Saturday, September 8, 2012


I want to recommend a book that I just finished last night that has touched me deeply. I suggest you consider reading it just for yourself, and if you are in a book club I recommend you add this book to your "must read" list. Author Auburn McCanta does a poignantly splendid job with a sensitive and timely issue for many of us: dementia / Alzheimer's / early onset memory loss.


"In All The Dancing Birds, Auburn McCanta accomplishes the near impossible. By allowing Lillie Claire to tell her own story, McCanta gives us an amazing inside glimpse into a disintegrating memory. Truly a touching, disturbing story -- wonderfully told." - Susan Springer Butler, author, daughter

It was the language Auburn used that captured me; it was the story she wove, making use of the first-person narrative, which included letters writtren by Lillie Claire to her 2 children that she pulled out more & more often as a way to remind herself of who she was, that impressed me; and it was those letters that Lillie Claire would leave behind for Bryan and Allison that humored and touched me with their transparent need to express to her children just WHO she was - and who their already deceased father and maternal grandparents were.

Auburn's "capture" of the things that many folks with dementia / probable Alzheimer's SAY to themselves, to their caregivers, and to their loved ones caught me so off-guard, I often gasped - having heard my own father say many of the same things. And I felt so convicted when I read some of the things that her children and the doctors said to - and about - Lillie Claire. Once I realized how we must sound to the person with the deteriorating mind - in my case, my father - I began thinking about ways to speak and behave more compassionately and respectfully to a person with dementia.

I hope that people in denial of their own or a loved ones' diagnosis, who don't believe it's happening because there ARE so many times when the person with dementia has lucid thoughts and expresses their story "just like they used to".

Many of us have read STILL ALICE (my first read about someone living with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease); in ALL THE DANCING BIRDS, I found more of the emotions and confusing, swirling stories that a person with dementia might experience.

With all that said, I'll close with the link: