This excerpt was taken from Patricia Williams’ memoir While They’re Still Here. Her book is available now.
When Patricia Williams finds herself in the common, but unexpected position of caring for her aging parents, the task becomes more than simply nursing her parents’ needs. After decades of secrets and pain, Williams’ new role as caregiver becomes an opening to explore the past. As the layers of their family life peel back, honesty, healing and humor rise to the surface.
“ . . . amazing stories with captivating details surface, from the deeds both heroic and horrific her father witnessed in the Navy to her mother’s days as a singer, nightclub dancer, and model, along with the poverty both faced growing up in the Depression. The end result is an intimate oral history of a blue-collar, postwar American family revealed by the author in the same touching and heartbreaking manner it was disclosed to her. Both crushing and uplifting; an account nearly as emotional as the caregiver’s trials it vividly outlines.”—Kirkus Reviews
“With compassion and honesty, Williams shares how she navigated the complex journey with her parents during the last chapter of their lives”—Booklist