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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Watching a loved one struggle with memory issues is difficult. It takes a kind, patient person like Silvie to help. But, as the anger surfaces along with the confusion from lost memories, it makes the caring task more than just difficult. Silvie is very patient with Momma. She has to take her to the doctor, but Momma is confused and keeps forgetting what she’s just been told. She doesn’t want to eat her breakfast, she wants to get dressed even though she’s already dressed, she wants to change her clothes, she thinks the appointment is for her daughter. A story full of love for a mother who seldom knows anymore the simple things in life like who or where she is.
Valerie Allen’s short story, I Remember Momma, is a powerful statement of the strength of a mother-daughter bond, a strength that can endure the onslaught of dementia or Alzheimer’s. This is a compassionate tale of two women, mother and daughter, struggling to come to terms with the mother’s dementia, her forgetfulness, her fear, and her anger, along with the daughter’s despair at trying to be so patient, so loving, but never quite receiving the recognition she craves from the mother she loves. The plot is a simple one, unraveling over a breakfast conversation between the two women. Every word spoken describes one woman or the other and speaks volumes in the despair they both feel in spite of the love they feel, even if, as in the mother’s case, it’s not fully understood. The story is told through dialogue and it’s a powerful story to share.