Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Gone

December 27, 2012

I just finished reading "All Gone, A Memoir of My Mothers Dementia with Refreshments" `by Alex Witchel. Ms Witchel is an author and columnist for the New York Times. The book vividly describes her mother's decline from a college professor to someone who did not always recognize her children. And the toll it took on the author. She turns to her mothers cooking to bring her back and shares the recipes for many of her favorite childhood meals.

It captured my feelings when I am in the kitchen cooking old Italian peasant recipes. Calm and secure. Like I did when I was young and thought I would always have my parents and sister to rely on when things got hard. So cooking keeps me from getting panicked or overwhelmed. I think of all the meals Jennie made and remember thinking to myself, "How can she stand doing this day after day?!!" Not to mention the countless dishes to be washed. How boring! But I find myself doing a lot of it myself now. Maybe it kept HER from feeling overwhelmed. Like there was a sense of order to the world. If only I had known then I may not have given her such a hard time about EVERYTHING!!

I recommend this book to anyone who has lost their mother. It is painful but ultimately heartwarming. A real tribute to their close relationship. And to those of you still lucky enough to have your parents this book will make you appreciate them even more.

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