Author: Leah Stanley
She was twenty-nine years old. She had been married a mere eight months. Suddenly her precious grandparents needed her help. Equipped only with the documents provided by their lawyer, Leah Stanley navigated Medicare and Medicaid in the dark of ignorance, working her way along the tangled path of providing care for her grandma and grandpa who were suffering with Alzheimer's and an unspecified form of dementia, respectively.
In Goodnight, Sweet, Leah explores the world of elder care where she found that making the right decision on behalf of someone else was not always an obvious choice, and along the way she discovered that not every family member shared her vision of loving the people who needed care but were instead dazzled by the notion of inheritance. At times she was able to stand on nothing more than faith in Jesus Christ, but Leah moved through one difficult day after another, until finally she was able to look back and realize that Jesus had stayed exactly where He said He would--carrying her through the dark waters so that she could survive the indescribable world of a caregiver.
Reviewer: Tiffany Crosby
This book is utterly relatable and thoroughly captivating. I couldn’t put it down. It feels like it could be anyone’s story and yet it is also uniquely Leah’s story. I felt as if I was journeying with Leah as she navigated the cruelties of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. As you read this book, your heart will break and your heart will be warmed in equal measure. You will come to appreciate the deep affection captured within the simple goodnight routine on which the title of the book is based. You will love certain characters such as Mack who demonstrates humility, compassion and sacrifice to help a family in need. And you will be shocked and dismayed by the uncaring, self-serving actions of others. It’s a book of contrasts where the best and worst of humanity come together. Beauty is found in the midst of tragic circumstances.
The emotional turmoil and faith challenge that Leah courageously shares provides you a window into the heart and soul of a Christian caregiver. It also reflects the tenacity of the human spirit, the power of love, and sustaining nature of a personal relationship with God. Leah’s new normal is anything but normal and yet, in the midst of all the stress and frustration, peace emerges.
This is a story that demanded to be told and deserves to be read by anyone who serves as a caregiver, knows someone who is a caregiver, or wants to improve their ability to relate to individuals in either of those categories. The support system that Leah had was pivotal to her being able to navigate this path. As such, we can learn a lot about how to come alongside others who are traversing hardships that we can scarcely imagine. I encourage you to not only read this book but to also allow it to challenge your own response to the tragedies that befall others. Adopt it as a book club or small group reading, discuss it with friends, and strengthen the net that some many have fallen through in the past.