Author: Allan Ament
Type of Book: eBook
Length: 184 pages
Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR, MEDICAL ISSUES, AGING, STROKE
Release Date: November 17, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
~ I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Allan Ament wrote this book based on his personal experiences. His wife, Deloris had a stroke and Allan made the decision to become her full-time caregiver.
“Doing anything else never crossed my mind; she was my wife, my soulmate, and she needed my help. Of course, I would be there for her. I would use my intellect, my rationality to learn and master the skills and knowledge I would need to care for her. I would use the love and gratitude as sources of energy to keep me afloat through this journey.”
The title; LEARNING TO FLOAT is based on how a leaf acts when it lands in water. The leaf does not struggle, it does not try to get away, it floats along wherever the water takes it. Sometimes the water is calm and peaceful and sometimes there are Rapids to contend with, but the leaf continues to float.
Allan’s writing is emotionally raw while also being intellectually stimulating. He writes with truthfulness and introspection which many memoir authors lack. He holds nothing back and readers will love him at times and at times they won’t, but at least he is truthful. He has not sugar-coated his actions or reactions and people who have been in similar situations will recognize his brutal honesty.
Though it may not have been his intention, but LEARNING TO FLOAT is also a story of true-love. Wedding vows usually include a vow to love each other “In sickness and in Health”, but thankfully many couples never need to find out if they can uphold that vow. Allan and Deloris had their vow tested and have come through it with an understanding that in marriage, as in life, not everything is always easy. They now know that love and marriage can sometimes be frustrating and extremely trying, and that if that love is strong enough it will endure. This memoir proves that true love will inevitably prevail. In my humble opinion, that message is just as important as anything else that readers learn from reading this book.
This is not a self-help book or a caregiver guide. It is simply a recounting of Allan and Deloris’s journey back to health after Deloris experienced a stroke in the right side of her brain. However, even though it is not a “guide”, it is full of the wisdom Allan has learned during his ordeal. For example, when Deloris was first hospitalized, he needed help, but did not know how to ask for it, in fact, he even felt guilty for thinking about requesting help. A friend set him straight. Now he says; “I cannot fathom how anyone can go through something like this alone. Once I experienced the results of asking for assistance and felt how powerful the sense of needing others, and accepting their help, could be for both parties, it became easier. What a gift!”
I was going to write that anyone who is currently the caregiver for a loved one should read this book. However, I am amending that statement. This book should be read by every adult.
Why should every adult read this book?
The answer is simple: You just never know when you may become a caregiver and having an insight into what it may be like will be invaluable.
With an aging population, many people are finding themselves taking care of their elderly parents. Older people may find themselves caring for a spouse.
So, in closing my advice is to buy and read this book as soon as possible, and hope that you never find out first-hand what Allan experienced.
I rate this memoir as 5 out of 5 stars and will be recommending this book to all of my friends and family. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
LINKS TO THE BOOK:
Review in the Seattle Times:
Page from before her stroke – all about Delores as a writer:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After successful careers as a criminal defense attorney, higher education administrator and instructor, and day spa manager, Allan Ament now enjoys retirement with his wife, an award-winning journalist and author, and their semi-neurotic cat (are there other kinds?) Born and raised in Kentucky, Allan lives with his wife on an island in Puget Sound, north of Seattle, where, in addition to writing and being his wife’s primary caregiver, Ament serves as board chair for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (nila.edu). His work has previously appeared in academic, professional, and literary journals, and is included in an upcoming anthology, Being: What Makes a Man. Learning to Float is his first book-length work.