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I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia

I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia

4.6 61
by Elaine C. Pereira

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It is painfully difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages their mind, destroying memories, rational thinking, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine Pereira shares the heartbreaking and humorous story of her mother’s incredible journey through dementia.
Pereira begins with entertaining glimpses into her own


It is painfully difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages their mind, destroying memories, rational thinking, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine Pereira shares the heartbreaking and humorous story of her mother’s incredible journey through dementia.
Pereira begins with entertaining glimpses into her own childhood and feisty teenage years, demonstrating her mother’s strength of character. Years later, as Betty Ward started to exhibit bizarre behaviors and paranoia, Pereira was mystified by her mom’s amazing ability to mask the truth. Not until a revealing incident over an innocuous drapery rod did Pereira recognize the extent of her mother’s Alzheimer’s. As their roles shifted and a new paradigm emerged, Pereira transformed into a caregiver blindly navigating dementia’s unpredictable haze. But before Betty’s passing, she orchestrated a stunning rally to control her own destiny via a masterful, Houdini-like escape.
I Will Never Forget is a powerful heartwarming story that helps others know that they are not alone in their journey.

“Poignant, shocking, and honest … far more than just words on paper. If you or someone you know is living through the hell of dementia, you need this book!”
—Ionia Martin, developer of Readful Things Reviews and Alzheimer’s caregiver

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iUniverse, Incorporated
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5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

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I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey through Dementia 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
I WILL NEVER FORGET: A DAUGHTER'S STORY OF HER MOTHER'S ARDUOUS AND HUMOROUS JOURNEY THROUGH DEMENTIA by Elaine Pereira is an interesting Biography/Memoir/Women/Medical. Everyone who has ever cared for or had a loved one with Dementia needs to read this thought provoking,but heartwarming,story. Written with vivid descriptions with some humorous moments,but heartbreaking as well, a memoir of a daughter's mother. A journey through Dementia as well as the effects not only on the person but also on the family. Dementia effects hundreds if not thousands of people in this country. It is a gut-wretching illness that ravages the mind,takes away their memoirs,their thinking abilities,their ability to focus and their judgement.This is a true story told by a loving daughter,who has lost and is losing her beloved mother to Dementia. A touching story. A must read for any caregiver! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: NONE(MEMOIR) REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
Emory More than 1 year ago
Dementia Victimizes Family Members As Well As Its Victims Author Elaine Pereira is entirely correct – there are some things we will never forget as special sets of circumstances will remain with us forever. For Pereira, those memories etched in memory, relate to caring for her mother as she is ravaged by the effects of dementia. Those permanent memories are shared in her book, “I Will Never Forget: A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey through Dementia.” There are several humorous incidents shared in “I Will Never Forget,” but there are also many moving and poignant accounts of the painstaking role of being a caretaker for your mother who increasingly forgets who your area. Those who have undertaken the role of caretaker for an aging loved one knows how emotional draining that experience is as well as being rewarding once in a while. But in the end, which always comes, there is no regret. “In I Will Never Forget”, Elaine Pereira gives a lot of very helpful advice based on lessons she learned while caring for her mother. And so the book becomes therapeutic, instructional, and informational as well as being a highly moving personal account of how dementia corrals victims like a rancher corrals horses. Even if you have not undertaken the care of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, chances are great you will if you outlive your parents, siblings, relatives or close friends. Between then and now would be an opportune time to read “I Will Never Forget”. I recommend you do.
BooksRMagicVR More than 1 year ago
Reading this book felt like listening to the memories of your friend.  In this intense memoir, the author, Elaine, shares with you about her deceased mother.  Her matter-of-fact way of writing is the main advantage to the novel.  You do not exaggerate to your friend, when you speak about the memories of your mother, right?   This is a memoir from Elaine about her mother, Betty, who suffered with Dementia.  Elaine's memories go back and forth, when she describes her kind and energetic mother.  She brings out the memories where her independent and strong mother turned her daughter into a proper resourceful woman to the society.  The way how Betty handled Elaine, who checks her every Christmas present be treating the gift to various environment, is one best example.  When Elaine takes the role of taking care of her mother, things were different. I am really surprised that Elaine can bring so much of her memories about her mother in such great detail.  The writing is casual and friendly.  I am not sure how many are capable of narrating this type of loss in a sweet, heartfelt, humorous (I am really surprised and impressed) way. This memoir will be a tribute to her mother! Note: I am not going to rate such real-life novels, but I guess Amazon needs some rating.  So, 4.5 STARS!
dcl55 More than 1 year ago
As I finished reading Elaine C. Pereira’s book, I Will Never Forget, I found myself sobbing. The sentiments she writes of in the poem at the end really describes so much of the experience she shared with her mom. Please do not misunderstand my sobbing at the end of the book, because it is not a depressing tear-jerker. I cried because I am living some of the same scenes and I fully understand the up and down roller coaster of needing to know when to hold on and when to let go. Betty Ward was a very caring mother of two sons, David and Jerry, one daughter, Elaine, and the devoted wife to F.Wayne Ward. The book begins with the Christmas setting of 1962 as Elaine explains about her love of shaking the wrapped Christmas presents in the hopes of guessing the contents. I had to grin, because my sisters and I have done the same thing. The next chapter merges to the Christmas of 2009 with Betty arriving to spend the holiday with Elaine and her family. During the course of the next couple of days, Elaine will notice changes in her mothers behavior and appearance which alerts her to problems. This seems to be the beginning of a decline in Bettys abilities to live on her own. Elaine and her husband Joe begin to suspect Betty needs more help than it appears. Read the book to discover how easily a patient with early stage Dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease can present a very lucid front to family during short visits. Astonishingly, even her long time internist did not understand the depth of Betty’s limitations. I am so glad that Elaine wrote about the very simple and basic questions which are asked the patient to determine if he or she is compromised in their thinking, memory, and reasoning abilities. It is a very easy task for the impaired person to answer those questions and therefore it hampers a correct diagnosis and competent actions for the patient. Elaine must travel two hours from her home to visit with her mom at the retirement village where she has lived for more than ten years. As Betty’s symptoms become more prominent and her actions more aggressive, Elaine must consider moving her mom to a care facility closer to her own home. This is a very important consideration due to Betty’s condition. Once you take a dementia patient from their well know environment, it can be catastrophic for their mental well being. So, how will Elaine balance the need for extra care for her mother and the possibility that the move will cause more mental distress? There are other major events which happen in Elaine's family as she juggles a busy life with her husband, daughters, mother, and job. I do not want to write spoilers, but the devastation of cancer appears in her family. How do you tell a mother with limited emotional resources that her child is suffering a fatal illness? I Will Never Forget, is a very good resource book for anyone who is facing the possibility of longtime care for a parent or sibling in the throes of dementia. Read the book and you will get a glimpse of the questions you need to ask yourself regarding your own ability to provide care and support. The occurrences of neglect and injury arise even when Betty is a resident in a very ‘secure’ care environment. Oh, I was upset as I read this event! The title of this book is a reference to memory. I will Never Forget, will remind you to keep a journal of this journey with your loved one. Include memories from your past fun times, and family events of happier times in the journal as Elaine Pereira has done in this book. It help the caregiver to keep a better perspective of life....not just the sorrowful times, but the happy memories of a loving mother as well.
tiffanydavis2 More than 1 year ago
     I Will Never Forget, by Elaine Pereira, is a touching story of how a daughter dealt with life having a mother with dementia.  Pereira really allows her audience to get right into the mother-daughter journey, and makes it feel like you were there experiencing the whole thing with them.  It is a very warm and heartfelt journey.  The story will take you through a roller coaster of emotions while you see the joy that they share, as well as the pain that they experience!  You will laugh, you will cry, and you will feel just outright frustrated with this illness that shows no end.      Great job to Pereira for sharing this lovely story.  By letting her audience into this part of her life, she sets herself apart from other authors.  She allows us to experience this wonderful journey that she went through and it's definitely one worth reading!  I would recommend this book to any and everyone!
JoleneESmith More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful memoir.The author Elaine Pereira has written a book that holds the many memories her mother has forgotten.  While sharing the realities and difficulties that come with dimentia, Elaine artfully describes a daughter watching her mother become someone she never would have imagined.  The story intertwines memories of Elaine's early life, memories from her friends, her family, and especially Elaine.This is such a difficult topic to share and yet, Pereira has done it in a very respectful and honest way.  A wonderful gift to herself and her mother whom I'm sure would be very proud.This book would be a good recommendation for anyone who knows someone or cares for someone with dimentia.  A very heartwarming, although painful at times, read!
sewolf0310 More than 1 year ago
“I Will Never Forget” is the true story of an aging woman with dementia, as told by her daughter. Betty Ward was a strong woman.  During her lifetime, she buried her infant son, her husband and her other son.  Now her time was coming.  Her daughter, Elaine, wrote this story very well.  It is very difficult watching someone you love have their memory erased slowly.  Luckily for Elaine, she had the wonderful support of her husband and family. Some of her chapters start with Betty as a child, then the same type of situation, but later on in life.  Other chapters are pieces of childhood memories as told by some of Betty’s friends.  Everyone loved Betty, and she had a great network of doctors and professionals who cared for her and wanted the best treatment for her. As someone who also had a family member with dementia, it can be very frustrating at times.  You feel you are constantly repeating the same things over and over.  You tend to ignore the early warning signs, even though others are giving you glimpses of what is happening when you are not around.  You chalk things up to stress, aging and other factors of life. Written through the eyes of her daughter, it is one person’s journey through the good times and the bad.  Hopefully you will find some humor along the difficult path, and know that you are not alone, others have gone through this terrible disease of the mind.
lizasarusrex More than 1 year ago
This book dives into the life of Betty Ward told from the perspective of her daughter Elaine. Elaine bounces back and forth between different years showing the independent and strong woman she knew her mother to be before dementia took over.  Elaine is an extremely strong person, like her mother, to be able to not only handle watching her mother turn into a stranger, but being able to write about it and include some quite humorous parts. Don't think this book is all gloom and doom ending with the inevitable, this is a book that truly shows the mother Elaine knew best and all the memorable parts that she experienced throughout their lives.  Elaine writes a great book, I felt like I could relate to a lot of the memories she had with her mother. You don't have to have experience with dementia to enjoy this book. You can really feel each emotion that Elaine experienced, from joyous moments to the hard times, and everything in between.  I took great pleasure in reading this book, and I fully sympathize with Elaine and her family. She handled such an intense and stressful time in her life with such grace. Pick this book up if you enjoy a heartfelt story with a strong female lead. I give this book 5/5. 
FriendEP More than 1 year ago
If ever a book told an amazing story of anyone, this is it! The author's Mother's incredible, complicated, tragic and beautiful life is told in such stunning detail, I was immersed from the first sentence. I cried, laughed, cringed and sighed at the end with sadness and joy! Please get this book. Now a 4 award winner: Finalist USA Book Award for Best New Non-Fiction; Honorable Mention Hollywood Festival;
Peg charb More than 1 year ago
Dementia is not funny by any stretch of the imagination. However the author manages to find humor in some of her experiences with her mom as she navigates this unpredictable journey. A must read for anyone who has a loved one dealing with dementia
Larry charb More than 1 year ago
Loved the book!! The aurhor is honest and open about her feelings You will enjoy this well written story. It makes you think, laugh, and cry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Holds your interest until the end. Your heart will be touched. I have shared the book with several friends and they all have loved the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True stories make the best books. Touching and humorous. Great book
Peggy11 More than 1 year ago
A book that is hard to put down once you begin reading. This story hits home with anyone who has ever had a loved one suffer with dementia. Two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is heartfelt and humorus, very good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great bood very well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a word, the book is riveting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's awesome! She has an award winning book and in fact just received an Honorable Mention in non-fiction from 2012 Hollywood Book Festival!!!
Ddalm More than 1 year ago
I Will Never Forget by Elaine Pereira is the true story of her mother's decline from dementia. This book is easy to read, humorous, honest, insightful and at times heartbreaking as we watch Elaine say the long good-bye to her mom. I couldn't put the book down. It really hits home. Recently my mother was also diagnosed with dementia. I have recommended I Will Never Forget to all my family and friends.
Rebecca_C More than 1 year ago
This book is a lovely tribute to the most important person in many of our lives, a mother. I was glad it didn't delve into the technical medical details of dementia, but only showed its effect on the person who suffered the with the disease, and how that, in turn, affected others. The author's portrayal of the debilitating and devastating effect of her mother Betty's dementia is even more poignant as she parallels it with the time when Betty functioned normally. This brought back so many memories of my own experiences with losing loved ones. In hindsight, it is so much easier to see all the signs and interpret them for what they are. But living through the decline of a loved one, we try to deny the possibility that anything is wrong. After acceptance of the disease comes the time when we have to let our parent know it is okay for them to let go. I, too, will never forget the wonderful woman my own mother was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was curious to start reading I Will Never Forget. It’s a book of so much help to those in charge of someone close to them who is struggling with dementia. What I loved about this book from the very beginning was the shifting back and forth between the past and the present. The author uses this technique to best present her mother. The little stories and moments presented are so vivid and create a clear image of the woman her mother was in her youth, establishing the contrast for the woman her mother became in her last years. Probably these were my favourite parts, seeing glimpses of both the author and her mother’s past. Giving the specific years was also helpful as it helps the reader pin point the exact moments of the stories. The author is transparent in her telling of the story. Maybe “story” is not the best word as it makes one think of things not really true, and this writing bubbles with authenticity. The book is written having her mother at the center of the narration. The portrait she created for her mother is gorgeous. I for one could see the gap between the Betty of the past and the Betty of the later days. Clearly the author had a great relationship with her mother (as she has with her daughters), and after the loss of her father and her older brother, she was the only one in her family who could care for her mother. I can’t speak from experience, but I image how hard it must be to deal with all the administrative aspects of caring for someone, in the same time making sure the person you care for is comfortable, feels loved, and you appear brave and put together. I admire her (and I think this gives authenticity to the book) willingness to accept her faults and I felt for her when she expressed her regret in not paying more attention to the early signs of dementia. That’s just a daughter’s desire to keep her mother’s old self for as long as possible. But once things were set in motion, Elaine (the author), was nothing short of game on! Her dedication, her juggling of all things that needed to be taken care of, adding to her mother’s illness the responsibilities of everyday life, her relationship with her husband (who was supportive at all times. I love their relationship!), her desire to be there for and involved in her daughters and grandchildren’s lives, all these are a lot! I, as a detached reader in the beginning, was nothing short of impressed and respectful of her ability to carry all things to completion. This is such a helpful read for those who are caring for someone affected by dementia. While it’s not a practical “how to” book, it gives insight into someone else’s history and dealing with the disease. It sure makes one feel less alone. At one point I got the feeling that the whole book is just a writing therapy, writing to get things in order, to see them written down and possibly to make sense of them all. The writing is lovely and I also enjoyed the chapter titles, every time I started a new one I couldn’t help but smile. I recommend this book. ***This book is also special because the author herself contacted me via email via Book Blogger List and offered this book (ePub format) for review. I am so glad she did. All thoughts expressed in this post, however, are my own.
Kristin_S_Kim More than 1 year ago
A personal eye-opener to a very personal struggle Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Elaine and her mother have a special relationship, the kind every parent and child strive for. They have their ups and downs, but they both know the love and support of the other is there. That comes into play in a slow crawl towards dementia for Elaine's mother, Betty. First, it's the little things, but it slowly gets worse as time goes by, and Elaine has chronicled that journey, both for her mother as well as herself, in this wonderful book. I used to work for a Neurology clinic where we saw many patients with Dementia, and while I could recognize the signs and symptoms because of that, it's understandable how someone so close to the person could miss them, or push them aside as something else. To see how Elaine and the rest of her family coped with this illness, and for her to share such a personal story in such a public way, is very awe-inspiring, and I wish both her and the rest of her family all the best. I feel as though this book could help open someone's eyes to what a family member or friend might be experiencing, and while it's a very emotional read, I would recommend everyone I know to give it a shot for that very reason. 5 stars
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
Copy received from Fire and Ice Book Tours for an honest review Four stars This was a very sweet and beautiful memoire about a daughter’s quest to help her mother with dementia.  I was instantly interested in this book because I really enjoy reading peoples story. I think there is always something important to learn.  “I Will Never Forget” was  a very beautiful/ sad /inspiring example of that type of book.  I loved Elaine was so honest and candid with her experience.  I also really loved that the book didn’t focus on only the dementia but the family history.  It was helpful in understanding the family unit.  Little stories like how she was named Elaine made this family real and relateable. I also really enjoyed how the author intertwined different moments from the past and the present.  It felt like a conversation, someone sitting down with you and telling you their story.  Elaine doesn't sugar cot the difficulties that she had when she learned her mother had dementia nor everything that followed.  She also didn’t paint anyone as being super human, everyone was fallible and very human.  I really admired this because when reflecting on events we tend to want to make ourselves look better, but the brutal and raw honesty is what really got to me.  Elaine’s story and her mom’s battle with dementia was everyone’s story.  I want to thank the author for sharing this incredibly difficult journey.  I can honestly say I feel like a better person after having read this book. Even though the subject of dementia is not a light subject, I liked that the author didn’t make it seem like a dark subject.  I thought it was a very honest and upright conversation about how she, as a daughter, struggled with taking care of her mom and her own vulnerabilities.  I highly recommend and enjoyed this memoir.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Algene More than 1 year ago
There are many reasons why you should grab a copy of this book. Of course, the main reason is the fact that it talks about the great relationship between the mother and her child. It showcases a different kind of love story - one that doesn't end... one that lasts 'til eternity. Another reason for getting a copy of this book is that it's an eye-opener. "I Will Never Forget" reminds everyone that people who are suffering from dementia are those who need extra care and support. They are the ones who deserve the high level of support. And lastly, the book can make you appreciate all the days you spend with your loved ones!