The First Wife is very special to me. For over a decade I watched my mother struggle with memory issues and confusion following a traumatic brain injury. This book is a tribute to her astounding recovery and her optimism and bravery in facing what she lost. I should also mention the devotion and courage of my father, who hung in there for her even when his patience ran thin. What astonished me most was how many other stories surfaced along the journey—way too many people have had to struggle through this terrible challenge. I raise a glass to all of you.
In a less serious vein, the home Lyle and Holly share in Los Angeles is actually the house my husband grew up in. I was able to visit there a few times before the family decided to sell it. It was a great property with spectacular views of the LA basin.
My husband attended college at UC Santa Cruz, where Holly and Lyle met. I was able to visit there on a great road trip he and I took up the California coast from LA to San Francisco. Santa Cruz is a charming town, and the college has a beautiful campus. Unfortunately, it is true that the school’s mascot is the banana slug, one of the world’s most homely beasts.
Finally, my brother and I grew up listening to Songs of Pogo, and loved the nonsense lyrics and funny tunes. The album disappeared, and was out of print for years, then not long ago rereleased on CD, which I promptly bought (and sent a copy to my brother). I think I came across it while I was writing the book and thought it would be fun to include as one of Holly and Lyle’s memories.
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