“I can’t imagine how maddening it must be for her. I mean, I get so anxious I feel like crying most of the time. The disease is taking me over too, even with the help I have. None of that changes the fact that I am losing my mom, an inch, a thought, a memory at a time”.
Feeding my Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen As My Mom Lives with Memory Loss is a very heart-felt, well-written memoir with the added bonus of a few comfort food recipes. Written in a journal style, it is honest, emotionally charged and highlights both the struggles and appreciation experienced by Canadian singer-songwriter, Jann Arden.
Fans may appreciate Arden’s music and have no idea of the challenges she has experienced. They may not know that her older brother was in prison for murder, that her father was an alcoholic and that her mother held everything together. They might not know that she chose to live across the street from her parents, checking in on them and cooking for them. They might not know how difficult it was to place her dad in long-term care and to have help at home to care for her mother as her dementia exacerbated. They also might not realize her tenacity as she struggled to balance her family responsibilities with her music career. The memoir is eye-opening and provides readers with a new perspective on Arden’s life.
The few recipes are simple and made with common ingredients that readers likely have in their homes. This is appreciated by readers who can easily decided to try to replicate a dish. I read this book for a Canadian BINGO reading challenge for the CanadianContent Goodreads group. The square was to read a cook book AND cook or bake one of the recipes. I have read the book and am contemplating which recipe that I will make – I will post a picture later!
Working in healthcare for over 2 decades, I have met many patients diagnosed with dementia and families struggling with their role of caregivers. It can be heartbreaking, frustrating, exhausting and rewarding and this memoir puts a face to those challenges.
Feeding My Mother would be helpful for other families to read. There is no instruction manual for dealing with dementia but this book will remind them that they are no alone. Arden has done a great job of sharing her experience in an open, honest and at times, humorous way.