Crossing Arcs

Crossing Arcs: Alzheimer’s, my mother, and me is a collection of poems that chronicle and explore the loss of Susan’s mother’s memory to Alzheimer’s Disease. Tragedy, humour and a positive outlook on a situation over which one has no control are themes in a collection that draws readers into the minds and the thoughts of both Susan and her mother. Susan provides the reader with an intensely personal look at the trials of a family with a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s. In this case, Susan’s mother, Betty, is resistant, and at other times, laughs about her own shortcomings when it comes to remembering things. But the older woman is steadfast in her belief she will shake it off, get over it. And all around her are the strategies to overcome this — crossword puzzles, tiny sticky notes with phone numbers and bank passwords, piles of books and her paintings. Her daughter, Susan, re-creates memories to hold on to her Mother’s memory and to understand how it all works out in the end. This collection speaks to those who do not accept age and fear death. Unlike other books about Alzheimer’s, this one provides the words from a woman who has this crippling disease. Susan McMaster carries on a dialogue with her mother. The elderly woman’s words are printed side by side to Susan’s and offer a way into deciphering the moment-by-moment battle with memory loss.

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