An unstintingly honest and surprisingly humorous memoir that charts a couple’s parallel diagnoses of Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia.
In 2011, Leslie Davidson and her husband Lincoln Ford were enjoying retired life to the fullest as ardent outdoor enthusiasts, energetic travellers, and soon-to-be grandparents. But when Lincoln’s confusion became a concern and Leslie began to experience a hesitant leg and uncontrollable tremors in one arm, a devastating double diagnosis completely changed their life.
In this personal and unstintingly honest memoir, Leslie recounts the years that follow the diagnoses—her Parkinson’s and Lincoln’s Lewy body dementia—charting physical changes, mastering medications (and sometimes flubbing it), the logistical puzzles of caregiving, and the steady support of their close-knit community in the small town of Grand Forks in south central British Columbia.
She describes her struggle to maintain perspective while questioning what having perspective even means, and the work of being an advocate while needing an advocate. And she explains how, amid all the challenges and tears, shared laughter remained all-important to their survival, especially in times when Lincoln saw her as an imposter. She shares powerful lessons in love, courage, and grace from the man who had always led the way and who, despite the ravages of his illness, in many ways, still did.
At once poignant and unflinchingly frank Dancing in Small Spaces is the story of a long and adventurous marriage, of deep gratitude, and, ultimately, of writing one’s way toward understanding and acceptance.
LESLIE A. DAVIDSON
Leslie A. Davidson is the author of two children’s books, In the Red Canoe (Orca Books, 2016) and The Sun is a Shine (2021). Her essay “Adaptation” won the CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-fiction Prize and her work has been published in the Globe and Mail, Viewpoints and On the Move. Davidson is a retired elementary school teacher, a mother, and grandmother. She lives in Revelstoke, BC.
Facebook: Leslie A. Davidson
The Sun is a Shine, 2021. Orca Book Publishers.
In the Red Canoe, 2016. Orca Book Publishers.