To Awaken Soulfulness in the Human Voice

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Book Review

Looking Into Your Voice - The Poetic and Eccentric Realities of Alzheimer's

 

Author Cathie Borrie


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Review by Carol Katz:

This beautiful poem of a book is a collection of conversations offering alternative and beautiful insights into the Alzheimer's mind. Celebrating the revelatory eloquence of the altered realities of dementia, these vignettes are from Cathie Borrie's lyrical memoir, The Long Hello ~ The Other Side of Alzheimer's, which chronicles and cherishes the relationship between a mother and daughter over a seven-year period as the mother's mind transforms and her dementia increases. The mother's voice weaves throughout the memoir with insight, humor and an astonishing poetic sensibility, challenging the negative stereotypes pervasive in the current and often limiting geography of dementia.

Cathie Borrie devotes her immense energies to educating people on the experience of Alzheimer's and Alzheimer's care-giving.  She is dedicated to galvanizing a positive, enlightened change in society's perception of dementia. Born in Vancouver, Cathie has had an extensive and diverse working life, which includes careers in health, law and business. Beginning as a nurse, she went on to attain a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, graduated from Law School at the University of Saskatchewan and has her Certificate in Creative Writing from Simon Fraser University.

A creative spirit, Cathie is also an accomplished ballroom dancer, and has dabbled in clowning and theater. Her education and career experience did not, however, prepare her for the seven years she spent caring for her mother, who had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  Many of the Alzheimer's books that she read during her care-giving years did not address the totality of the journey, neglecting as they did to reveal the unfolding poetry and beauty of her mother's walk with dementia. In choosing to write a lyrical memoir of her experiences, Cathie elected not only to explore the spiritual insight made possible by the Alzheimer's journey, but also mined her past to weave the loss of a sibling, the impact of divorce on children, the effects of alcoholism on relationships, and the healing power of dance, into a rich narrative. Cathie has presented at international conferences on Alzheimer's, and works tirelessly as an advocate for both people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers.  As part of her determination to change public perception, she is adapting The Long Hello for stage and screen.

 

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