Our relationship with family is intrinsically wrapped up in food and interchanges in the kitchen and around the dinner table. Canadian singer-songwriter, Jann Arden, brings us into that relationship with her mother as they journey through the hills and valleys of Alzheimer’s. This book hit home as I watched my father battle through the disease for 10 years and now as caregiver for my 90-year-old mom going down the same road. Jann brings a refreshing sense of humour as well as raw and real emotional reactions to the many challenges of watching a loved one slip away from us. https://www.jannarden.com/feeding-my-mother-2019-paperback-edition-out-now/ “Losing someone an inch at a time is extremely hard.”
You’ll find the inspiration for many of Jann’s songs come out of this experience like “Helpless” and “Good Mother” referenced in this book. Jann’s thoughts are written in diary form and brings a poetic lilt to the words, showcasing her amazing song writing abilities.
Interspersed throughout the book are nods to the meals Jann makes for her mom and dad and she provides those recipes at the back of the book. We tried the Turkey Meatloaf with Zucchini and Carrots. Due to publisher restrictions, we can’t provide the actual recipe but provide my scrumptious variation in our Recipe section – Turkey Meatloaf with Vegetables. On page 26, Jann says she served the meatloaf with roasted vegetables, so I served my mother the same…and she loved it! Comfort food at its best…and Jann confirms this, “The comfort I get from cooking simple food for my parents has come as a lovely surprise.”
Alzheimer’s is a soul sucking journey, but Jann’s mother had a great outlook on her experience with it. When Jann asked if her mom would forget her, the reply would bring us both joy and sorrow, “Well, my brain might, but my heart won’t.” And that’s the small window of hope we all hold on to.
You’ll want to get a copy of this book and read it before January – Alzheimer’s month. Win a copy in our Giveaway section or go to https://www.jannarden.com/feeding-my-mother-2019-paperback-edition-out-now/ and purchase the book for yourself or a loved one.
And once you’ve cried and laughed along with Jann, go to https://alzheimer.ca/en and learn the many resources to help you care for someone with the diagnosis as well as how to support the great work the societies do for people with Alzheimer’s.
On a happier note, Jann will be on tour in January and February across Canada and putting tickets for her concerts in someone’s stocking this Christmas will be a welcome gift. Get your seats soon as these venues sell out fast! https://www.jannarden.com/tour/
Contents and images used with permission by Jann Arden and Penguin Random House Canada. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/562454/feeding-my-mother-by-jann-arden/9780735273931