Friday, March 20, 2015
My Mom My Hero, Book Review
First of all, I must admit that there's nothing objective about my relationship to this book, My Mom My Hero, by Lisa Hirsch. It was due to Hirsch's publicizing the book on a facebook page that I rediscovered Lisa and renewed our friendship. Lisa and I had grown up together in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY and then were next-door neighbors in Great Neck, NY. Her parents were family friends.
Now that I've admitted this, I must tell you about the book. It's based on the journal-like blog, Alzheimer's - My Mom My Hero, Lisa has been writing about how she deals with her mother Ruth's Alzheimer’s disease. Lisa writes with great openness and honesty, not only about her mother today but about her childhood relationship with her.
Many of us, of our generation, who have surviving parents are dealing with the same sort of problems and situations. Most frequently, the brain does not stay as sharp as the body. In other cases, it's the body that can no longer function as well as the brain. Old age is no picnic for sure, and dealing with parents who are no longer capable of making basic decisions or care for themselves is a very complicated situation. My siblings and I have also been dealing with these issues. Our father is now in what's called a "memory center," where he is cared for 24/7. He's physically hearty, but needs help with his daily care.
Ruth Elian, Lisa's mother, still has her sense of humor, although she sometimes forgets the name of her daughter. Lisa chronicles her vists and phone calls. This is not a depressing book. It's joyful and a must-read, especially for those who are facing or expecting to face such a situation. Actually, it's a book that everyone should read. There's a lot of wisdom. It's written simply and honestly.