A note on supporting loved ones with dementia.

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When we watch a loved one battle memory loss, our natural response is often to make an attempt at salvaging their memories.

We can flood them with photos, notes, and reminders. We can grasp for signs that our efforts are working: “Do you remember who I am?”

When I first visited my grandfather in the nursing home — his then new home — my grandmother had already pinned a dozen photos to the corkboard across from his bed. She pointed at each photo. …

My question list, addressed to a grandfather who lives with Alzheimer’s disease.

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“Have you got a notebook?”

Isn’t that what you said to me?

With our blurry memories, how could either of us remember what you said ten years ago?

But do you know that sometimes, when I’m staring at a chalkboard or doing calculus, I remember?

Do you know I remember from that day everything but our words, and that it’s as though I’m a child again and the walls are yellow?

Weren’t the walls yellow?

Does your memory seem brighter than reality too?

Isn’t it a beautiful memory, the one where I’m leaning my elbows on the honey-colored dining table…

Each of these soul-stirring reads is under 100 pages

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When you’ve fallen in love, you know it.

You know it the moment you realize your coffee is cold, and you’ve been sitting there — at the café, or the bookstore —for over four hours. Reading.

I’m not picky. Over the years, I have read many different kinds of books. Most of the ones I have fallen in love with, though, have one thing in common…

They remind me of what it means to be human.

It’s more than blinking and breathing, after all. …

Lessons from Iceland & Scandinavia on how to make “cozying up with a good book” your next family event

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In Oslo, the focal point of my cousin’s living room is not the T.V., but a jam-packed bookshelf. Books bursting, sofas draped with blankets, and relatives reading — beside one another — under the light of several lamps. This is a scene of relaxed Nordic culture.

The beauty of this moment has everything to do with our perspective.

We often think of reading as a solitary activity, and I believe it is. We are quick to make it that way. The contentment found in books, though, is also a tool for connection.

During the holidays, we can both share the…

Emily Peterson

Peacemaker. I write about kindness, books, health, and medicine. Engineering student & MD candidate.

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