On the top of a not too distant hill stands a tree. All by itself. How did that happen. Were there other trees a long time ago? If there were, what happened to them? If that tree always did stand alone, how did it get so tall, all alone?
Even as youngsters the girls would walk up the hill and make up stories about their tree. The storm that blew down the other trees had a different saga each time they told it.
Then there was the tale of early settlers who planted one tree to be seen by all sides. It announced they were finally home. Fields on each side look up to the statement of ownership, the tree.
Funny, none of the town people could recall a time before the tree. They had handed down details of every street and even the lakes. But the tree had no tale. Well, no tale according to the people of Higgins Valley.
However, the tree was not unimportant. Decades later, the girls, now in their fifties, still treasured their childhood friend. Recanting stories, pretending adventures, or just spending a warm summer day, the tree would always be their childhood friend.
It makes one wonder what additional memories are yet to be savored by generations to come. . . in Higgins Valley.
I can still see my father’s heartfelt eyes, “My daughter is working with Alzheimer’s and I am working on getting it.” He had seen previous family members demonstrate typical memory loss that Alzheimer’s inflicts.
At that time, I was working as the Resource Clinician for a satellite clinic. Alzheimer’s was the primary diagnosis we were following. Watching other families react to the “A” word broke my heart. But nothing compared to observing my parents walk the personal journey of memory loss.
Sometimes having multiple perspectives provides more depth of compassion. I do believe that was true in my case. But that did not make it any easier. As my father’s cognition declined, I could not separate my emotions from the tears of other daughters as the grieved the “disease of a thousand good-byes.”
Ultimately, my personal journey motivated me to write “Don’t Forget Your Hat.” If you are looking for a story about a family living the Alzheimer’s life, this book is learning tool. Many have needed to invent survival tactics that numerous families have already learned. “Don’t Forget Your Hat” offers support and practical solutions for Alzheimer’s families as well as for support groups.
Additionally, my years in theater taught how powerful stage can educate a community. I have included a simple play in the back of book for support groups to use to for the purpose of educating others. Be prepared for tears and laughter when people walk down the Alzheimer’s trail.
“Don’t Forget Your Hat” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (By the way, instructions for knitting the hat. . . are also included.)
I think I need to tell others who I am. My daily life is walking with fibromyalgia. Although, there are some days I can hardly walk at all.
Nursing life was not only my job, it was my identity. Still is. Compassion, listening, explaining medical procedures in understandable terms gave my career purpose. I thought I would work until I chose to retire.
But that did not happen. Financing clinics in healthcare has become a quandary. The Geriatric Assessment Clinic I managed closed with over six hundred open cases. I was devastated. Finding employment when managers could see how challenging it was for me just to walk down the hallway ended my career.
So, I traveled in my mind back to the beginning. When I was eight years old I wrote my first play. Loved writing and theater all through school and even as a young adult. I wrote the start of numerous books before I was twelve years old.
Now, when my pain level allows, I write. Higgins Valley is a place based on my home town. Sorry, I.m not giving out any details. You can picture it’s location wherever you would like.
My characters are a conglomeration of many people I have known all my life. Many have medical diagnoses that lead the stories to a place where I know readers can hear their pain. Laughter also provides required relief when life just naturally happens.
The three main women are me. Not precisely; but they each have attributes and annoyances where I have struggled. But pushing the keys on my laptop I determine their journey, create their conflicts and their solutions.
I am no longer physically capable of working in a healthcare setting, but Higgins Valley Moments. . . .is where I live.