"I force myself to acknowledge that whatever images you still hold in your mind, they are no longer painted with words."

No one is ever prepared to have a doctor deliver a diagnosis of dementia. And when it happens to your spouse, and he is only fifty years old, it is unimaginable. Randy is a scientist who is 6’3” tall. He has always been athletic. In fact, he is the picture of health until he is unexpectedly taken down by a rare type of dementia. The disease gradually takes a horrific toll on his brain and, in the process, takes a toll on his loving wife as well.

Paris cares for her husband at home in the beginning, but as his symptoms worsen, he goes to live in a memory care facility. On her daily visits, the two have conversations for a time, and then this well-spoken, intelligent man begins to struggle to find the words. Eventually, he stops talking altogether. His wife is devastated. Her need to talk with him is still strong. She decides to do that by writing it down, recording her pain, sadness, and frustration, but also revisiting happy memories.

Being a caretaker for a loved one with dementia is heart-wrenching, but as the author poignantly shows in her engaging memoir, the act of talking to Randy in writing, revisiting their lives as a couple—and hers before they met—was healing. The author is brutally honest about her struggles to ensure her loved one is cared for while rebuilding her life without him. Others taking on the daunting caretaker role might recognize themselves in this book and find her experiences useful in their own situations.

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