A Profound Project
Vignettes of a Family Journey is a bi-lingual memoir that brings awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia, and its effects on the family dynamic.
Margarita delivers sensitive, constructive, yet humorous talks that allow audience members to feel that they are in a safe space to talk about a subject that is, at times, difficult. She envisions delivering a Ted talk on this subject in the near future.
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Reading this book made me feel comfort, that I wasn't going through this experience alone.
My father, Juan, was stricken with dementia and Alzheimer's for 7 years. I had always written down our conversations not knowing why I did so. However, when he was 89 years old, we noticed a change in him, but we felt that perhaps it was due to old age. One day, he had a violent outburst, and that's when we knew something else was going on. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Each time I saw him, I started writing about the point of view, from my perspective, of each member of the family.
In 2008, I felt compelled to convert my writings into this book. Choosing the cover was a challenge. At first, I wanted to choose a perfect cover, but I always loved this picture of the tip of his nose with icing. My niece, Jacqueline, wanted to smear it all over his face, but my dad, whose motto was, "I don't understand why God made me so good looking" told her, "Baby, just on my nose, OK." That that was that! This had to be the cover!
When I completed the book, my dad got to see it, and that made me feel good. He deserved that and so much more. My father had a huge, funny, dynamic personality! He had the ability to make everyone feel that they were valued. He was not just here, he was present!