Quality of Life
I am a member of an author group called AlzAuthors. This group is a compendium of authors who have personal experience on the Alzheimer’s caregiving path. To celebrate the group’s 3rd anniversary of existence as well as reaching out to those who might be looking for resources during June’s Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, many books are offered at a great discount and some are even free of charge!
This sale only runs from June 6th through June 12th so I encourage you to visit the site’s post that spotlights those books being discounted during this time. Click here to access the AlzAuthors post and grab yourselves a book or three for yourself or for someone you know who might benefit from the titles being offered. When you reach that site, clicking on each book’s cover takes you directly to the Amazon eBook purchasing discount.
I am privileged to be offering my own title at deep discounts during this sale. Requiem for the status quo is only $1.99 in eBook format on Amazon.com and if you’re craving the paperback version, my publisher, Black Rose Writing is offering that format at half-price. When you get to the checkout screen on my publisher’s website, be certain to put in the Promo Code ALZAUTHORS to receive the half-price discount.
Long distance relationships don’t always work out but the relationship I have with an Adelaide, Australia online magazine works to perfection. I’ve never wanted to be the selfish one in this relationship, but I feel I’ve received far more from it than they have.
A wee bit of history: I’ve been writing for this magazine off and on for some time and then late last year, Grandparents Day Magazine offered me my own column; my own byline. Now I’m guaranteed a page in every publication.
Then, just a couple weeks ago, the editors/founders of the magazine reached out to me wanting to promote a writers’ group to which I belong: AlzAuthors. AlzAuthors is made up of a compendium of authors who share their personal experiences with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to benefit others. Their motto is: To make a difference. One can sing a lonely song, but we chose to form a choir and create harmony.
So today’s celebration of kindness is two-fold: one, Grandparents Day Magazine generously reached out to me and the author group to which I belong; and two, AlzAuthors members chose to share their difficult Alzheimer’s disease journeys so that others could benefit from their vast experience – much of it learn-as-you-go. As a member of the AlzAuthors group, I can testify to the fact that once I had been through a family caregiving experience – for me it was for my father – I hoped it wasn’t for naught. Being able to share my experience with others through my novel’s publication just seemed right. The same can be said for the more than 150 books written by the AlzAuthors members.
And that, my friends, is my Kindness Fridays for this week.
Over the years I’ve discovered that when we are part of a community of people, our quality of life increases. The support of others can’t be beat. For me, community is like-minded people with a common thread through their lives that provide meaning and purpose for one’s day to day existence.
I found community in a writer’s group called AlzAuthors, a compendium of authors who have all been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. All of us authors share our experiences through our non-fiction and fiction works to bring knowledge, comfort, and understanding to those on a similar journey to the one we have already completed. Trust me, we all wish such a group were not necessary; that the common thread we share didn’t involve the always fatal disease of Alzheimer’s and related dementia; but it is necessary and we’re filling a need that as of this writing doesn’t show any chance of abating.
I’ve never met any of these authors – I live in Washington State and the rest of the authors represent just about every state in our nation – but because of our common journeys, we are members of a community. Are we all politically aligned identically to each other? Probably not. What about religious practices, do we follow the same spiritual practices as every member of the group? Hardly, but it doesn’t matter. What we have in common does matter: we are dedicated to encouraging and helping families and individuals whose lives have been interrupted by Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking for myself, I am so glad that my novel, Requiem for the status quo, can reflect the good and the bad decisions I made and other individuals made, so that those who are still on the Alzheimer’s journey might do better because they know better. I hope you’ll get to know us AlzAuthors through our website and that you’ll become an AlzAuthors Reader Community once you’ve browsed through our bookstore. Click here to go directly to the AlzAuthors Bookstore to find a library of books – more than 140 as of today – that link directly to Amazon or other purchase outlets.
So that’s it. This week I celebrate the kindness I have found in the AlzAuthors Community. Sure beats going it alone.
My husband says he’s not blind, but sometimes I’m not so sure. I mean, if he has perfect vision, albeit corrected by glasses, how can he not see what I see?
- No makeup whatsoever during the day unless I’m going somewhere or someone’s coming to our house. My face is multi-colored due to rosacea and sun damage. Without wearing liquid foundation, I’m a pretty scary sight to see. Apparently, the rose-colored glasses he wears don’t see those flaws.
- When my absolutely fabulous hair stylist cuts my hair a wee bit too short because Molly and I got to talking and I lost track of the time and how much hair she cut off, I return home with something just short of a buzz cut. I walk in the door apologizing before I can even say, “Hello, honey, I’m home!” Jerry takes one look at me and says, “I see you got your hairs cut and you got your money’s worth. It looks nice.”
- When I went through a period of very low body weight because of a medical condition, I focused on trying to gain weight because my clothes just hung on my bones. He said, “You are always beautiful to me, but I’d rather you be healthy and overweight than skinny and not well.”
- A year ago, I had some nasty skin cancer removed from my right shin/calf area. One year later, the scar is still horrendous in my eyes and I’d venture to say, in most peoples’ eyes. The other day we were shopping at Target and as we passed the racks of women’s shorts I said, “Not gonna buy me any of those. No one wants to see these legs.” His response, “I do.”
So there you have it, this absolutely non-critical, always complimentary husband of mine is probably someone I don’t deserve, but he married me so he’s stuck with me. When I’ve said those words to him in the past, he’s responded, “And you’re stuck with me, aren’t we lucky?”
My sister, Mary, is one of the kindest people I know. We are only eight months apart in age. You see, Mary was adopted by our parents after our mother suffered three miscarriages. Then, as oftentimes happens, once the adoption procedures commenced my mother got pregnant with me. Growing up, Mary and I always had each other as friends; we always had a playmate. People mistakenly thought we were twins; that’s how close we were, and still are.
So this wonderful, extraordinarily artistic sister of mine did something for me in response to my recent left eye cataract surgery. (See her website that spotlights some of her paintings.)
My siblings and I were raised as Roman Catholics. In our adulthood, we have followed different spiritual paths so that none of us follow the religion in which we were raised. With that said, however, Mary went to Mass the day after my eye surgery because she felt that our parents would also be there and would provide an added prayer boost to Mary’s intentions.
My sister feels very strongly about her connection with our long-deceased parents as prayer partners during Mass and has gone an additional time just this week with the intention that my left eye experiences 100% healing. She will also go next Wednesday so that my right cataract surgery that takes place the day before (April 17th) will be a complete success with no complications.
Mary has a very full and busy life with 5 children and 9 grandchildren. She volunteers every Tuesday morning to collect donated food from local grocery stores for her church’s lunch ministry. She is very attentive to her mother-in-law whose failing health requires a great deal of Mary’s and her husband’s time. She drives friends to doctor appointments, babysits her grandchildren…you get the idea. She’s busy, so adding yet another To Do to her growing list of responsibilities truly says a lot about her.
To be sure, we need more people like my sister who is the embodiment of kindness. Mary’s light shines in many places, near and far, a light that has landed on many over the years.
“Do you have any other coupons?” the salesperson asked.
“Why, no, just the one.”
“You can ask me.”
Not certain what I was supposed to do at that point I asked, “Do you have any coupons?”
Yep, she sure did, which she scanned bringing the price of the item even lower…almost to the point where I was wondering if they would owe me money, rather than the other way around.
The salesperson didn’t have to be generous and kind like that, but she was.
And that’s my Kindness Friday for this week. Don’t you just love it?
The best way to paint this picture is to assume you’re in the kitchen, you pull out a gallon of milk from the refrigerator, take it to the counter to pour yourself a glass of milk and the full glass of milk spills on the counter, over the edge of the counter, and onto the kitchen floor.
If another family member is in the near vicinity, that family member intervenes, tells the person who inadvertently spilled the milk to leave the kitchen, and the other family member cleans it up.
“But Mom, I spilled it, I should have to clean it up.”
“You didn’t do it on purpose, Irene. You already feel bad for spilling the milk, let me lessen your burden by cleaning it up for you.”
And that’s what happened throughout my childhood, and it’s what happens now in my adulthood. A little kindness goes a very long way…all the way from Grandma Conroy’s Edmonton, Alberta kitchen in the 1920s thru 1940s, all the way to mine in Redmond, Washington in the 21st-century.