WHAT HAPPENED TO restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven B. SMITH? One day she was in the spotlight on television shows, negotiating book deals and then . . . nothing! What happened to B. Smith was early onset Alzheimer’s disease. BEFORE I FORGET: Love, Hope, and Acceptance in our Fight Against Alzheimer’s by B. Smith and Dan Gasby.
AT THE TIME this book was published, 200,000 people had early onset Alzheimer’s disease and their symptoms started before 65 years of age. “Some 5.2 million Americans are living with the disease and about 500,000 of those die of the disease each year . . .[with] a new case every sixty-five seconds.”
THIS TOUCHING SNAPSHOT into the life of B. Smith focused on the time between the Fall of 2010 through June 2014. Through flashbacks you are taken back to when the early onset signs first appeared to when the signs became too obvious to ignore – she was ultimately diagnosed in 2013. Unfortunately, as time passed B. Smith became another casualty to this progressively, debilitating disease and unwittingly became “one” face, a “known” face that became one of “the” faces of the Alzheimer’s disease.
B. SMITH and HER FAMILY wanted her story told before she “disappeared” totally into the world of Alzheimer and to serve as an option of support for other families going through the same situation. Her story mimicked the stories of so many untold victims’ “BEFORE I FORGET” experiences. The real theme of the book is not only B’s journey, but all of the others who unwittingly became a part of it . . . the unsung heroes/heroines of her family (immediate and extended) the people who want their voices heard too.
HER HUSBAND, DAN wrote of longing for the woman he fell in love with and married. He wrote about his struggles, his denials, his selfishness; while unnerving can never compare to the person trapped and losing her memory. Like a ball of yarn being unravelled and rolling on the floor, the loss of control is scary. Dan’s honesty and his guilt helped the reader better understand his new normal way of life and how his fear of handling his business almost cost B. her life. This “new normal” is now the way of life for countless people lost in the fog of Alzheimer’s.
BEFORE I FORGET is another reminder, another wake-up call, another alarm to become aware, stay vigilant, and continue to work for a cure because according to the numbers we all have or may become the “B. Smith” in our family. Remember, Alzheimer’s becomes personal when you can put a face to it. Speak about it, learn about it, do something about it to help heighten the awareness and help spread the word – anything you can do is valuable and priceless.
Let’s BOND over BOOKS:
- Recommends reading and/or sharing this book
- Rates BEFORE I FORGET: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in our Fight Against Alzheimer’s as CHALLENGINGLY CHARISMATIC (301-500 pgs) . . . Borderline lengthy – it better have a good ending!
Disclaimer: BONDing over Books received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review