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Archive for the ‘Aging Parents’ Category

Alzheimer’s was… | by Linda Brendle

Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.

Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.

Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.

Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.

Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.

But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.

In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.

While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.

The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.

As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.

When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.

Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.

I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.

Read more about my family’s fight with Alzheimer’s in Mom’s Long Goodbye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort released by Anaiah Press on March 12, 2019. Ebook now available at Amazon; print format available soon.

Blessings,

Linda

MLG_Final

Buy it at Amazon

What was Alzheimer’s to our family? | by Linda Brendle

new-book-coming-soonI announced a couple of weeks ago that Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit more about the book:

Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.

Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.

Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.

Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.

Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.

But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.

In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.

While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.

The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.

As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.

When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.

Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.

I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.

A beautiful cover is in the works. I will let you see it as soon as the final version is ready.

Blessings,

Linda

I Have News! | by Linda Brendle

Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit about the book:

Mom’s good-bye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. This is her story and mine.

My first memoir, A Long and Winding Road, told of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. It also told of the years and the life experiences that brought these four people together. After finishing it, many readers asked what happened next. Mom’s Long Good-Bye is the rest of the story.

Based on blog posts written as the events happened, this memoir takes the reader through grieving a continuous loss, some of the initial changes Alzheimer’s causes, the transition from caregiving to assisted living, Dad’s death, Mom’s last year, and the grief and closure of her final good-bye.

This book is for the millions who have experienced the heartache of witnessing the physical and mental deterioration of a loved family member or a dear friend. Mom’s Long Good-Bye strips away the façade of being the perfect caregiver and gives the reader a look at the denial, the anger, and the fear that come as a loved one loses herself a piece at a time to an insidious disease. By sharing her own struggles, the author assures other caregivers that they are not alone, that perfection is not required, and that comfort is real.

The cover will be revealed soon. Watch for it!

Blessings,

Linda

Cover

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Where Am I? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 31, 2017:

elderly-hands-drivingLast week at the Senior Center several of us had a conversation about knowing when it was time to take the keys away from aging parents. I suspected the time was growing near for Dad several years before I actually took the step. Riding with him became a test of nerves. He often became confused about where to turn or when to exit, and he would stop in the middle of the road while he tried to figure out where he was going. Sitting in a stopped vehicle in the middle of Hwy 635 tends to make a person think that maybe the time has come. (more…)

Photo Memories of Mom’s 90th Birthday | by Linda Brendle

Mom was born 94 years ago today. On her last birthday this side of Heaven we had a birthday party for her, and the following year, I shared some of the pictures with you. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, so I thought I’d share them again. (more…)

Quotes and Tips for Caregivers – A Safe Place | by Linda Brendle

Telling our stories

One of the most healing experiences in my caregiving journey has been sharing my story through my blog and my book. Not only is it a cathartic process as I work through the joys and sorrows of my years with Mom and Dad, but the responses I receive are also healing. When someone tells me that my stories have helped them in their own struggles, it helps to give meaning to what seemed like a meaningless journey through Alzheimer’s and dementia.

My sharing didn’t begin with my writing, though. I first learned to share my stories in a caregiver support group in my church. It was a safe place where I could talk about my hurts and fears with people who understood what I was going through because they were going through similar things. It was a place where people listened and a place where I didn’t feel so alone. If you haven’t found a safe community where you can share your story, I encourage you to make that a priority in the New Year. You will be blessed.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available in ebook format at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

Quotes from A Long and Winding Road – Navy Showers | by Linda Brendle

Navy Showers

What I failed to consider is that nothing is easy when Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia are involved. Personal hygiene was a continuing issue, both during our seven-week RV trip and throughout the many years I cared for Mom and Dad. Caregivers learn to take into consideration the limitations of their loved ones, we learn to choose our battles, and sometimes we learn to rely on wet wipes and lots of deodorant.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available in ebook format at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

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