One Family’s Alzheimer’s/Dementia Journey
and the Lessons Learned Along the Way
Date Published: July 10, 2020
I Love You Always introduces you to Lottie Mae Polk Berry, a self-proclaimed badass who battles Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia for years, hoping to make it to age 90. Her daughter, LaBena, gives a detailed account of Lottie’s life from her teenage years, through diagnosis and beyond.
I Love You Always will have you on an emotional roller-coaster as Lottie’s wit and antics send you into hysterical laughter one moment and leave you silently sobbing the next. Calm, turbulence, and laughter are recurring themes throughout.
Her children struggle to see that she receives the best medical care while hoping, in spite of her condition, that she makes it to her 90th birthday. LaBena shares valuable caregiver tips she’s learned, in the form of “lessons” throughout the book as well messages of faith in the form of beloved biblical passages. Believers and non-believers alike can benefit from reading this story.
About the Author
LaBena Fleming was born in Detroit, Michigan, raised in Ravenna, Ohio, and presently resides in Richmond Heights, Ohio with her husband. LaBena received her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development from Notre Dame College of Ohio. She went on to earn master’s degrees in Education and Educational Administration from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. A former insurance industry professional, school teacher/administrator, and community education and outreach coordinator for an organ and tissue procurement organization, LaBena retired from her position as Provider Relations Manager/Community Outreach and Education Coordinator with Hospice of the Western Reserve in 2017. Retiring afforded LaBena the opportunity to serve as one of the caregivers for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
LaBena currently enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and granddaughter, public speaking, gardening, cooking, traveling, reading, and of course writing. Although she has always “dabbled” in writing; having written multiple poems and freelancing for a few greeting card companies, I Love You Always is her first book.