Welcome everyone! I’m Elaine Pereira, author of the Award Winning, Best Selling memoir I Will Never Forget-A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia. But don’t give up on me just yet; it’s not a morose book.
I’m not a Story Reading Ape like my blog host Chris. I’m more the Energizer Bunny. Although truthfully my three grandkids (ages 6, 4 and 2) have boundlessly more energy than I do these days. My mom was a very invigorated person too. When I was little, I thought of her as Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh’s bouncing tiger friend.
I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI and obviously “Yes” there really is a Kalamazoo or Kazoo for short. I was not the easy kid to raise; that would have been my brother. But when he and my dad died in the same year and Alzheimer’s began its aggressive invasion of my mother, I stepped up as she rapidly slipped away.
Actually except for the obnoxious teenage years when my mother couldn’t do anything right, she and I were best friends. Mom was our family’s “everything!” She made Christmas magical. Was an accomplished baker. Taught me how to sew, cross-stitch, her accurate short game, putting stroke – which I have willingly shared with my golfing friends – and so much more! When my twin daughters turned 13, thus launching me into the unpredictable world of being a parent of teenagers, Mom sent me a condolence card! Oh did I get it!
My mother’s was a story that needed to be told and inspired by many casual but genuine remarks such as “You should write a book,” I did. Her journey through dementia was laced with dramatic twists, including visions of her own mother, a masterful escape worthy of Houdini and fleeting moments of lucidity that I cherished.
In what would be her final months, as my mother plummeted further into Dementia’s clutches, her once strong voice faded away. Our quiet visits together afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the vivacious life that defined her. I was determined that she would not be remembered as a withering older woman but as the gifted lady who was my mom.
And like the Phoenix, from Mom’s ashes arose I Will Never Forget.
I’ve am grateful that many readers have posted wonderful complimentary remarks of I Will Never Forget. Some have identified with her journey as that of their own or were comforted to know they were not alone. But perhaps one of the best was describing my memoir as “reading more like a novel.”
I Will Never Forget opens with my mischievous Christmas sleuthing behaviors. I pushed, measured, contemplated and yes shook, sometimes very hard, to reveal clues to my presents. Until I shook one delicate ornament so hard it broke. Busted! That disaster certainly curtailed my detecting techniques.
Such was my life growing up: pushing the boundaries, defying authority, questioning “stupid adult rules” and so on.
But like most rebellious teenagers, I grew up. Earned my BS in Occupational Therapy and later my Masters. Married and had twins. I always thought having twin girls was the universe’s way of paying me back for the grief I gave my mom.
I’m living the Life is Good years now. Even though my parents and brothers have predeceased me and certainly there is always life’s ongoing dramas, my girls are grown, one a science teacher and the other a patent lawyer; married, successful, giving women. I have five young grandchildren, my daughter’s three and step-son’s two.
Currently I network to advance Alzheimer’s awareness in part through my book I Will Never Forget as well as presentations to educate the public and dispel the myths. I donate from each book sold to Alzheimer’s research.
It’s nice to meet all of you.
Help Me Help Others. Buy a Book!
Barnes & Noble