Elizabeth Van Ingen’s poignant memoir, Kismet: From the Joy of Romance to the Agony of Alzheimer's ($16.95), begins with a whirlwind romantic courtship in 1959, where she was dazzled and wooed by a handsome and confident Dutch-American businessman. Like many American women raised in the 1950s, Liz entered her marriage assuming her husband would lead, and she would unquestioningly follow.
When Tony retired, his moods became volatile and his behavior turned dangerously aggressive, frustrated by the loss of his reasoning and memory. The man Liz knew had deteriorated into a lost soul. But Liz was changing too. Even before Tony was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (a diagnosis he refused to accept), Liz had begun to assume responsibility. Finally, realizing she had to be the decision maker, she moved them to Colorado, where she helped him settle into a memory care facility.
After Tony's death in 2005, Liz grieved. But now, having successfully coped with the drama of her husband’s decline, she has emerged as a powerful, bruised but unbent woman. She now looks ahead to continuing adventures as a mother and grandmother. Kismet was recently selected as a finalist in the 2014 Colorado Book Awards Memoir category.
Elizabeth Gibbons Van Ingen is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. After living in many places in the world, adjusting to diverse traditions, and raising three daughters, she now lives and writes in the Denver area. She has been published in two anthologies: The Voices of Alzheimer’s and The Voices of Caregivers, edited by the Healing Project. This is her first book.