Where Bluebirds Gather
by Sandra White
“It gave years of vacuous nothingness, and those who loved them and cared for them, years of stress, fear, and feelings of helplessness.” These are the words a physician uses to describe Alzheimer’s Disease in my novel, Where Bluebirds Gather. This story portrays the life of Gladys Ames as she navigates her 87-year-long journey through life-years of joy and grief, victories and defeats, admirable gains and heartbreaking losses. The story follows her life as an inspirational journalist and a memorable writer. Throughout the book, the specter of Alzheimer’s appears-first afflicting Gladdie’s grandmother, then her dearest friend, and finally, Gladdie herself.
A Word from the Author
A lifetime is a complex journey. As I enter what is often termed the “twilight of life,” I think of the ups and downs of my journey over the years. This mental reminiscing inspired me to write my novel, “Where Bluebirds Gather.”
Although the book is fiction, various events in the life and career of the protagonist, Gladys (Gladdie) Ames, mirror some of my own life experiences. For example, I set the early years of the book in my hometown, although with a fictitious name, I was a journalist at one time, I met my husband the way Gladdie did in the book, and my husband and I really did get lost in Paris.
One of the major threads throughout the book, Alzheimer’s Disease, is not based on my life. Rather, it is the composite of stories from others I know or I have read about in my research of Alzheimer’s, which as stated by a physician in the story in describing this dreadful and feared disease, “It gave years of vacuous nothingness.”
(Sandra White, October 2017)