April 3, 2022
I just finished reading another great book for caregivers: Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella.
Alzheimer’s disease is neither quick nor merciful in its treatment of both the afflicted and those who care for them. It never comes at a convenient time, and it takes a tremendous toll on everyone it touches. Many of us who have seen this disease ‘up close and personal’ have experienced the impossible balancing act of caring for our loved ones, keeping the other pieces of our lives together, and maintaining our sanity.
Ann Campanella’s story addresses all of these things and more. It is gripping, heart-wrenching, and all-too-familiar, yet with twists and turns unique to her situation. Her feelings of helplessness and frustration with her mother’s dementia are magnified as she fights a simultaneous battle with a genetic condition that gives her a 50-50 chance of a pregnancy ending in miscarriage. Despite the exhaustion, she carries on.
As I’d expect of a former magazine and newspaper editor, Ann’s writing is well-organized, clearly worded, and devoid of technical errors. It’s not syrupy or whiney, nor is it preachy. She pulls no punches as she shares the difficult narrative of losing her parents and finding new beginnings of her own.
She summarizes it well near the end of the book:
“. . . hard days gather on the horizon and spend themselves like sheets of grey rain. The sky clears and wind moves in drying puddles, pushing along something new.”
Campanella, Ann. Motherhood: Lost and Found (p. 285). The Bridge. Kindle Edition.