About Me and This Blog

IMGBack in the day, this began as a blog about writing and being a writer.  Then it morphed into being about whatever came across my radar.  Three years ago, Alzheimer’s laid a big old turd in my life.  Not me, (thank God/Goddess/You Name It), but my mother.  It came on so suddenly that my family and I thought she hadn’t long to live.  But she fooled us, and here we are four years down the line.

There have been changes.  My dad died May 2012.  Mom went into a “retirement home” (dreadful place) for four weeks before I yanked her and brought her to live with me and my amazingly supportive husband.  I’ve gone from a part-time caretaking role (shared with a sister and a niece) to a full time, 24/7, keepin-an-eye-on-Ginny caretaker.

Livin’ the dream, that’s me.

Anyway, all that earlier stuff is chronicled here among my blog posts for any of you who want to ferret it out.

As time has gone on, though, I decided I just didn’t have the time or inclination to keep blogging.  I write novels and short stories and have a hard enough time getting those published without trying to find time to blog on a regular basis.  But a funny thing happened.  Total strangers wrote to tell me how much the the blog helped them to feel less alone in their own caretaking journey, and so I thought…why not?

So here’s the thing — I don’t promise to blog on a regular schedule because a) I don’t know what life’s about to throw at me, and b) if I promise a schedule, I’m sure to break it, and then I’ll feel like crap when I really don’t need one more thing in my life to make me feel like crap.  I’ll blog when I have time, when I’m moved by something inspiring or maddening.  I hope you’ll share your stories and thoughts in turn.

The thing to remember is, you’re not alone.  We are all crazy quilts patterned with odd bits sewn together, sometimes at wrong and uncomfortable angles.  We are different — and more alike than we realize.  We are brilliant and dumb, heroic and cowardly.

And we do the best we can at any given time.

********

As an update – earlier this year (2014, assuming this blog goes on) Mom came down with pancreatitis which necessitated a hospital stay. During that week, she forgot ever having lived with us. Because I was close to suffering serious burn-out, I thought it a good time to make the transition to a memory care unit, which we did. There were tears, recrimination, anger (hers and mine), but over the course of a couple months, Mom settled in….only to get felled by a compression fracture of the spine. Three more disorienting days in the hospital and a move back to rehab later and here we are. She’s still in rehab (and likely will be for another month) before a decision must be made, but I’m hopeful she’ll take that decision out of our hands. She is declining mentally and physically, eating little, sleeping a lot. It is what it is. I’ll continue to post updates as things occur. Thank you for joining me and my Mom on this journey.

11 Responses to About Me and This Blog

  1. bluestempond says:

    I am in similar shoes and am glad to find someone I can read who is honest about the trials. It is hard to blog the truth when it is not pretty or positive. But sometimes it is, and not just because you know you are “doing the right thing.” It helps to see both sides of the coin. I will be following…

  2. Dan says:

    I was at the Colchester CT. Reading for Weathercock. I found your blog as I was curios about your previous books. I too took care of my mom who had Alzheimer’s. Just remember …no matter what…she is has and always is mom. My brothers and I felt that mom took care of us when we couldn’t talk or take care of ourselves. Yes it gets frustrating …as I am sure mom got frustrated. It was and is all for love.
    Dan

    • Hi, Dan! Thanks for coming to the reading and for staying to talk. (And for buying a book!) I agree with all the points you make. Don’t mistake my grousing about taking care of Mom as an unwillingness to do so. I signed up for this; no one made me take it on. But I think one must also acknowledge the frustrations and limitations inherent in such caretaking in order to encompass the whole. It’s not an easy trip — and sometimes one must vent or go mad.

  3. JC Brown says:

    Melissa,
    I stumbled upon your blog while looking up information about the Reader’s Cove Library located on Harsens Island. As a library school student, thank you for spreading the word about libraries.

    JC Brown

    • Thank YOU, JC. I’d have to be a pretty poor writer not to support libraries, particularly one that is so supportive of ME! Harsen’s Island holds a special place in my heart, not the least of which is the Reader’s Cove. I’ve been to a lot of libraries recently and I can only think of one (the Bill Library in Ledyard, CT) that compares to Reader’s Cove. Both have incredibly friendly staff (can you imagine a library without friendly librarians? They’re out there!) who engage readers of all ages, challenging them to new experiences in reading and learning. I’m so proud (and grateful) to have my books represented in both institutions.

  4. Connie Snell says:

    I believe in angels and miracles too… You see I personally saw a miracle with my own eyes and I experienced 2 miracles one being saved from dying from a damaged heart due to chemotherapy and a second having a sudden cardiac arrest in my bed and our pit bull who came to our driveway dying from being beaten up – began to howl till my husband came to find me already dead… I’m alive and have many more miraclulous stories so thanks for sharing yours – I cried….Connie Snell

  5. you should tell us more about you!

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