Her Beautiful Brain
“A daring and ambitious memoir that bestows unexpected rewards on the reader.” –Seattle Times
“Unflinching, tragic and compassionate.” –Shelf Awareness
I’ve lived with the loss of my mom, and the fear of Alzheimer’s, for a long time now. I understand that I am stuck with this particular fear; yours may be cancer or heart disease. But I also understand its value: which is to continually remind me that I have no idea what the next day or decade might hold. Now is the time for me to do all that I feel called most urgently to do.
I am my mother’s daughter. Like her, I would prefer to keep traveling under my own steam and enjoying the view along the way. Like her, I would rather my brain not get all wrapped up in a big tangle of ropes. But hers did, and mine might too.
It’s 3 a.m. and I hear my neighbor’s car start and I wonder where he’s going at this hour and then I wonder why on earth I’m awake enough to wonder. And then I start wondering other things like will my book get published and will Rustin and I figure out how to live without our children in the house and will I ever get back to sleep?
Welcome to the Restless Nest.
It isn’t empty, that’s for sure. Two decades of life lived takes up a lot of room. As does this restlessness.
When I wrote those words in 2010, the person I was welcoming to the Restless Nest was me. “Get comfortable,” I was telling myself, between the lines. “You’re here now. The Nest looks different. You look different. Life is going to be different. And all of that is going to be O.K.”
The more I rolled those words over my tongue—Restless Nest—the more I liked them. What might happen, I wondered, if I embraced restlessness?