Posts Tagged ‘Come Back Early Today’

The Funniest Book Review Ever!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The following review of my book (Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy) by Craig Thomas is the funniest one I’ve ever received: “Once I started, there was absolutely no way to stop reading this book until its final page. The house is a mess and I don’t care! Brava!”

 

How I Accidentally Wrote a Caregiving Book

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

When I wrote Come Back Early Today, I wrote it mainly as a love story. However, most people who have reviewed the book have focused on its value to caregivers. The following review by Ann McHugh of Overland Park, KS, illustrates that point.

This book is a must read for caregivers of dementia patients! It provides great insight into the difficult path that Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers must face, and it is intertwined with a beautiful love story. It made me laugh and it made me cry, all at the same time! I watched my mother descend into a similar journey with dementia, and I wish my family and I had read it while she was alive. It gave me a deeper understanding of my feelings, and the frustrations that my mother faced daily, as her mind simply deteriorated, seemingly before our eyes. It also put my mind at ease, in some
ways. I realized that, although these patients fret and worry a great deal, they are also capable of feeling joy. Marie Marley found a way to celebrate the joys of life, at any level of coherence, and capitalize on those moments. She found a way to improve the quality of her loved one’s life through those moments.

This book is informative and very supportive for caregivers. It put things in a new perspective for me. It still makes me sad to think of all the patients, caregivers and families who must cope with this cruel disease. It is difficult to watch the mind of our loved ones deteriorate, no matter how you look at it. But I feel more at peace after reading this book. I realize that many of the struggles we face as caregiver’s of patients with Alzheimer’s are OUR struggles. The patient truly lives moment to moment. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Book to Be Featured on Maria Shriver’s Home Page

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Sometime within the next week or two an article about Come Back Early Today will be featured on Maria Shriver’s website home page. I’ll send the link as soon as it’s published. (Her website is extremely popular and I anticipate selling several books.) The article to be featured there is actually a synopsis of the book.

The Funniest Review I’ve Ever Received!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

The following review by Craig Thomas is the funniest one I’ve ever received: “Once I started, there was absolutely no way to stop reading this book until its final page. The house is a mess and I don’t care. Brava.”

Go to Amazon.com and type my name in the search box to read all 34 reviews of Come Back Early Today.

 

 

The Little Yellow One: An Award-Winning Story

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

In my last post I mentioned that two stories from Come Back Early Today won honorable mention in the Writers-Editors Network International Awards Competition. One of the stories was “The Little Yellow One.”

This story is about how depressed I was about Ed’s condition, especially the fact that I could no longer have a meaningful conversation with him. I knew I’d never be able to accept his condition.

Then one day on a whim I bought him a little stuffed chick even though I was pretty sure he’d be offended by the gift. But how wrong I was. He absolutely loved it! So I started taking him more stuffed animals and I started interacting with him as though he were a young child.

The results were wonderful. He was so happy. And soon I began to realize I had accepted his condition and I had found new ways to interact with him – ways that were satisfying to both of us. Just seeing him smile and hearing him laugh had become more than enough to make up for losing our previous relationship.

Our love had adapted and endured despite this last and most challenging situation it would ever face.

Come Back Early Today Has Become an Award-Winning Book

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I am very humbled by the fact that Come Back Early Today has become an award-winning book that has placed four times in three writing competitions.

It is a Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards finalist and an Eric Hoffer First Horizons Award finalist. The First Horizons award is for first-time authors.

More recently I excerpted two stories from the book and rewrote them to be stand-alone pieces, then I submitted both of them  the Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that both stories were given honorable mention status!

Alzheimer’s and Grief: Anguish Over Multiple Losses – Part I

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Note: This is Part I of a tw0-part series on Alzheimer’s and grief

When Ed, my soul mate of 30 years, developed Alzheimer’s I sank deeper into despair each day. I was thinking a lot about grief related to loved ones with dementia. How you lose them little by little, but they’re still there. I was thinking about how many years the grief may last before they finally die, and then you have to begin grieving all over again.

Death is typically a clear starting point for grief, and it’s clear that eventually there will be more or less an end to it. But with dementia, loss comes in bits and pieces and drags on and on for many years long before the person even dies. One can feel completely overwhelmed by the prospect of so many years of grieving.

Grieving the Loss of the “Previous Person”  

When a loved one is showing clear signs of dementia that person begins to fade away, resulting in feelings of loss and despair. And there are so many losses over time. These may include things such as negative personality changes, not being able to have meaningful conversations, and, in many cases, the person with dementia not even recognizing loved ones.

This type of grief continues as the patient declines little by little. It seems that every time a caregiver is able to come to terms with the person’s level of functioning, they get worse. One way to deal with these continuing losses is to learn to let go of the “previous person” and learn to love and cherish the new person just as he or she is. This process, which can be very difficult to master, must be repeated over and over as the disease advances.

My personal experience, as I describe it in Come Back Early Today, was that I could reach Ed again when I began to interact with him as though he were a toddler. I took him little stuffed animals, which he absolutely loved. Then I started to play with him and the stuffed animals, and I invented other little games to play with him. We both enjoyed it immensely. My pain at losing the “old Ed” was significantly decreased as I saw how much joy I could bring to my “new Ed.”

Life Goes On

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

January 13th was the fifth anniversary of Ed’s death, and I’m sorry to have to report that I did not remember the passing of this great man. It’s true I broke my foot in December and was still hobbling around in one of those big black boots, but never did I think I’d forget his passing. But as they say, “Life Goes on,” and I guess this is proof.

To mark the anniversary belatedly I’d like to quote from the book review I received from Reader’s Favorite:  “Above all, Come Back Early Today is a tribute to a remarkable and unforgettable man, who still knew and expressed joy even on the last day of his life.” That sentence always brings tears to my eyes, and especially so today.

Rest in peace, Ed, and know I will never forget you, even if I did forget your anniversary.

 

Book Successes to Share

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I have a couple of book successes to share today. First of all, Come Back Early Today has been named a finalist in the Santa Fe Writer’s Project Literary Awards. The official awardees will be named next month, so please keep your fingers crossed! I never expected to win any literary award, but it looks as though people are starting to pay attention to the book.

The other bit of good news is that an article of mine, “Conducting” an Emotional Visit to My Beloved Romanian Soul Mate, was recently published on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. (http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2012/01/alzheimers-and-music-conducting.html.) The Alzheimer’s Reading Room is the number one source of news for the entire Alzheimer’s community.  It was the 5th one of my articles to be published there and it brought numerous visitors to this web site. Book marketing is hard work but I plan to keep it up and never stop!