Ronald Reagan’s daughter writes with a moving openness about losing her father to Alzheimer’s disease. The simplicity with which she reveals the intensity, the rush, the flow of her feelings encompasses all the surprises and complexities that ambush us when death gradually, unstoppably invades life.
In this moving and illuminating portrait of a woman and her father, Patti Davis describes saying goodbye in stages, helpless against the onslaught of a disease that steals what is most precious—a person’s memory. “Alzheimer’s,” she writes, “snips away at the threads, a slow unraveling, a steady retreat; as a witness all you can do is watch, cry, and whisper a soft stream of goodbyes.”
She writes of needing to be reunited at forty-two with her mother, of regaining what they had spent decades demolishing. A truce was necessary to bring together a splintered family, a few weeks before her father released his letter telling the country and the world of his illness. She delves into her memories to touch her father again, to hear his voice, to keep alive the years she had with him.
Patti Davis is the author of five books, including The Way I See It and Angels Don’t Die. Her articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, among them Time, Newsweek, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.