In today’s economy, taking care of a family with an active employment is hard as it is; however, imagine how difficult it would be if you are unemployed or retired. Add dementia to the equation and you have got yourself the recipe of We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White. Gil McGillicuddy is a retired veteran whose brain is surrendering to dementia every day. He has a son, Robert, and a daughter, Allyson. His daughter lives far from him. Robert is living close to his father and takes care of him with all his might and heart. Robert himself is a father of two daughters: Heather and Ruby.
Apart from taking care of his dad, which extracts most of his strength and time, Robert has one more trouble knocking on his door. Ruby is pregnant with the child of Cody, her boyfriend. Cody is a drug addict and is in no way in the condition of taking care of Ruby and their child. Therefore, after consulting with her dad, she decides to live with him for a while. Robert is left to decide how would he take care of his father and daughter with only a little money left to his name. As if this wasn’t enough, an old rival is tracking Robert and he has a fatal plan to turn his life upside down. In the midst of all this drama, Robert spends whatever time is left in his hands on writing his blog, which he uses to point out the unjust ways of the government.
As the author writes about Gil’s uncomfortable old age, my mind drifted to my grandfather. I could not help but relate Gil’s emotional conversations to that of my own grandfather. The way in which Gil’s face lights up every time he sees his family is closely related to most of the grandparents. I am confident that this would resonate with other readers as well. The author has done an incredible job of explaining everyday struggle that an old man goes through to complete even the most basic chores. An old age is hard as it is, the addition of dementia doesn’t help either. The conversation of Gil and Robert, where Gil mentions that he feels the need to keep giving money to his daughter and her children because he doesn’t want them to forget him, is exceptionally sentimental.
Although Robert is doing everything in his power to help his father, he finds himself strained and sometimes powerless. With the passing of each day, the condition of Gil is deteriorating. Nevertheless, Robert faces his dad’s condition and his daughter’s problems head on. He does what must be done without complaints. The bond that he and his father share is also quite amusing to read. The author has included many moments and conversations between the two of them that helped me connect with both of them. Additionally, these moments are so well written that I could actually picture them as a father and son.
How the life of a teenager changes with the addition of a newborn baby in her family is another beautifully covered aspect in the book. When Ruby has a child, her teenage daughter (Sapphire) finds herself filled with many emotions. She is going through her own set of problems, but with the arrival of a sister, she gets a new responsibility — take care of her baby sister and help her exhausted mother.
The plot moves at a constant pace that never feels overwhelming. The conversations are realistic and the characters are believable. The description of the places and weather is poetic sometimes. As a reader, I found such description quite refreshing and soothing. The moment I picked up the book, I could not put it down before reaching the end. This, to me, is what makes We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White a deserving candidate for 4 out of 4 stars.
P.S. This book was an “OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day”.
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