easy, more so for the loved ones.
I am amazed at how Elaine has been able to find some humor in such adverse conditions. It is applaudable. Also, the reverse role of a mother that Elaine plays towards Betty is touching and heart-breaking.
The only lacuna as I may say that I found with this book was that I had a little trouble going from one incident/time to another. I guess, I don’t like changes much. I am more of a flowing in one direction kind of person. However, having said that, I do realize that putting a life into a book is almost an impossible task and hence I should not judge it by my comfort of how things should be.
All in all, a beautiful, heart-breaking, real-life book by a daughter who has seen her mother in completely opposite scenarios, been through it all, stood by her and then took the time and courage to remember her mother’s life forever by sharing it with others who may or may not be aware of this deplorable condition called Dementia. It gives solace to those who may have gone through such similar conditions and gives them a friend to share it all with. And for those who don’t know much about Dementia, it gives an overview into the emotional and symptomatic element of Dementia.
This is a book worth reading by all. I recommend it highly.