First Mike. Then Maxine. The inspiring story of the heartrending descent of this husband and wife into the abyss of Alzheimer's unfolds in a series of poignant interrelated essays. This is a moving personal story of their family recorded by their daughter Jan over a period of a quarter of a century as they journeyed together on a struggle that is simultaneously universal but uniquely theirs.
Set in rural Arkansas where the hot, dusty rows of crops and the deep, starry summer nights define existence, this memoir introduces a young couple in love on the cusp of World War II. Glimpses of their meager but rich lives bring shimmers of light to the darkness of the Alzheimer's experiences. Small victories shared by this extended family in all their quirks and endearing peculiarities add a measure of balance against the heartbreak.
This work brings to the listener an intimate and honest view inside a place that is both strange and familiar. The story introduces people - ordinary people - who reflect hope and despair, people who question, who resist, but in the end who must face the human condition of travel down a road of uncertain destination. And it shines a light on the way this journey shapes the lives of those who travel the same road from afar.
The story of Mike and Maxine matters ultimately because it is a story of triumph - the triumph that comes when brothers and sisters, spouses, sons and daughters, grandchildren, family and friends, when all walk together on that journey of them wants to take. Theirs is a story of the triumph of learning to recognize and cherish the good that is never far away, of growing stronger as the road stretches on.
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