Things happen. For writer Sarah Leavitt‘s mother, Alzheimer’s disease happened. The disease transformed her mother, and her family, forever. Tangles: A story about Alzheimer’s, my mother and me, is Sarah’s account of that journey.
I loved Tangles. The author writes both prose and comics, and she uses both to advantage in putting forward a compelling story, her personal memoir, about that most dynamic of all relationships, those with our own family. In addition to authentic and masterful storytelling, the book offered me insights on how to move from conflict to collaboration, and resolution.
My attraction to the subject matter comes in part from my experiences dealing with my own mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. She lived in Ontario. I live on the west coast. My siblings and I traded off caregiving (although my making 3-4 trips a year to visit and do stuff for a couple of weeks may not seem like much for full-time caregivers), all the while navigating the relationships between us, and between my mother and father, who did not live together. My situation was not so dissimilar from the Leavitt’s as she lived in Vancouver, and her mother on the opposite coast, in New Brunswick.
In this video I highlight what resonated most for me, with this book:
(Can’t see the video? Click here)
This book is instructive from so many vantage points; including:
- journal/memoir as a container of observations
- storytelling using the medium of comics
- the risk/rewards of personal disclosure
- family relationships 101; e.g., everybody is different, get over it, and move forward in positive ways�
- as a framework for taking compassion, collaboration and conflict resolution, into the bigger world
Timely, too, this book I am focusing more of my business on elder mediation services, in-person and online.
I got a heads-up on this book from Lorne Daniel (@lornedaniel on Twitter), a writer, consultant on urban communities, and someone who is very good with words, too.
You can order a copy of Tangles via the author’s website.
Support family caregivers. It’s huge what they do. Here’s a profile I did of my local family caregivers network.
What lessons have you learned from your own family relationships, and applied to other contexts; work, community?