By Tracie Bevers
In the early days of the disease, when I heard stories of others in later stages, I actually thought… "Well, I know that will never happen." Little did I know what the future held; I was very naïve. Many times along the way, I would remember something a friend had shared with me two or three years prior, and reality would settle in. We were there; those things were happening. It was hard, no doubt, but at least I knew others had been down this road.
As we journeyed through Alzheimer's with Mom and Dad, I regularly took notes, sent emails to our kids, took pictures…that sort of thing. Somewhere along the way, I decided that one day I could write a book with all the notes I was taking. I had become passionate about sharing the story and encouraging others, and I wanted to share our journey with people who needed to hear about it.
2.) To make it clear to those who don’t understand what Alz is…it is a cruel disease of the brain affecting 5.7 million Americans. According to the Alzheimer's Association, that number could rise to 14 million by 2050.
3.) To share a sweet story of two people who loved each other to the end. Their journey made it possible for others to witness a true, one-of-a kind love story and raised the bar for many.
It's not an easy story to tell, but the truth is – Alzheimer's is not easy. If I didn't tell the real story, even the parts that make us uncomfortable, then I'm not sure any of my three goals would be accomplished. I have struggled…hoping others don't think I shared too many intimate details, but mostly praying that Mom and Dad would approve. Now, I know that if they could hear the stories about how their journey is helping others, they would be pleased.
Following are excerpts from some comments received:
"Sharing the most intimate of details, the book gently wraps its hands around your heart and guides you down a path of love and loss that will provide you perspective and lessons you can apply while navigating the dark and turbulent waters of Alzheimer's. Bevers allows us into her compassionate and emotional world so we may emerge strengthened with greater understanding."
"Wonderfully written, I found it both inspiring and frightening since I now realize that our own experience is only at the halfway point in the book. A lot lies ahead but this helped me prepare for it. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey."
"I could feel each beautiful moment and the emotion of every heart-wrenching decision. What a truly remarkable treasure this will be for many facing uncertain times."
"I am beginning the journey you just left and reading this book has changed how I approach it. I have a better understanding of what my mom is going through and I will hopefully be a better son to her because of it."
The unexpected gift that came from writing the book was that it was a healing experience for me…it was the right thing to do for Mom and Dad, for others, and for me.
About the Author
Tracie Bevers lives in the Houston area and is known as "Honey" to her six grandchildren. She loves writing, reading, cooking (AND eating out!), traveling (AND spending time at home!)...but mostly she loves spending time with family and friends. She has known her husband since she was 14 years old, and they have been happily married for almost 39 years.
Tracie spent well over a decade journeying through the world of Alzheimer's after her parents were diagnosed. She learned a lot...mostly about real, true love...a precious gift that she now realizes she may have missed had she not been on the Alz journey with them. Along the way, she became passionate about sharing information with others just beginning their own long journey to goodbye.
Connect with Tracie Bevers