Living Snoqualmie’s Regional Reads: Lynda Lahman’s Story of Love, Loss, and Memories

I’ll admit it, I sometimes judge a (literal) book by its cover, and I really shouldn’t. In this third installment of Regional Reads, I read a book by local author Snoqualmie resident Lynda Lahman.

The book description on Amazon says:

“What are the stories you hold that define you? What if – instead of helping you in life – they are holding you back and keeping you from connecting with those you love?

In ‘The Story: of Love, Loss, and Memories,’ Shelly must answer that question as she confronts the pressures from family members, all of whom are dealing with a loved one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Is she really the ‘good kid,’ or is that as much a story as her brother being the ‘troublemaker?’ And what happens when you can no longer remember who you are and forget your own stories?

Alzheimer’s robs one of memories over time and can often wreak havoc on the families affected. This dreaded disease becomes a catalyst for a deeper discussion of identity and love as Shelly tries to find the balance between being a devoted caregiver and holding boundaries against attack.”

I had a four-hour plane ride coming up and like to read something light and entertaining while doing so. My tastes run towards chic-lit like Jennifer Weiner or laugh-out-loud funny books by Mindy Kaling or Tina Fey.

This book didn’t seem like either of those things, so; I started it with a sigh thinking it would be heavy and depressing. To my surprise, the book was neither of those things, and I read half coming and half going with ease.

A Washington resident since 1985, Lahman has been a Snoqualmie Valley resident since shortly after meeting her second husband Terry in 2004. They married in 2005 and are now cohabitating on Sharkey Farm with daughter Kate, her husband Chris and their daughter Hattie.

Lynda learned how to ride bikes at fifteen when a boyfriend taught her on his Honda 50 but didn’t take it up seriously until she met Terry. She loves to hike, run, explore, ride motorcycles and is the first person to complete the eleven-day Iron Butt Rally as a pillion (twice) and as a solo rider (twice). She also enjoyed a 35-year career as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Skills Coach before retiring from Therapy in 2013.

Her fifth book, The Story: of Love, Loss and Memories, is a biographical fiction work that will resonate with anyone who has a person in their life struggling with memory loss of any kind, from any cause.

As I took my first rather uncomfortable post-pandemic flight, I found myself engrossed in the tale of Shelly grappling with a new reality abruptly cast upon her in a surprising phone call from the neighbor of her grandfather’s beloved widow Helen.

As Shelly and her husband Alan discover Helen’s new mental state and try to navigate the difficulties this causes for her life and theirs, they learn how to cope with long-standing familial issues. Healing some relationships, old traumas and leaving others in the past, for now.

The book is painful and poignant in some places and comical in others. You will likely see, as I did, glimpses of your own family in this profoundly relatable story. In the end, I found it comforting to know that Helen found peace, and Shelly learned lessons that helped her move forward in her own life.

None of us is fully prepared for the indignity life can throw at our parents or us as we age. This book calmly shows the reader; eventually, it will be alright. I highly recommend it.

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