Florrie Munat became her husband Chuck’s caregiver on the day he suffered a severe stroke. Any chances for his recovery were derailed when they learned that Chuck was also suffering from Lewy body dementia. After that devastating news, Florrie and Chuck assumed their loving marriage had been shattered forever. But what happened next surprised them.
With honesty, humor, and compassion, Florrie’s inspiring memoir invites the reader to walk in her shoes as she navigates the roller-coaster journey of caregiving for a spouse with dementia. Despite the daily challenges, she comes to appreciate the reciprocal nature of caregiving—with gifts both given and received. Eventually she discovers the most important lesson of all: that her role as a caregiver has helped her understand the depth and magnitude of her love for Chuck.
Before becoming her husband’s caregiver, Florrie Munat wrote nonfiction books, stories, and poems for children. She taught high school English, worked as a reference librarian and university press promotion assistant, and wrote over a hundred young adult book reviews. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washingotn, where she enjoys recording audiobooks at the library for the blind, doing the NYT crossword, and being a caregiver whenever the need arises.
“A widow details her husband’s final years—when he was in a nursing home—but also presents a sweeping view of their four decades together.… Munat provides a clear sense of marriage as an ongoing passage,
along with chronicling her separate caregiving journey…Visiting Chuck nearly every day for six years was a drain but also a labor of love.
‘Illness could not take away what we’d always had: an abiding love and respect for each other,’ she writes. ‘And that kind of love does not come to an end.’
A beautiful, richly panoramic book that should reassure caregivers and delight memoir readers.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Selected as one of Kirkus Review’s 100 Best Indie Books of 2017