The Last of His Mind

The Last of His Mind ForeWord Book Of The Year Award Winner A Publishers Weekly Indie Top 20 The Washington Post A Best Book Of 2009 2010 Ohioana Book Award Finalist Joe Thorndike Was Managing Editor Of Life At The Height Of Its Popularity Immediately Following World War II He Was The Founder Of American Heritage And Horizon Magazines, The Author Of Three Books, And The Editor Of A Dozen But At Age 92, In The Space Of Six Months He Stopped Reading Or Writing Or Carrying On Detailed Conversations Could No Longer Tell Time Or Make A Phone Call Was Convinced That The Governor Of Massachusetts Had Come To Visit And Was In The Refrigerator Five Million Americans Suffer From Alzheimer S, And Like Many Of Them, Joe Thorndike S One Great Desire Was To Remain In His Own House To Honor This Wish, His Son John Left His Own Home And Moved Into His Father S Upstairs Bedroom On Cape Cod For A Year, In A House Filled With File Cabinets, Photos, And Letters, John Explored His Father S Mind, His Parents Divorce, And His Mother S Secrets The Last Of His Mind Is The Bittersweet Account Of A Son S Final Year With His Father, And A Candid Portrait Of An Implacable Disease It Is The Ordeal Of Alzheimer S That Draws Father And Son Close, Closer Than They Have Been Since John Was A Boy At The End, When Joe S Heart Stops Beating, John S Hand Is On His Chest, And A Story Of Painful Decline Has Become A Portrait Of Deep Family Ties, Caregiving, And Love. When I first read about this book about a man caring for his father who suffered from Alzheimer s, I was immediately interested But when it finally came time to pick up a copy, I had second thoughts Was this story going to be a big bummer Happily I was engrossed from the earliest chapters Of course, it was not a laugh riot, but I found it
A harrowing read Thorndike spares no detail in narrating his father s last year, however sad or ugly The book brought back grievous memories of my parents demises, one from Alzheimer s, the other from heart failure I couldn t have written this book I wou
I expected the story of a man caring for his Alzheimer s afflicted father during his last year of life would be depressing But John Thorndike s exquisitely written memoir serves as a guide for a journey most of us w
John Thorndike s father was a former managing editor of Life magazine and a prominent author and editor, but at ninety one he suffered from Alzheimer s, and his health and mental abilities were rapidly declining John moved into an upsta
It seems strange to say that you really like a book written about the demise of a man s father but this book was well written and heartfelt I m going through the same process with a parent and John expresses the trials and emotions e
An interesting and quick read, I knew from the beginning that this book wouldn t be a keeper, though I couldn t immediately put my finger on a particular reason It was well written, contained many entertaining or interest drawing anecdotes, etc As with most memoirs, I felt a bit like a voyeur peeking into a world that, frankly, was clearly none of my business But then, that s the draw of a memoir to begin with I think here, the difference lay not in the information being revealed, but in the WHY of the revelation Most authors include details from their personal lives, moments that they themselves experienced If they reveal the private details of their friends and family members in the process, at least the telling of their own personal tale seems to warrant the yanking down of those curtains that shield those people, removing their privacy But here, Thorndike, writes about the end of his father s life, trying to make sense of his and his father s experiences and relationship, something he does in a most compassionate and honest way At the same time, part of this process includes his personal quest for information, and his research read digging up dirt to satisfy what he clearly identifies as his own personal curiosity on his parents private lives And there is something about that which fails to sit rightly with me.Beyond this, the story seems to be not as much a tale about Alzhe
Watching my mother s decline from dementia and the impact it has had on my family, especially my Dad, made me hesitate to pick up The Las of His Mind This past weekend was a good one for my mother and so I finally felt equipped, and almost eager, to start reading and sharing John Thorndike s experience dealing with his own father s Alzheimers Most of us going through this heartbreaking experience really don t need to know the medical reasons why or how this disease has struck a loved one, but we do need to know that there are others who share the range of emotions and questions that consume us as we face each day I loved the way Thorndike tells the story of the his father s life before the onset and how it allows him to reflect upon his own adult life and ponder the thought that someday he may be in the same situation It is an intimate account that at times made me feel as if I had intruded upon something so personal that I should back out of the room It runs the gamut of anger and dislike to the tender cradling of someone who has always discouraged personal touch and now needs to be treated not only with love, but with respect This story was also personal to me as the author lives in my son s hometown but he has also lived in New Mexico This is a book that I will share and recommend to all who have aging parents and just feel as if they are adrift on an uncharted sea, can t see the shore and fee
The author sets the tone of this book from the first paragraph, the first sentence The obviously well observed description of his sleeping father s face, the fact that his father is napping, something his father does not believe in We know that this man, this man his son has known all his life, is changing We also know that this son honors his father With a capital H.I ve marked so many lyrical and grace filled and heart wrenching passages in this book From the first page My father sleeps through the December afternoon I stand beside the bed, listening to his shallow breaths and watching his old face his half open mouth, the crust in the corners of his eyes, his patchy skin and tumultuous eyebrows Dad Do you want to wake up He opens his good eye but doesn t say anything, just stares without moving Outside, the
It was interesting to gain the perspective of a full time caregiver and one that isn t a spouse.I liked how the book was organized by month That helped me grasp the passage of time accurately.It seems the book is almost about 1 Thorndike s perception of his parents marriages, 2 the effects those had on his upbringing, and 3 his dad s aloofness, so than Alzheimer s Alzheimer s was kind of a theme that ran through the entire book, but the main story seemed to be of a memoir type of the son I still found that interesting, because it tied in with how his caring for his dad brought all of the past right to the surface.I m guessing that whenever someone cares for a parent, they revisit many of the troubling feelings they ve kept hidden in regard to their relationship with that parent.I appreci
Thorndike s ninety two year old, former magazine publisher father has Alzheimer s He volunteers to be his father s caregiver through the last few months of his life The author explores and reflects on his childhood, the events that led to the end of his parents marriage, as well as his intimate thoughts and emotions he experiences during his father s illness Although his thoughts were expressed in a forthright manner, at times I thought he was a bit of a whiner, expressing angst over long past events in what some might consider trivial problems of someone who has had many advantages in his life.There s a lot of knockdown brutal honesty in this book If you ve been a caregiver to someone close, you will probably find much to relate to Thorndike s memoir is beautifu

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  • Hardcover
  • 248 pages
  • The Last of His Mind
  • John Thorndike
  • English
  • 15 July 2019
  • 9780804011228