Mary’s Gift: A Caregiver’s Journey of Love, Loss and Connection, began as a Master’s Degree project and includes newsletters and diary entries that chronicled her journey. Colleen wrote the book to offer support and inspiration to others facing the loss of a loved one from illnesses that causes memory loss like dementia. Colleen was selected by her mother to act as medical and durable power of attorney years before the family recognized her symptoms. Once the dementia symptoms could no longer be ignored, a journey began with inexorable changes, heart wrenching challenges and unexpected rewards. Finding no road map as a caregiver, Colleen walked through the months relying on intuition, common sense and her commitment to maintain her mother’s quality of life. With the urging of a supportive husband, she found ways to relate to and serve her mother’s needs without losing herself in the process of her own journey as a caregiver. The tenderness and connection that developed was unlike anything they had experienced as adults: the experience was Mary’s gift to Colleen, her last.