Man, Fredrik Backman truly knows how to get your emotions all jumbled. I was a huge fan of A Man Called Ove, so I’ve been eager to read anything and everything else by Backman. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is just as enchanting.
As someone who has had not one, but two grandparents suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, this story really meant a lot to me. It tells the heart-wrenching (yet uplifting) story of a man who is slowly losing his memory, and how he is learning to say goodbye to those in his life. It’s an interesting portrayal of a man fighting for his brain, and is remarkable at portraying what it’s like to lose what you’ve known your whole life. Not only do you get the inner-workings of Grandpa’s brain, but you also get to see the sweet relationship that he has with his Noahnoah (he calls him that because he likes him twice as much as everyone else). It truly explains the special relationship that many have with their grandparents – a relationship that the grandparents may never have had with their own children -their second chance.
“That’s why we get the chance to spoil our grandchildren, because by doing that we’re apologizing to our children.”
I never got to really have the discussions with my grandparents that Noah and his grandfather have – I was very close to them, but we never really discussed what it was going to be like when they weren’t “there” anymore or what was really happening. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the disease described as losing your way home, but the title really truly makes sense. Reading this, I really wish that I had been able to experience the loss like Noah. I know that I had a great experience with my grandparents as they were losing themselves, but I wish that I could have known what was going on in their minds as they lost everything they knew. I am glad that, unlike many in my family, I was able to walk down the road with them as they faded.
“What can we do to help Grandpa?”
The dad’s tears dry on the boy’s sweatshirt.
“We can walk down the road with him. We can keep him company.”
If you’re experiencing or have already experienced the loss of someone who has “left before they even die” – read this. Though we may never know what is going on in the minds of those who lose their memories, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer helps us understand just a little of what goes on and what those around are feeling as well.