Last weekend the Guardian published an extract from Where Memories Go, the forthcoming memoir by Sally Magnusson about her mother’s dementia. It immediately generated a lot of discussion, was shared on Facebook over 4000 times and retweeted hundreds of times. We have also received an amazing amount of feedback on the book’s Facebook page and on our other social media channels.
On Tuesday one of Fede’s Instagram followers from the US, Michael Lombardo, got in touch with him after seeing a video about the book on the app and reading the extract: he immediately pre-ordered a copy of the book and wrote to share his family’s experience of dementia. He inspired us to reach out to those people whose life has been changed by this sad disease, so if you have a story you’d like to share email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve asked Michael to share his story and he very kindly agreed:
Our Mother is 92 and we feel quite fortunate that she was very sharp until a few years ago. We are also lucky that we have full time, very capable, live-in help and Mom is able to stay in the home she has lived in for 40 years.
Her memories are so jumbled now: she’s quite clear on her childhood, but now she sometimes refers to my sister as my aunt and so on. She often asks “Why did you move my house here?”
Mom was (and is) such a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant woman, always smiling and charming, curious about the world. She was a Navy WAVE in WW2, met my father while serving and was married over 60 years. She still recognizes everyone close to her, but we all know those days are numbered. Her personality hasn’t changed, she’s still sweet and kind and on “good days” has a fairly decent grasp of the world around her.
My family cherishes the good days with her and we have some wonderful laughs with all her childhood memories we are now learning of. One day, I was driving with her and she sang me the most beautiful song her sister used to sing to her when she was a little girl, she knew it word for word even though it happened 87 years ago. I could barely keep the car on the road I was so choked up.
My sister and I look forward to your book and gaining some first hand insight, we both know the toughest days are ahead.’
Michael Lombardo (New Jersey, USA)