Madrona Resident Susan McCormick’s New Book
Granny Can’t Remember Me is a children’s picture book recently published by long-time Madrona resident, Susan McCormick. The book is a positive and helpful story about a young boy and his relationship with his grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. The idea for the story came to Susan as she watched her children’s relationship with her mother change as the Alzheimer’s disease progressed.
Before Alzheimer’s, Susan’s mother was sharp as a tack, especially when it came to finding the perfect word to describe something or a better way to organize a sentence. She was the one her sons turned to for help with homework since she always had the answer. But, when she developed Alzheimer’s, she could no longer remember which grandson was which. This was confusing to Peter and James (ages eight and eleven when she started to decline).
Susan, who works as a gastroenterologist at Virginia Mason and is a master at research, looked into ways to help her family relate to someone with memory loss. She discovered a few tricks that are illustrated in her book that helped her sons have happy visits with their grandmother and show that Alzheimer’s need not dim the powerful relationship between grandparent and grandchild.
For example, in the book, when the boys greeted their grandmother, they made sure to mention their names. This can help the person with Alzheimer’s avoid the need to ask, “Which one are you?” or “Who are you?”