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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
In this moving chronicle of his grandmother’s battle with dementia, author Bob Kern shares his priceless, heart-breaking experience as a loving and devoted grandson. When Mamaw takes a fall on New Year’s Eve 2000, it is almost as if all the pieces jiggled in or out of place, depending on how far he dug into his grandmother’s health. Had she always been this forgetful? Or was Bob blinded by his memories of a healthy, vivacious role model? As Mamaw continues to decline in mental capabilities, Kern is forced to evaluate his grandmother’s state of mind. He relives joyful times in the company of his grandmother, often convincing himself that she just needs rest and time to get back on the same page as he. Although he wants his childhood grandmother back from this dark disease, Kern must realize the curves life throws at us.
They Walk Alone: The Tragic Journey of Dementia by Bob Kern shows the effects of dementia on not only the afflicted, but those who must witness the steady decline of a loved one. As the author narrates his suffering, the reader is faced with the very real aspects of aging, while reflecting on an eventuality in all our lives. Kern’s concern for his grandmother’s comfort is sympathetic and humbling at the same time. His guilt for not trying harder to be there for his loved one is sadly pivotal in his own life as the disease reemerges in his wife. For anyone associated with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, this is a must-read.