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Surviving Mother, by Gwen Head

Just as Deb and her mother Estelle are learning how to mesh their individual lives together, nature’s destructive hand comes down, leaving them to wait for a new hope, and help from unexpected others.

In Surviving Mother Gwen Head has written a story of life struggles, tragedy, and getting one’s life back together to move forward. Written with the caregivers of the world in mind, Head takes the reader into a daughter’s and mother’s life struggles, doubts, and hardships as they deal with the emotional ups and downs of living with Alzheimer’s Disease. In Surviving Mother we can all find a little inspiration that, in the end, we can all overcome even the toughest obstacles.

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“Once I got to know the characters, I found I couldn’t put it down. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of what happens when your parent becomes your child. It is something none of us can prepare for. For a person like Deb, who has never had children, it can be overwhelming. Ms. Head adeptly fleshes out her disparate characters, makes you fall in love with them, root for them, cry with them, and takes you on a journey that is profound. It is at times painful, funny, and completely fascinating. It begs a sequel. I cannot wait to read it.” ~ K. Michiel Cavuoti, Registered Nurse

“Excellent subject, timely and very well written. I would highly recommend it to all interested readers.” ~ Shirley Lyles, former Mason, Texas Librarian and San Angelo Standard Times Newspaper columnist.

Gwen L. Head was born Gwendolyn Kaye Ledbetter, a native Texan, born in 1947 to Dexter and Doris Ledbetter. She decided on her sixtieth birthday that she would complete the novel that she had started while her mother was living with her. Together with her mother, she experienced the emotional and financial devastation that Alzheimer’s Disease can bring to a family. Now, Alzheimer’s Disease has a voice.

A caregiver can get through this maze: be strong, exercise daily, eat well, rest when you can, talk to medical specialists, and talk to your friends, family and pastor.

Gwen lived with her husband Jerry (1949-2015) thirty miles from Austin, Texas with Debbie, their Rottweiler, and Buddy, a Bernese Mountain dog. And Gwen still lives there today. Learn more at

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