I recently received the regular newsletter from St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. We attended St. John’s while in Los Banos, CA last winter. They had purchased my book for their church library and the person responsible for keeping the library current and well stocked was asked to take a look at it. With permission her critique follows:
“His Name Was Merle, Our Journey through Alzheimer’s Disease by Lynda J. Olander Converse. Pastor Nelson gave this book to me one Sunday after church. He said it was for our church library. I readily accepted it and said I’d mention it in our newsletter. What I was thinking was “How depressing, can you get?”. However, I dutifully took it home, set it down and walked around it for a few days. Then I figured I should at least peruse it, so I could give it a mention in this newsletter. Well, I couldn’t put it down! Not that it’s the great American novel or so well written that it was gripping. No. His Name Was Merle, is simply the relation of a family’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and some memories of earlier, better times.
If you have a friend or family member struggling with Alzheimer’s or a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, I highly recommend this book. It may help knowing how others dealt with this dread disease and the decisions they faced because of it.
However, what impressed me so profoundly was how important it is for our families to have more of us; our memories. Journaling is nearly impossible. We have lives. We’re far too busy living our lives to take the time to sit down and reflect on them. But please I implore you, when a memory comes to mind record it. It’s the little moments in our lives that our families enjoy hearing and reading about that somehow make us more real to them. Isn’t it interesting that the little unimportant things have more impact on us than our big, important accomplishments. Thank the Lord! Big, important accomplishments are few and hard to come by; but little unimportant moments abound. So grab a recorder or pick up pencil and paper and babble on!” Library Notes by Sondra May 2013
I greatly appreciate Sondra’s critique. If you feel as she did, “Alzheimer’s, how depressing can you get?” I hope this will entice you to read “His Name Was Merle – Our Journey through Alzheimer’s Disease so you can know, there’s more to the story; there’s more to the journey. Thank you, Lj