Alzheimer’s with My Mother, Eileen ( hardcover edition)

Alzheimer’s with My Mother, Eilleen (Hardcover) By: Jim Dicke II

Eight or so decades ago, Eilleen Webster was working a math problem on the blackboard of her Dayton, Ohio, classroom when an eraser bounced off a few feet to one side of her. The eraser had been launched by a classmate, Jim Dicke, who with characteristic directness had decided this would be a good way to gain the attention of the young woman standing at the front of the class. It was a hit or miss proposition, so to speak, but it succeeded. Eilleen and Jim became virtually inseparable as they dated through high school and on to college until Eilleen left college to marry Jim. When Jim left Dayton for the military she followed, traveling as a young bride from military base to military base, setting up impromptu living quarters at each posting. Post-war, they joined a tiny family business in the small town of New Bremen, Ohio. She focused on two growing sons. He focused on growing the business. Both succeeded. Time, most of it good, passed. When Eilleen reached her late 70s, her focus began to fade. She had trouble remembering where she had put things, or how to do everyday tasks. The diagnosis was Alzheimer’s Disease. As diseases go, Alzheimer’s is recent and remorseless. Recent, in that until the late nineteenth century few lived long enough to acquire it. Remorseless, in that unlike cancer, it offers no periods of remission or hopes of a cure, just a continuing downward spiral. In this humane volume, James Dicke II recounts his mother’s life and how Alzheimer’s came between her and her family, her still inseparable husband, her world, and herself. This book tells one story of many, that in years to come will increase. For those already engaged with an Alzheimer’s sufferer, it offers an aspect of affirmation; for the rest, it suggests what challenges their futures may hold.