A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ I Will Never Forget

I Will Never Forget by Author Elaine C. Pereira

Okay…where do I begin? For those of us with elderly parents, this well-told and memorable true story is bound to pull at a few heartstrings. Talented Author Elaine Pereira tells it like it is. There is no sugar-coating as she goes to great lengths to describe her mother, Betty Ward’s, final years when dementia proceeds to ravage her once brilliant mind. Betty Ward has certainly experienced her fair share of hardships. First with the loss of David her two year old son due to an unfortunate car accident…tragedy continues to haunt her when in her later years; both her loving husband and son pass away just months apart from each other. Throughout all of her trials and tribulations, she shows the utmost stoicism and strength of character. Betty Ward is definitely a woman to be admired!

When her mind starts to fail, once again she continues to smile as often as possible to hide her confusion and growing anxiety. She makes every effort to mask her symptoms. This memoir by her daughter is most certainly a heart-wrenching story and not one for the faint of heart. Along with her mother’s struggles with forgetfulness, paranoia, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Author Elaine Pereira gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the challenges and frustrations faced by the caregivers. The unconditional love and patience that is necessary during these “death by inches” years is well evidenced in “I Will Never Forget”. It is virtually impossible to fully realize the anguish experienced by those exposed to such a debilitating illness, yet this author does a fine job of doing just that…sharing her heart felt experiences.

As sad as this true story is and as difficult as it may have been to write, Pereira manages to add a dose of levity to the situation as much as possible by going back and forth between the present and the past. In doing so, she succeeds in taking the edge off the seriousness of her mother’s dementia to make, this oftentimes, painful read a little easier to digest. This is an admiral creative strategy as it engages the reader to embrace the reality and devastation of Alzheimer’s while still trying to look at life with the positive philosophy of the “glass half full”. It would seem that the “apple didn’t fall far from the tree” as we get to witness first hand the author’s upbeat and admirable character as she deals with her own losses…the death of her father, her brother Jerry to cancer, and then her loving and vibrant mother to old age and the devastation of Alzheimer’s. The wonderful support of her loving husband Joe and her twin daughters, Christie and Angie, help get her through this challenging time. Great read!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


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