The life of a young man changes in many ways after his father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is placed in a nursing home’s care. As the disease progresses, he loses the father as well as the family he had known. He must also help his mother, who has not accepted the disease’s consequences.
The son tries to find meaning in his visits with his father after his father becomes unresponsive, and he finds a spiritual connection. He clings to stories his father told and learns to value his heritage. He learns to let go when he visits his father alone for the last time and is drawn back to his mother by the grief they share. In the end, he finds a sense of relief from a final conversation.
Released in February 2017.
Midwest Book Review: “A compelling and all-to-real circumstance experienced personally by an aging Baby Boomer population, Breakfast at the Good Hope Home is comprised of Mike Bayles’ free verse poetry that takes a unique approach to telling this compelling story in a unique and effective way. … An absolutely absorbing, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, Breakfast at the Good Hope Home will have a very special appeal for anyone having to deal with placing a loved one in an assisted living facility, especially if dementia is involved. Unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library contemporary poetry collections … ‘I say I’m family, and a nurse buzzes me / into the ward / locked for their protection. / Patients wandering through hallways groan, / and I wonder about the worlds / they inhabit and languages / without words. / They pass each other without acknowledgment, / to the smell of bleach and poop.’”