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At Ease

149 pages2 hours


At Ease is a granddaughter's recollection of a family fighting Alzheimer's together. Comprised of scenes and stories that range from the distant past (Grampy as a young Marine in World War II), to the more recent past (the narrator's childhood memories and the beginning of his decline), to the last years of Grampy's life, the story’s non-linear narrative mimics the fractured memory of a person with Alzheimer’s. One moment Grampy can’t remember how to lie down on his bed; the next day he remembers in detail the horror of the Battle of Okinawa.
Grampy forgets his granddaughter's name and her role in his life, but he mysteriously knows to trust her. This fuels her each time she visits him, and each time he sits in silence through dinner. He slowly becomes a shell of himself, but still manages to give the family moments of humor, silliness, and joy. His unpredictable memory is at times the source of frustration, and at other times, his saving grace.
While repeatedly explaining simple tasks and learning to identify the “good” days, when Alzheimer’s is just a word instead of a crippling presence, a granddaughter learns how to love her grandfather all over again ... while he learns the same.

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