From their days enjoying Daytona Beach to the present, Robert Benson, the eldest child of Peggy Jean Siler Benson, admits his mother knows a storm is coming, but there’s little she can do about it in Moving Miss Peggy.
The storm will wash away Miss Peggy’s life history.
After pulling together to juggle care for Miss Peggy and with the help of professionals, the family determines criteria that will be important in choosing where Miss Peggy will live most comfortably.
Once their mom is moved in, the family learns that Miss Peggy’s routines (getting her hair done every Tuesday at the salon across town) are the only things left in her life that she can control. They wonder about all the hours spent (wasted?) doing these time-consuming things for her, when they realize: It will not be long before we will all wish we could pay such a price again and again, when we cannot.
In an interesting twist, the author alternates the first person with a third-person narration. When referring to his wife, for example, Benson writes: Miss Sara is the woman who is kind enough to make a home and life and a marriage with the writer of this book. Although not distracting from the storyline, it does take reading a few passages to get used to.
Benson’s family comes to the painful realization many children face while caring for their parents:
It is a difficult moment when you realize that someone who raised you, cared for you, cheered for you, stood by you in moments both large and small in your life, someone who once seemed to hold the whole world in her hands now does not know the day of the week, cannot make a list, or any of the other little things it takes to manage her life.
Through author Robert Benson’s eyes, Moving Miss Peggy gives us hope that family members can combine their strengths to do what’s best for a loved one.
The attractive hardcover edition will make a nice gift for the caregiver in your life who is embarking on a journey through dementia with a loved one.