Mom’s Long Goodbye by Linda Brendle
“Mom’s goodbye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. This is her story and mine.”
Linda Brendle’s first memoir, A Long and Winding Road, told of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. It also told of the years and the life experiences that brought these four people together. After finishing it, many readers asked what happened next. Mom’s Long Goodbye is the rest of the story.
Based on blog posts written as the events happened, this memoir takes the reader through grieving a continuous loss, some of the initial changes Alzheimer’s causes, the transition from caregiving to assisted living, Dad’s death, Mom’s last year, and the grief and closure of her final goodbye.
Mom’s Long Goodbye strips away the façade of being the perfect caregiver and gives the reader a look at the denial, the anger, and the fear that come as a loved one loses herself a piece at a time to an insidious disease. Through sharing her own struggles, Brendle tries to assure other caregivers that they are not alone, that perfection is not required, and that comfort is real.
A Long and Winding Road: A caregiver’s tale of life, love and chaos by Linda Brendle
Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and A Long and Winding Road is a love story—not a boy-meets-girl love story, but a family love story:
The story of the love of a daughter for her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves;
The story of a mother and father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why;
The story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time.
It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home—a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.
Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm by Dr. Sharon V. King
How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?” Life after fifty can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help women fifty-plus gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.
Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the twenty-third Psalm.