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"'Til Death or Dementia is a love story above all else, a wonderful account of the relationship that Marilyn Reynolds celebrated with her husband, Mike. It is beautiful to read and an example of what I hope for all my patients' families--a deep reflection on memories representing all that was wonderful before the diagnosis of dementia. These memories can bring joy amid the struggle with the realities of the disease.
In a most courageous way, Marilyn shares her feelings, doubts, fears and regrets as she recalls Mike's personality and cognitive changes, both before and after his dementia diagnosis. Her words convey the emotional roller coaster in a way that the reader can feel every turn, loop, climb and free fall. Her remarkable ability to share serves as a road map for all those who care for someone with dementia, as I have witnessed among hundreds of families.
I would hope that everyone would read this story, not just those who find themselves caring for someone with dementia. This beautiful book reminds us that life is finite and worth living to the fullest. It brought a renewed mindfulness for me that every moment counts, and despite all life's challenges, love reigns supreme and can carry us through the darkest of times. Our legacy lives on in those we leave behind. Read this book, then think about the life soundtrack you want, and start singing!" -Christopher Lillis, MD FACP, Medical Director for Primary Care Transformation UC Davis Health, Sacramento, California.
Marilyn Reynolds is the author of ten books of realistic teen fiction in the True-to- Life Series from Hamilton High, a book for educators, I Won t Read and You Can t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of personal essays, Over 70 and I Don t Mean MPH. She started work on Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part shortly after her husband, Michael Reynolds, was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). At that time, in 2009, Reynolds searched in vain for personal stories written by FTD caregivers. Finding none, she set about writing the book she wished she could have read. It usually takes Reynolds nine months to a year to write a book. This eight year project was often laborious and excruciating. She hopes that her original mission will be fulfilled, and that others may gain a degree of insight and understanding through this account of her struggles to meet the financial, physical, and emotional challenges that occurred with her bright, talented, loving, husband s passage into the hell that is FTD. A retired teacher, Reynolds remains actively involved in education through writing programs for underserved youth, and through author visits to middle and high school students. With three grown children and five nearly grown grandchildren, Reynolds enjoys family gatherings, walks in her Sacramento neighborhood, movies and dinners out with friends, and the luxury of reading at odd hours of the day and night. She is happy to now be at work on the 11th book in the Hamilton High series.