They Left Us Everything; Plum Johnson
G.P. Putnam & Sons 2016
They Left Us Everything was such an enjoyable memoir. It's the kind of story that anyone dealing with eldercare issues should be able to relate to.
When Plum Johnson's 93 year old mother died, she took on the task of cleaning out the 23 room house her parents had raised the family in since 1950. Located in Toronto Canada on the shores of Lake Ontario, the location more than the house in its current state made it prime real estate property.
Plum was the oldest child, in her early 60's at the time of her mothers death. She had three younger brothers. For 20 years she had been caregiver to her parents, first to her father with dementia and after his death, to her demanding mother who lived 40 minutes away.
As Plum begins the task of cleaning out her parents home, each nook and cranny she shifts through, unearths memories and things about her parents she never knew. She sorts through personal letters and childhood memories which stir much emotion.
I loved this story from the family dynamics to how what she thought what would be a 6 week project took her16 months to complete An intimate look at the mother/daughter relationship, a journey on life and loss, and definitely a story that will make you appreciate the time spent with family while you have the chance.