It isn’t often that a book can bring back warm memories, make me hug loved ones, want to hug the author and her husband, then cry like a baby. In fact, I can’t say that it has ever happened until I read Julita’s Sands: A Memoir by Emily Placido.
Wait, for you to understand just how powerful this book was I have to tell you about my grandfather. My grandfather, Clarence, was probably like a lot of other grandpas in the world, but to me, he was the coolest guy ever.
I will try to make a long story short. (something that, if you know me, is akin to saying that I will now control the weather) My grandfather had Alzheimer’s. While it is a horrible disease and was a huge blow to all of us, especially my grandmother, the first few years I now look back on as the best gift he ever gave me.
You see, he couldn’t remember what he had for breakfast, but he could remember thing that happened 70 years ago like it was yesterday. I spent quite a bit of time with him and on our walks I got to learn things about his childhood and college years that I know that no one else in the family ever knew.
It was revelatory to see my grandpa as a person, not just as the old person that let me eat ice cream even though I hadn’t eaten all of my veggies. History came alive, not just family history, but the entire 20th century. After all, he was born in 1904, we are talking the history of radio, television, electricity in homes, cars, the whole shebang, he witnessed.
It was a gift to be with him, just as Emily Placido found when she moved her mother, suffering from dementia, into her home. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all childhood stories and ice cream, there are break downs and diapers too.
Still, when you truly love someone, you take the good with the bad. So many of us will walk in Placido’s shoes, taking care of our elderly parents and grandparents. Few, however, will write an entertaining and loving tribute like she has done for her mother with Julita’s Sands.
I haven’t even posted my review yet on Chew & Digest, so stay tuned for more, including an interview with Emily Placido herself.
For more Cross-Bloggination Posts visit Gwen at Chew & Digest and Danielle at There’s a Book! Thank you, Gwen!