The Smallest Objective on CTV News for World Alzheimer’s Day

September 22 | 2020

I was delighted that CTV Montreal decided to interview me about my memoir, The Smallest Objective, for World Alzheimer’s Day. Thanks to news anchor Caroline Van Vlaardingen and the rest of the CTV team for helping to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s.

Here’s the link to the interview:

A date to remember—September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day

September 21 | 2020

My parents’ wedding day, one of the most treasured days in their lives, was one they eventually couldn’t recall. Both developed dementia in their later years, as recounted in my recently published memoir, The Smallest Objective. Today, September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day, please remember and support those people living with dementia, along with their caregivers. 

What we can do:

  • Talk to others about Alzheimer’s. Help to destigmatize the disease and raise awareness. 
  • Donate if you can to Alzheimer’s research. 
  • Support people with Alzheimer’s by offering friendship and other forms of support.

The Smallest Objective in the news!

September 16 | 2020

From Montreal to Toronto to Miramichi, New Brunswick, my new memoir, The Smallest Objective, is in the news with a special emphasis on World Alzheimer’s Month. Please enjoy the links below:

Objects & memory—the mind in flight

September 14 | 2020

I can no longer remember where I acquired the trio of buttons shown here. What I do recall is that I rediscovered them while writing my memoir, The Smallest Objective. In my mind, the buttons have become inseparable from my aunt Carol—the leading lady of the chapter “Lake Patzcuaro” and an early adopter of travel by plane in the late 1950s. The buttons have more recently assumed a further meaning—the yearning for take-off during these months of coronavirus. One day, I hope, this association, too, will be relegated to memory. During September, World Alzheimer’s Month, please remember those for whom the fullness of recall is permanently out of reach.

Flying buttons

My new memoir a suggested read for World Alzheimer’s Month

September 8 | 2020

I’m delighted that the Canadian book site 49th Shelf has chosen The Smallest Objective as one of five suggested reads for World Alzheimer’s Month:

Memory loss—my father’s last battle

September 7 | 2020

Dr. Archie Kirsch, my father, volunteered for Medical Corps in the Second World War and was commended for his bravery during the D-Day landing. Here he’s pictured in the London field hospital where he served as a doctor after having sustained a shrapnel injury while tending to wounded soldiers on Juno Beach, Normandy. In the 40 years I knew my father, he only once expressed fear—as a man in his eighties when his memory began to fail. “It’s frightening,” he told me. In my new memoir, The Smallest Objective, I recall my father’s words as he prepared to fight his last battle. This September, World Alzheimer’s Month matters more than ever as people with dementia have suffered disproportionately from Covid-19.

The Smallest Objective reviewed in The Miramichi Reader and Winnipeg Free Press!

September 2 | 2020

Please enjoy these two recent reviews of my memoir:

Let’s not forget to remember—September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September 1 | 2020

My mother, seen here as a young woman, had no trouble recognizing who she was—“myself,” as she wrote in this caption from her photo album The Story of My Life. She would never have imagined that her story would end with her forgetting her precise age, the season of the year, or the name of the serving prime minister. Yet such is the nature of dementia, an illness that afflicted my mother in her final years. As I discovered while writing my new memoir, The Smallest Objective, disease itself has no need of memory: “Illness shows no hesitation, not even illness that ravages memory. It needs no reminder, proceeding with certainty to its next move.”

The way summer lingers—my father’s memories of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts

August 24 | 2020

As we near the end of August, some of us may be recalling our childhood summers spent at camp in the Muskoka lakes or the Laurentian mountains. For my father, Archie, who suffered from dementia in his final years, the memory of his summers as a counsellor at Camp B’nai Brith remained vivid right to the last. In my new memoir, The Smallest Objective, I describe the setting of this camp where Simon, my father’s father, served as the second president: “The property was classic Laurentian and indistinct — scrappy conifers, low mountains sloping one into the other, a lake that didn’t conform to any known geometry.” Seen here is my father (right) in one of his favourite roles at camp—helping to oversee the kitchen. 

A common thread—my grandmother’s sewing box

August 17 | 2020

Like my new memoir, The Smallest Objective, my grandmother’s sewing box harbours many secrets. At first glance, the box and its contents appear ordinary: “The box in most ways aspires to nothing more than everyday life: the fraying threads, the small repairs, the effort to keep things, if not new, at least viable.” Nonetheless, over the centuries girls and women have safeguarded mementos in their sewing bags and boxes in the form of poems, love letters, or cherished pictures. My grandmother Rose’s sewing box, with its wicker handle and floral decal, likely dates from the 1930s. Beneath the sharps, yarn darners, spools of thread, thimbles, hooks and eyes is hidden a mechanism, covered in red silk. Revealed is “a musical sewing box, wound from the underside to produce a halting, delicately shaded tune. …”