Quality of Life
In celebration of the many former and current family caregivers in the world, and in honor of their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, AlzAuthors has released the eBook of Volume II of Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving Stories. The introductory price is only $1.99. Be sure to get your copy now!
I absolutely love seeing a variety of age groups doing something grand for others. We all have the same number of hours in a day and choosing to use a few of those hours to benefit others can go a long way toward improving our little corner of the world. I hope this story about a very industrious young man who lives not far from me, impresses you as much as it did me.
Last week’s good news spotlighted a couple in their 100s who got married to live happily ever after in their remaining years. This week’s post spotlights the wedding industry again but shines the light on an unexpected flower girl who nailed her flowery performance!
This story warmed my heart in a very big way. The newly married bride is 103 and her groom is 100. Between the two of them, they have four spouses whom they loved dearly before they departed this earth. It looks like these two love birds hold the secret to happily ever after. Wait until you read about their Ohio-based love!
How often have you felt defeated because your day-to-day existence is somewhat routine and boring?
The life of a family caregiver, attending to a loved one with a disease or malady that is all-encompassing, is never Same-O Same-O. Any semblance of status quo flies out the window shortly after taking on this learn-as-you-go caregiver role. The boring life about which the family caregiver used to complain no longer exists as she or he memorializes that long-abandoned way of living. My memorial to status quo existed while attending to my father during his Alzheimer’s journey.
Requiem for the Status Quo speaks of that memorial to things that once were.
Starting Friday, June 21st, the longest day of the year AND The Longest Day as celebrated in honor of those who have Alzheimer’s or other dementia or who have lost their lives to this always fatal disease, several AlzAuthors will be discounting their books so you will want to fill your shelves – virtual or otherwise – with several excellent sources of support.
These authors will generously discount their books for an entire week. Set your calendars so you don’t forget!
The link to these discounted books will be provided soon!
I’m a writer and a published author so when independent bookstores can thrive in this 21st century, Amazonian world, I enjoy celebrating with them. This local bookstore proves you can be small but still make a grand impression. I love this type of good news! And by the way, I recently published the 2nd edition of my novel, Requiem for the status quo, a book I wrote to honor my father’s Alzheimer’s journey. Yes, it’s available on Amazon, but it’s also available at the independent bookstore featured in this week’s edition of Good News!
In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, New York Times columnist and author, David Brooks, eloquently responded to Oprah’s statement where she said, “I hear that authors write the books they need to read.” Mr. Brooks’ response:
We writers are beggars who tell other beggars where we found bread.
He further explained that statement by saying:
We found it here, we want to share it with you.
That is what the more than 200 AlzAuthors have in common. Each author may describe their quest or mission somewhat differently, but no doubt many of them would agree that the impetus to write about their personal experiences was a call to action they could not ignore.
As a member of the AlzAuthors community, I personally feel that the more mainstream the conversation surrounding the Alzheimer’s and dementia experience becomes, the more the AlzAuthors’ vision will be realized:
Our vision is to lift the silence and stigma of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
May you find sustenance within the AlzAuthors community.
A New Jersey mom took her son to a skate park on his fifth birthday as recommended by her son’s behavior therapist who is treating the youngster’s autism and ADHD. You will perhaps be surprised by how her son was treated by some older boys who frequented this same skate park. Read all about it here.
Although my novel, based on my own caregiving experiences for my father, focuses on the challenges faced by those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, it also benefits Every Caregiver – that universal person who finds her or himself as the primary individual caring for a loved one with a debilitating illness.
My prayer is that Requiem for the status quo helps everyone struggling to balance their own needs with that of their loved one.
This story from The Week really made my day when I read it. I hope you feel the same way!
Dan Laguardia went to a California dealership with plans to trade in his 2005 Toyota Scion and buy a new auto. Then he saw another customer walk out crying and asked a salesman what had happened. Laguardia, 49, discovered that Kayla Cooper – a struggling 22-year-old nursing student with two jobs – was upset because she couldn’t afford a down payment and didn’t know how she was going to get to work. Knowing he had to do something, Laguardia asked the salesman to call Cooper and then offered her his old Scion for free, no strings attached. The delighted Cooper called the gift “the biggest blessing of my life.”
This week’s story comes to us from the UK where a supermarket chain pulled out all the stops to keep a woman on staff, regardless of her limitations. It is not often that a person’s company feels like family, but that was definitely the case for Ms. Salomon’s working experience.
Who doesn’t like a little pampering now and then? A Stanwood, WA retirement community believes everyone should feel a sense of worth and pride when it comes to appearance, knowing that it’s not just how you look that is most important, it’s how you feel. I am quite certain you will love this story that celebrates the gift of volunteerism.
A subscription-only magazine, The Week, provides this week’s good news:
Bill Waldschmidt used to work on classic cars, but now he’s fixing a different mode of transportation. The retired Minnesota engineer contracted polio at age 4 and spent most of his childhood on crutches. He regained enough strength to walk as an adult, but 10 years ago, post-polio syndrome put him in a wheelchair.
With a new sense of purpose, he removed the vintage cars from his garage and began buying and refurbishing power wheelchairs, which he then gifts to people who can’t afford them. “He’s the kindest man on the planet,” said Don Johnson, a disabled Vietnam vet, and owner of Waldschmidt’s chairs.
Thank you, Bill, for contributing so much to so many!
Sometimes statements or concepts I hear repeatedly over the years suddenly come to mean something new to me and when they do, wow! My life is set on edge, but in a good way.
I was listening to a podcast the other day focused on the concept of stress and anxiety in the workplace and in our private lives. The statement, “We oftentimes declare time to be our enemy when we have so very much to do and so little time in which to do it” came up and suddenly, a new perspective about time settled within my thoughts and within my heart, which made me boldly declare out loud:
Time is my very good friend, because I still have time.
That was it – very simple – but I know the reason for that revelation came about because as of January 24, 2019, my extraordinary sister-in-law, Wendy, no longer had time at her disposal. I know Wendy wanted more time to spend with her husband, three adult children, her sisters and brothers, her good friend Gary who also happened to be her boss, and so many other people she cherished, and who cherished her. But through no fault of her own, decades of life were stolen from her by the ugly injustice of cancer.
I cared for my sister-in-law greatly. I choose to honor her by respecting the time with which I have been gifted, just as Wendy so beautifully spent the time given her.
Won’t you do the same?
The first Good News Story of March is something I personally witnessed. The greater Seattle area of Washington State experienced a Snowmageddon of sorts the beginning of February resulting in many places, including my neighborhood, receiving two feet or more of snow. One thing we’ve learned living in this neighborhood is that if even 1/4 of an inch of snow falls, our Waste Management service ceases, so much so that we just went three entire weeks without garbage and recycling service because the company’s policy is to protect their drivers from snow and ice incidents in their vehicles.
I get that, but those super heavy vehicles were no match for the rinky dinky mail carrier truck that made it to our mailbox every day of Snowmageddon, not missing a day of mail delivery service. I witnessed our mail carrier (a slightly older gentleman) climb over snow berms in front of neighborhood mailboxes and I also saw him park his truck at a cul-de-sac he couldn’t drive into, haul the mail for those mailboxes on that closed off street, and deliver each and every piece of mail to those residents.
Good News delivered by a dedicated postal carrier. Isn’t that grand?
Last week’s good news focused on a child’s kind efforts towards vulnerable adults; this week’s news features how an adult in Lafayette, Indiana was able to lighten a young child’s bad day.
A young boy got home from school – it’s not clear whether anyone was at home with him at the time – but he had experienced a bad day at school so he called someone who could help: a 911 dispatcher. This brief article – and the even briefer audio of the call – clearly shows how a little kindness can make the difference in a person’s day. I’m glad the dispatcher chose to help, rather than reprimand, this boy who wasn’t in an emergency situation but needed support nonetheless. Enjoy.
Good news abounds in Harrison, Arkansas, and a 5th grader is the one who set this story in motion.
Ruby Kate Chitsey spends lots of time in nursing homes because her mother is a nurse practitioner and Ruby Kate loves to join her mother while she’s at work. Ruby noticed something at nursing homes that wasn’t getting the attention she felt it deserved. Wait until you read this brief story about how this young girl took charge of making life in nursing homes better for those who live within.
Requiem for the status quo was picked up by a publisher two years ago this month. The eBook and audiobook will continue to be available on Amazon through Black Rose Writing until the end of 2019. I am arranging for different publishing options for the paperback version, however, and will be releasing that paperback later this year.
In the meantime, my publisher and I reduced the paperback price for the month of February so those who want to add this book to their library can do so at a discounted price. If you are a Prime member, shipping is FREE! When I self-publish my novel I’ll be sure to send out an announcement so you’ll again have access to the paperback version through Amazon. And of course, the eBook is still available on Amazon and will continue to be available forever and a day. (I will self-pub the eBook at the end of the year.)
Let these recent reviews encourage you to get your copy today!
Jill W. I’ve never written a review when I’m only halfway through a book, but I wanted the author to know sooner rather than later, how much her book has affected me emotionally. My family has been dealt the dreaded card of dementia so reading REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO has been difficult since we’re living Coleen and Patrick’s nightmare now. I find myself only able to read pieces at a time because the author has done a superb job of making Patrick and his family’s battle with this horrible disease, so real. Last night as I read, I found myself laughing and then crying. This book is a must read for anyone touched by Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Ann C. Irene Frances Olson writes believable fiction. Her characters are kind, funny and endearing — even in their flaws. When Colleen takes over her father Patrick’s caregiving because of his advancing memory issues, the reader can’t help but be moved by the tender relationship between them. The effervescent Colleen finds herself in a challenging life situation — pulled between her father’s condition, her working life, her brother’s disdain for her father’s illness and her own desire for companionship. Having experienced the devastation that Alzheimer’s can bring to a family, it was both heartbreaking and a joy to follow Colleen’s path. Yes, there was loss, but the author helps us see the beauty and courage in facing the inevitable challenges of aging and how it’s possible to do it with grace and love.
Jason This book is about the many faces of Alzheimer’s, from those how bear the thief in their brain to those who must cope with and care for loved ones. The story is straightforward and written with love, it is a daughter’s anthem of love for her father while also being a support for others facing the journey of incremental loss. Colleen describes it best when she identifies Alzheimer’s as a thief robbing us of our memories and our future. If you or a loved one are walking this journey, this story is sure to give both a sense of how to make this journey possible and how to mourn with others on the path.
The more I examine good news, the more I am convinced that it does not take extraordinary efforts to be the producer of such news.
Case in point: recently during a fallen officer procession in Birmingham, Alabama, an officer stood at attention in the pouring rain, drenched to the skin. Her dilemma did not go unnoticed. A perfect stranger rectified the situation showing respect for her, and respect for the fallen officer. You can read all about it right here.
I am so thrilled to offer this local story in a town called Lake Stevens where both of my husband’s daughters live. We take for granted the comfort and warmth of our homes or apartments when some people’s reality is not having any way in which to heat their abodes. This featured family is chopping hundreds and hundreds of cords of wood and giving it away to anyone who needs it. Their good deeds have been featured nationally and in other countries. One of the family members was astounded at the reach of their simple act of kindness. “It’s amazing to see because a lot of people out there don’t believe that good exists, and we’re showing that it still does,” said Henry.
Good news travels fast, yes?