Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life Memories - Jacqueline Hopkins


For this month's Indies Unlimited Reading Challenge, I'm reading a memoir by an author who cared for her mother during the last two years of her life.

The subtitle of this book is, "A memoir of surviving life and preserving memories!" and Hopkins has done a pretty good job at both. 

In this book, Hopkins talks about how her life, and her mother's, were upended when the older woman began developing dementia. Peggy Hopkins, the author's mother, was living in the family home in Alaska when her memory began to deteriorate. At the same time, the author's husband was leaving Alaska for North Dakota to find a better job, and she intended to follow him. So the family closed up Mom's house, and the author brought her mother along with her to the Lower 48. 

My mother also suffered from dementia during the last years of her life, so I could empathize with Hopkins. Her frustration with the medical establishment, in particular, rang true for me.

But the author's stated purpose in writing the book was to document not just the frustrating and overwhelming times, but the more pleasant -- and even funny -- times, too. She was determined to remember the good things as well as the bad, and that's perhaps the most valuable takeaway from this book.