Let me second the enthusiasm for Burdick's delightful book, which indeed will bring back some haunting images from even the most caved-in mind. It is not, however, solely geared for family members and I would encourage all to buy a copy of this book, you do not need to have a mother or father with Alzheimer's, it is perfect for reading along with any friends of yours, even younger people, who are troubled by memory challenges in the Alzheimer's range. For example, I took this book with me on my visit to the local elderhostel near my home, offering to share it with anyone who would like to read a good book, and once we were snuggled up on a park bench overlooking a pool swimming with koi, the "two lap" approach found me reading aloud to a white male stranger who might have been in his early 80s, a dignified man whose clothes were impeccable, if somewhat out of style, and obviously he had memory problems as he could not tell me his name. We sat down and began to pore through the book, with its lovely illustrations--not childlike, just very clear and nostalgic. After a few pages he told me that he had been in the Normandy Invasion! There are other suggestions in the book, tips on how to say things in ways which don't threaten the memory-challenged adult, and to my astonishment the man was telling me about a friend of his who had drowned in the surf on Omaha Beach, and he (my new friend) had climbed to safety on the back of his dead buddy. When we got to the part about his favorite song, he began to sing, "My Buddy," a song which I did not know but he sang it so loudly that others in the park turned their heads and a few chimed in.
Some residents said that this man had not spoken aloud in years, and one said this was the first time anyone even knew that my new friend was an American. He spoke so little that, based on his name, many had thought he was a Frenchman marooned in this country by dementia. That day we truly felt "the sunshine on our faces." Even though it was not (strictly speaking) a good memory, it was still a precious one.