Bringing Back Yvette
Within the pages of this last tribute to Yvette the author flashes back to where it all began. Beginning with his feelings of Dementia Beast that took over his wife’s mind and caused her to leave this world in some respects mentally yet physically she was here. The love that John has for her is true, emotionally related and someone who went through it could not imagine except the suffering she went through. Yvette had a golden spirit that never left and as we visibly see her in death as he presents her final repose, we also can feel that her smile, radiance and beauty will never fade as the pages of this book and the story will remain with the author and anyone who has this book in their hands. December 9, 2014 John left Yvette alone and then in his five -minute absence to use the restroom, she appeared strange. Calling in the nurse she knew that Yvette was about to take her last breath but not until John arrived. How do you know when someone is about to say goodbye? As you read Chapter four John shares her last minutes and her last day. I can only relate this to the fact that my mom died in 2011 right after I walked out for two minutes and came back and her world was silent. She just did not want anyone there when she took her final breath and thought as I know she would it would hurt too much for me to see it. This hurt equally as much. When reading this final tribute to Yvette I realize that creating one to my mom in my book The Vanishing Mind of Ruth Swerdloff, made it possible for me to understand just why John’s books were so powerful and doing the same would make my mom proud. Chapter Five focuses on Yvette’s last three days with Carmen and how special they were. Never faltering and never stopping the exemplary care for her Carmen, her nurses, her doctor and even John knew what was going to happen next as the author presents her picture in death on page 10. Cards and tributes followed and many of her friends came to her funeral as well as the nursing staff and those they met when they had lunch at Neiman Marcus or at the mall. But, John’s tribute flashes back once again to the last four months of her life and how beautiful she was and would always be. How do you say goodbye when you only want the person to say Hello? It’s hard but the most remarkable story is the one that he relates about her golden blonde hair that unless you read it for yourself you won’t understand or appreciate the miracle. In Chapter 12 he shares more about the caregivers, who they were and where they came from.
Breathing treatments, another patient Roberta and the closeness that so many felt with Yvette. The knee games she liked to play with John showing that even in her last few weeks she still had a playful and fun side that lets readers and even John know that she was more than still there. Being confined to her transport chair, crossing her legs left over right, leaning back in a relaxed way seems to say as the author relates” You know, I haven’t a care in the world.” She was truly unique and special. For over 2 and half years Carmen was with her but she never said her name. My mom knew the faces of her aides but often could not remember anyone’s name and she had 6. But, the one thing she did always remember was her name. I love Chapter 18 with the pillows and 19 that focus on why she could no longer speak was heartbreaking. But, what made her special was her laugh and her smile. Few residents if any of the 35 ever laughed and smiled. Read Chapter 20 and check out the fact that she loved the Three Tenors and listening to them as I still do and that little children adored her. Picture with Gigi and Yvette on page 40. Going to the symphony and the opera would keep her mind active and just looking into her eyes would make it all worth it for Carmen and John too. I love the Ouch game so clever. Trying to get her to say yes or even the simplest thing was a challenge. But, singing and sharing tunes and joining in as they did in Chapter 27 were great. Can you hear them singing You are My Sunshine? Love that song! His sunshine, his beauty queen, his Yvette was taken and cannot be brought back. Having Carmen as a close friend and companion is great till this day as they both need each other and both loved Yvette. Married 69 years and never a day without doing something together and John till this day misses her. From her appearance, which was impeccable, to her laugh, mood swings and the progress she made to literally outfox the doctors, this story is one that will live on forever and John will always have His Beauty Queen by his side. Just open the book, look at the pictures and see her smile.
Four unique books each one that brings to light just what Dementia does and how the person dealing with it needs the support, love, caring and devotion of not only family members but caregivers too. John: When you met Carmen and she agreed to work with Yvette you were truly blessed. Memories are precious and these and your will never die. Yvette: You were and still are an inspiration to others letting everyone know not to give up on life and there is always a silver lining sometimes before the black veil finally falls. These four books will remain in my library now and forever. Thank you for asking me to review these outstanding books.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews