Each story has meaning. Every story is important. This is Reg and his mother’s tale of living with dementia.
As his mother’s disease progressed, Reg started to write this book in the form of a diary, partly so that he could keep track of the dementia’s progress but also to keep a record of his mother in those last, desperate years.
The dementia crept up on both of them; for a long time they were in denial. He and his mother shared many conversations, often verging on the surreal. They laughed together; they cried together, they faced dementia as a partnership. He arranged carers, dealt with hospital appointments and doctors, did the shopping and so much more in between.
No Mum, Tomorrow’s Not Tuesday is a sombre read. It’s a non-fiction book written in diary format, by Reg, during the final few years of his Mum’s life while he became her sole carer.
Reg’s account is a no holds barred look at dementia. It’s real, it’s sad and it’s necessary. As someone who has had a personal connection with dementia and has spent a lot of time with dementia patients, I think it’s incredibly important that dementia isn’t seen as simply ‘memory loss.’ Dementia invokes so much fear in both patients and carers, something which Reg writes about frequently as his fears stretch much further than just for himself and his mother.
The book isn’t all doom and gloom though. There are moments of genuine hilarity and warmth from Reg’s mother and their relationships never falters, despite the hardships.
For many, chronicling a parent’s illness would be too much to bear, but there must be thanks given to Reg for sharing his experience. His account is not only a story about him and his mother, but also the effects of dementia on the whole family, and on people who knew the person before they became ill.
Throughout the book, Reg learns more about dementia and we, as readers, learn with him as he finds that many of his mother’s obstinate behaviours are her illness.
No Mum, Tomorrow’s Not Tuesday is a crucial read for anyone dealing with a diagnosis of dementia, whether it be the person themselves, a friend or a relative.