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A chronicle of the profound, life-changing, and laugh-out-loud funny moments in the journey of an Alzheimer’s caregiver who learns that memory is overrated, familiarity breeds compassion, and flute playing is forever.
In this unsentimental memoir of watching her mother fade away, of dealing with her bills, her housework, her increasing demands and dementia, Whouley brings us right into the laugh-or-you’ll-cry experiences of meeting the challenge of Alzheimer’s. As her mother falls into forgetting, Kate remembers for her. In her mother, we meet a strong-minded, accidental feminist with a weakness for unreliable men. We meet a daughter who learned early to fend for herself. We encounter their shared passions: books, words, and music. When the books are forgotten and the words begin to fade, it is the music that matters most to Kate's mother. Holding hands after a concert, a flute case slung over Kate’s shoulder, and a shared joke between them, their relationship is healed--even in the face of a dreaded, and deadly, diagnosis.
“Reading Kate Whouley’s memoir felt like sitting down with an old friend over coffee...As a reader, I felt privileged to be on the receiving end of such a confidence, which concerns the most important issues: family, mortality, our aloneness in the world, our connection in the face of it. I read it in two sittings and turned the last page with regret.”–David Payne, author of Back to Wando Passo
"An exceptional memoir that reminds us–often with surprising humor–of the richness of life in good times and bad."–David Dosa MD, author of Making Rounds With Oscar
“Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words made me want to go hug my mother. It also made me want to go hug Kate Whouley for her generous, fearless and spot-on recounting of a mother-daughter relationship during its most tragic yet poignantly beautiful years.”–Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of Sundays in America
“Remembering the Music is a dance of a daughter’s spirit as she releases her mother (and the reader) to another realm.”–Joan Anderson, Author of A Year By The Sea