04 October 2007

The Open, Anxious Space.

From a Books & Culture review of Virginia Stem Owen's Caring for Mother:
For thirtysomethings like me, not yet the meat of the sandwich generation but no longer the bottom slice of bread either, Virginia Stem Owens' new book, Caring for Mother: A Daughter's Long Goodbye, is a possibly unwelcome but valuable portent of things to come. An unflinching account of Owens' seven years spent caring for her mother, who suffered from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, Caring for Mother reads like a map of the territory we may be about to enter. If aging is indeed "Another Country," as the title of psychologist Mary Pipher's book on aging suggests, then caregiving for the elderly is like hiking alongside our loved ones in a foreign land. Death is certain, Owens writes, but the process of dying is an "open, anxious space where we set up camp, uncertain how long we'll be there."
Here the whole thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing and universal stories are. My mother too, suffered with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. I too, know that long, slow path. I was her only child (adopted) and I gave her the home passing she (and I) desired.

It wasn't easy. Not at all.

But I wrote every day. I wrote my fears, our battles with the disease, and somteimes with the medical community. I wrote our crazy, funny fights, and our tender moments too.
It's so good to see stories where families learn how to live, love, and even die together. Our voices make a choir.

~Carol D. O'Dell
author of MOTHERING MOTHER: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
Available on Amazon and in most bookstores.

05 October, 2007 17:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family has recently returned from that "open, anxious space" where we camped with our mother for a long year. In the end, God took her from us with a gentle hand, and for that we are grateful. I wish she had been spared the long, gradual dissolution of her personality.

05 October, 2007 20:59  

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