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Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
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Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Compelling and heartrending, this personal memoir chronicles the author's decision not to put her mother, who has Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, in "one of those homes" and relays the far-reaching consequences this choice has on her entire family. Detailing the challenges of reversing roles and learning to mother one's own mother, this refreshing and entertaining aut ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Kunati Inc.
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Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People in the same situation who need to be cheered up and reminded how good they have it
Recommended to Marfita by: my now former supervisor (one of many - I'm hard on them)
Shelves: biography
Each experience with Alzheimer's (or other dementia) is individual and unique, but there are many connecting points for anyone who cares for the elderly. Both of my parents are now gone, but I had a little trouble relating to this book because my experience was so different. O'Dell's mother adopted her when she was a child. Her mother was a preacher who occasionally slapped her around. O'Dell was rebellious as a teen. When O'Dell's husband was transferred out of state and there was no one to car ...more
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone dealing with elderly or alzheimers
A Wonderful, Heartfelt Memoir

Carol O’Dell, author of her debut memoir Mothering Mother, will make you laugh and cry. Her heartfelt chronicle about caring for her dying mother is an emotional tribute to self-sacrifice and a daughter’s unfailing love―an adopted daughter’s love, to be more precise.

Carol’s mother adopted her late in life and raised her in a strict, religious environment. But it perhaps is their faith that kept them all together until the end. Although she has her faults and may see
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s must be devastating. The disintegration of personality, the abusiveness, and the confusion. It calls into question the whole notion of sanity. When Carol O’Dell’s mother adopted her, she insisted that Carol would be taking care of mom when she got old. As the Alzheimer’s set in, so did the promise. As mom becomes more abusive, this commitment feels almost overwhelming.

As the disease advanced, O’Dell became more immersed in her mother’s daily care, but with l
Red Evans
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Most ages, but those 40 or over most
As our parents age, we age too and those behind us age, each level creating new lasting conflicts between us all. What is amazing is that the love we have for each other somehow survives those conflicts. That isn't to say that they don't leave scars. They do indeed.

It's the caring that is so difficult. Those who need the care resent the fact that they do need the care while those who don't need the care resent those who do. In the middle is where the scarring occurs the most. The care giver is
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I can understand why this book got 4 & 5 stars. Caregivers can really relate to the author's story. But reading this from a professional standpoint, I had a hard time finishing the book. It's obvious from the beginning that Mother has more going on than Parkinson's. Maybe she's experiencing dementia or has a mental illness. But as the story is written, it's as if Parkinson's is the sole reason for her strange behavior. Alzheimer's isnt brought up until much later in the book. Also, the writi ...more
Sheila Good
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I started reading this as part of my research. I began with a clinical, detached approach, but half way in I found myself drawn into deep into the emotion of this woman's journey as she not cares for her terminally ill mother, but comes to term with a life time of conflicts and confusion she has felt for her adoptive mother.

It is a powerful and moving story. One, I read for research, related to as a nurse and personally, could see a similar fate in my future.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for anyone who has been a loved ones primary caregiver or is thinking about caring for a loved one. Actually, I think everyone should read it to understand what so many people are going through these days, whether it be caring for ailing parents, siblings or sick children!
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
This is a heartwrenching book but one that should be read if you have had to care for your aging parent. It helps you cope and puts into words all the emotions that go along with it. This woman writes honestly.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gripped my heart, moved me to tears and made me laugh at times. I ached for Carol and her struggles and yet cheered her on. Great story and informative should I find myself in her shoes someday.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Full of heart--I shared this one with my daughter-in-law.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Splendidly written story of the creation of a family and it's natural, poignant ending.

Lynn Hoffman, author of bang BANG
Sep 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is a caregiver, or a daughter, or a mother
Back in the 80's, I used several years of my life caring for my mother in her final illness. I've recovered, because this book made me laugh and remember and cry, and it touched my heart.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Intense, real, sad, and written with such blunt force...I am going to buy this book for an Aunt who is the primary caregiver for my ailing grandmother. A horribly lovely story.
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Carol Odell
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Nov 25, 2007
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