What if you wake up one day and you don’t recognize the face you see in the mirror? What if you look at your hubby and kids and you can’t remember their names? Scary, isn’t it?
The last time I was so engrossed with medical thrillers and stories about the medical field was when I found Robin Cook, a doctor and author of a number of books that I collected over the years. Cook’s books deal on different subjects like medical malpractices, health insurance issues, the science of Genomics, Bioinformatics and some medical information that we would not normally think about. A few days ago, I found a copy of a very informative book by Lisa Genova, Harvard-trained Neuroscientist, multi-awarded for her first book called Still Alice. I can’t put it down, because the subject had that big impact on me. I gave it five-stars.
May I just quote its short summary on Goodreads?
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever. At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early onset Alzheimer’s disease….
My thoughts go back to those days when I was sometimes forgetful. Have you ever experienced entering your room supposedly to get something but as soon as you are there and open a few drawers or cabinet, you simply forget what you wanted in the first place? You go out empty-handed then go back again to get it. There were several instances that I asked my son Josef the name of the corner store near our place because I often forget it. I used to think it is called 7-Eleven when its actual name is Mini-Stop, a convenience store that is open 24 hours just like 7-Eleven. And there is this name of an ornamental plant that I used to grow in my garden because of its dainty and lovely flowers. Don’t ask me now because I could not remember it. It begins with B…ah…that’s it, it is called Begonia.
I love some of the quotes I found in the book Still Alice, poignant words that made me shed a few tears.
“She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.” “You’re so beautiful,” said Alice. “I’m afraid of looking at you and not knowing who you are.”
“I think that even if you don’t know who I am someday, you’ll still know that I love you.” “What if I see you, and I don’t know that you’re my daughter, and I don’t know that you love me?” “Then, I’ll tell you that I do, and you’ll believe me.”
…My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I’ll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I’ll forget it some tomorrow doesn’t mean that I didn’t live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn’t mean that today doesn’t matter.”
There are books and there are books, sometimes though you find something so unforgettable because it makes sense and you learn a lot from it. Some would probably shy away from reading something like this so I won’t recommend it. Nissa told me that they bought a DVD copy yesterday but she hasn’t read the book yet. I am looking forward to watching the movie adaptation.
What book have you read lately that made an impact on you?