Winter Stars: An elderly mother, an aging son, and life's final journey (Paperback)
"Winter Stars is a gift - a modern classic of frontier literature documenting the uncertain journey into the country of caregiving." -Michael J. Fox
Dave Iverson was a busy broadcast journalist recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease when he decided to do something he'd never quite imagined: He moved in to take care of his 95-year-old mom. Winter Stars is the moving story of their ten-year caregiving journey.
"The resulting memoir is a love story you won't soon forget," writes Elizabeth Farnsworth, former chief correspondent for The PBS NewsHour and author of A Train Through Time.
By the end of this decade, 74 million Americans will be over the age of 65, including every member of the Baby Boom generation. The pandemic prompted more Americans to consider caring for their parents at home, but as Iverson learned, the gritty, life-changing reality caregiving delivers requires more than good intentions. He didn't know that his mom's dementia would pose more challenges than his Parkinson's. He didn't know he'd be capable of getting so angry. He didn't know that becoming a caregiver means experiencing love and loss, anger and insight - usually when exhausted and often on the same day. And he didn't know that moving in with his mom would challenge and change him more than any other life experience.
"A deeply moving memoir, Winter Stars is still more than that - it is a guide to finding the help we all need, in one way or another, as life poses new and different challenges," praises Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent, NPR
For the vast number of families who are confronting--or will soon confront - the journey of eldercare, Winter Stars offers an intimate, unvarnished portrait of the challenges, choices, and life lessons that lie ahead.
"Honest, comforting, and true, Winter Stars is a testament to the power of family love," says Ann Packer, best-selling author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier and Songs Without Words.
All royalties from the sale of Winter Stars go to support: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; Dance for PD; and Avenidas, a San Francisco Bay Area organization providing caregiver support.
About the Author
David Iverson is a writer, documentary film producer/director, and retired broadcast journalist. During his career, he produced and reported more than 20 documentary specials for PBS, including the Frontline film, My Father, My Brother and Me, which explored his family’s battle with Parkinson’s disease, and the national Emmy award-winning The Thirty Second Candidate. Iverson was a radio and television host for 35 years, first at Wisconsin Public Broadcasting and then at San Francisco’s NPR affiliate KQED. He’s also served as a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He’s currently a contributing editor at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, where he was a founding member of the foundation’s Patient Council. Winter Stars is Iverson’s first book.
"Winter Stars is a gift — a modern classic of frontier literature documenting the uncertain journey into the country of caregiving. That Dave walked this path while himself living with neurological illness is remarkable, but his story will resonate with everyone who has grappled up close with a parent or loved one’s end of life. Adelaide Iverson comes through on the page as vividly as she must have in life — this is a portrait that would do any mother proud. I’m grateful to Dave for sharing his fresh and honest take on sickness and health, mothers and sons, and the deeply sustaining bonds of familial love." —Michael J. Fox
"My former PBS colleague Dave Iverson, whom I have known as a gifted broadcaster and filmmaker, decided at age 59 to move in with and care for his equally determined 95-year-old mother, whose dementia was eroding her quick wit and intelligence. Winter Stars recounts Dave’s caregiving odyssey, which, over ten years, broke open his heart. The resulting memoir is a love story you won't soon forget." —Elizabeth Farnsworth, former chief correspondent for The PBS NewsHour and author of A Train Through Time
"Dave Iverson is like a friend who's been to a place you'd rather not go, but likely will: caring for an elderly parent. His caregiving memoir Winter Stars shows you around with honesty and humor. At age 59 he moved into his childhood home and took care of his mother for ten years, plenty of time for fearsome decision-making, happy and sad surprises and new depths of love. Your own caregiving experience will vary, and Iverson's gentle guidance is invaluable." —Sheila Himmel, author of Changing the Way We Die and Hunger: A Mother and Daughter fight Anorexia
"Winter Stars is the story of the indomitable Adelaide, a woman of the American century who is nearing her own century mark, and her son Dave, who puts his own busy life on pause to become her full-time caregiver. In so doing, Dave enters a world where he learns that loyalty and love are not always enough. A deeply moving memoir, Winter Stars is still more than that — it is a guide to finding the help we all need, in one way or another, as life poses new and different challenges." —Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent, NPR
"Dave Iverson has written a wise and wonderful ode to one of the most memorable women ever to grace the pages of a memoir—his indomitable mother. Winter Stars is the heartfelt and, at times, heart-wrenching, story of a grown man who moves back home to take care of his 95-year-old mom. It is a beautifully written, utterly unconventional love story that ultimately confirms the notion that a life worth living will eventually break your heart, but it will fill your heart before it breaks it. Anyone who has ever been a son or daughter—which, I believe, includes most of us—will love riding along with Dave and Adelaide. It's the trip of a lifetime." —Steve Hannah, former CEO of The Onion and award-winning author of Dairylandia
"Winter Stars provides an intimate firsthand account of living with someone with dementia, a condition the WHO forecasts will substantially increase in the years ahead. This is a global emergency, and author Dave Iverson has written a keenly observed and nuanced account of that experience. There is so much warmth and humility in this story about a mother and son treading a changing path, one that will be a tremendous source of support for those of us touched by loved ones who are themselves aging." —Dr. Claire Henchcliffe, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, University of California Irvine
"Compelling in sharing admiration for the women in his life, Iverson’s monumental memoir about assuming a caregiver’s role is marked by complexity, love, and humor... Winter Stars is the elegant memoir of a relatable caregiver who spent a decade caring for his ailing mother." —Melissa Wuske, Foreword Reviews