A touching account of a daughter-turned-caregiver to her dementia-afflicted mother.
Jan “Taffy” Hallett Weisblat was a fairly accomplished woman. Born in 1918, Taffy enjoyed many interesting adventures, including a less-than-cordial meeting with President Calvin Coolidge when she was a child. After she married, Taffy traveled extensively, living in India—an experience that prompted her to write and publish a book of poems—before making her foray into the antiques world. Her daughter, author Tinky Weisblat (The Pudding Hollow Cookbook, 2004), portrays Taffy as an endearing, vivacious woman. After Taffy was diagnosed as “pleasantly demented,” Weisblat and her brother set out to give Taffy the best care possible, which ultimately led to her living with Weisblat. Weisblat’s firsthand experience provides an excellent, compassionate supplement to books about Alzheimer’s. The well-written diarylike entries offer a cohesion that enables a smooth transition from one entry to the next. The author’s account of her final year with her mother provides a candid look at an emotionally wrenching time that included laughter, tears, cooking, singing and dancing. Also included are recipes of traditional family meals or dishes that simply provided a memorable moment. Recounting her year of caretaking with honest humility, Weisblat created a forum for the author to forgive herself for her perceived shortcomings, and her book may help relieve the pressure for readers who find themselves in similar circumstances.
A poignant, heartfelt memoir that offers support and inspiration.