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‘What will I carry forward?’ A journey through wilderness, dementia, and memory

caption: Left to right: Sheila and Steph Jagger
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1 of 2 Left to right: Sheila and Steph Jagger
Courtesy of Steph Jagger

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the United States. In a lethal progression, it kills brain cell connections and the cells themselves. It affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. In 2020, nearly 6 million Americans were diagnosed with it.

When Steph Jagger learned her 67-year-old mother Sheila was suffering from the disease, she searched for something they could do together to buffer the impending descent. She landed on a road trip into the wilds of nature and memory. She tells that story in her new memoir Everything Left to Remember: My Mother, Our Memories, and a Journey Through the Rocky Mountains.

My biggest fear is the fact that I live inside of a lineage of forgetfulness. I don’t want to forget. I want to remember. This desire is sewn into the fabric of my work, both as a coach and as a writer. -Steph Jagger

Steph Jagger is a former record-setting skier, a coach, and a mentor. She is joined here by writer and editor Joyce Chen, the executive director of Seventh Wave, an arts and literary non-profit. Their conversation touches on questions of self-care and care for others, mothering and wilderness, nature and nurture, inheritance and legacy, grief, and how to channel rage.

Third Place Books Ravenna presented this event on May 2, 2022. Author events manager Spencer Ruchti introduced the conversation.

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