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Reviewed by Fiza Pathan for Readers' Favorite
Being There, a memoir of a physically and mentally deteriorating father, has been captured on paper with love and empathy clearly seen in the writings of author Aimi Medina. It is the memoir of Medina’s father Leonard, who in his early eighties suffers from senile dementia after a severe stroke, and loses his language skills and control over his physical self. It takes the reader on a journey of introspection where the elderly are concerned, through the deterioration of Leonard from the nursing home to the hospice center. Being There is a memoir penned by Leonard’s daughter, written in simple words but with a powerful message, especially for the youth of today who are looking after their terminally ill parents or grandparents. It is a stunning narrative of deep emotions where hope is strength and where in the lives of a loving family the terminally ill are but a piece of this large network of misery, with a dash of faith to make it possible to see that an elderly loved one’s future is better than the painful present.
Being There is a spell binding read by Medina and can be a vital book for care-givers of the elderly. In a world which is so self-centered and materialistic, Medina has shown us that there are still caring families just like hers who look after their loved ones. I applaud Medina on her courage to write this memoir which will, I am sure, serve as an eye opener for all those who have been torn apart by the separation of a dear loved one. I admire Medina’s family for facing death courageously, knowing also that they are not alone in this as they realize when they interact with other patients of the nursing home. Being There is a book meant to be read by all grandchildren and is a great self-help book to realize that when one's loved one is suddenly sick, the whole family becomes involved indirectly with the patient. This memoir is heart-wrenching but is still a beautiful read. Well done, Medina.