Because one in nine older Americans has Alzheimer's disease, many spouses are thrust into roles they never anticipated. Rather than gritting her teeth and saying, "I have to do this," Candy Abbott, in her new book, "I've Never Loved Him More: A Husband's Alzheimers, A Wife's Devotion," demonstrates what caregiving looks like from a perspective of "I get to do this."
"I've Never Loved Him More" is a chronological journey into the unknown and sometimes scary, dark world of Alzheimer's disease. Yet, this book is anything but dark and scary. It is delightful, funny, and heartwarming. Cindy Broschart, Alzheimer's advocate, says, "Candy's journey offers a vision of hope - the light in the tunnel, not at the end of the tunnel."
This book gives a captivating account of how a four-decade marriage suddenly beset by dementia and Alzheimer's can still exude romance and purpose. It begins at the point of diagnosis and goes through the mild and early-moderate phases of the disease. Writing not only from experience and the heart but also from her vital connection with God, the author tells the unvarnished, sometimes raw truth with the sincere motive of helping others in similar situations. She shares with readers her candid journey of how the disease has changed their lives as she and her husband, Drew, continue to navigate the unknown path before them. With faith, intimate honesty, humor, and warmth, Abbott describes the incremental and monumental changes foisted upon their marriage as the disease worsens in Drew's brain.
Nancy Rue, best-selling fiction author, says, "Like the true storyteller she is, Candy spins the funny scenes in a way that brings on the belly laughter, sometimes in the midst of tears. It's never forced. It's never inappropriate. It's just true wit born out of a cheerful spirit that cannot be daunted by even this long, trying ordeal. With her use of Scripture, Candy doesn't ask the reader to simply read the passages and have faith. Instead, she explains in a practical, concrete way how those verses work in a life being put through the refining fire. Writing truth from a place of authenticity, she speaks in simple terms to the person who is emotionally writhing, offering the benefit of her hard-won wisdom and experience without ever being condescending. She owns her mistakes as well as triumphs."
This book generates a human connection for anyone experiencing the painful throes of caregiving by visibly illustrating what one can expect when a disease dramatically changes a relationship. Moreover, the author offers creative ways to manage caring for a loved one while caring for oneself. Hope pulses on each page with Abbott's vivid descriptions of their unpredictable days. Drew's memory loss and physical limitations have not stopped Abbott from finding optimism, gratitude, and new memory-making opportunities for herself and her family. Alzheimer's may have taken Drew's memory, but it cannot take away her tenderness and stalwart commitment to see him through this season of their lives.
"I've Never Loved Him More" will serve as a companion to a caregiver in the often overwhelming moments of care. The woman sobbing because her husband is disappearing before her very eyes will be grateful for Abbott's example of strength in the midst of adversity, and her whole family will benefit as well.
This book is also recommended for those who plan to marry. The author's story demonstrates what it means to live out those "in sickness or in health" vows. Masterfully and sincerely written, this work of the heart will leave an indelible mark on each reader.
Pastor Carol Svecz says, "I truly believe this book has the power to become a new standard reference for the Alzheimer's community."
To purchase "I've Never Loved Him More," visit Perfect Misfits, 223440 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Georgetown; or go to www.Amazon.com or www.fruitbearer.com. For more information, contact Candy Abbott at 302-856-6649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.