Preview of “My Father’s Keeper”

My Father's Keeper.jpg

CHAPTER ONE

The Accident

I got a panicked call from my Father. That was the day that everything changed. I rushed up to the hospital, not knowing what to expect. He was not making sense.
“Your father is ok, sir,” the police officer assured me on the other end of the phone.
On my end of the phone was an awful silence, the likes of which I have never known.

“Sir, sir? Are you there?”
“Yes, Yes. I’m here. Just give me a few minutes.”
“Yes, I understand. This is a lot to process. Your Father will be waiting in the lobby of the E.R.”

I didn’t have time to respond. I didn’t have time to be angry at the police officers, and staff that attended to my father. All I knew was he was scared and panicked, and I had to reach him quickly. Two of my parents had been to the hospital this week and it was almost more than I could handle. I changed out of my work clothes, and scurried out the door.

*****

The hospital staff was less than friendly when I arrived. They offered no help or support for my ailing father.
“What do you mean? You can’t help him.”
“Sir, we can not keep him here. He will have to go home with you.”

The police officer explained to me that his license was taken away from him and he would no longer be able to drive anymore. The officer and the hospital staff, would not admit him to the hospital or transfer him to a long term care facility. Apparently, they did not see the danger in leaving him alone unattended, for a period of time, while I was at work.

I had just learned, unfortunately that Dementia can be unpredictable, and my Dad’s Dementia had just gotten a heck of a lot worse. It was no longer safe for him to be alone. My Brother, Sister and I worked out a schedule, so someone was able to check on him every couple of hours. At least that was the plan.

“Dad, I’m gonna take you home” I said.
“But Earl, what has happened… why am I here… where is Cindy?”
“Dad, Cindy is here in the hospital. She fell and broke a hip. Right now, we need to get you home safely.”
“I can drive myself. Give me my keys Earl,” my father said, getting slightly agitated.
“Dad, I can’t?”
“Why not?”
“Don’t you remember your car was totaled. There was an accident. You fractured your shoulder in the accident. That is why it is in a sling.”
“No I did not,” my Father said trying to pull his arm out of the sling. “Ouch, Dammit! That hurts,” my Father said.

Even with the additional pain, he still didn’t realize that his arm was hurt. I could not keep the sling on his arm at all. Dad would just remove it every time I put it back on.

“Come on Dad. Let’s get you out of here, and get you a bite of food to eat.”
“Ok, he said. I forgot to eat. I haven’t eaten in three days.”

I grabbed my father’s walker, and reminded him to use it, guiding him to the door of the E.R. While he was focused on walking. I silently, cried, behind him. I wish I would have known, what a difference a day makes, in the life of a Dementia patient.

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8 a.m. Coffee

My Son has started school an interesting and unique journey -and I- a journey of my own.

8a.m.- I start it with a fresh cup of steaming, hot joe from Starbucks.

As I sit and wait for my computer to update I think of how much technology has advanced and changed, and how I find it so very irritating that it takes forever for windows to update, and right now. I wish I would have thought to bring my trusty yellow notepad, and pen because sometimes technology can be so unreliable.

I think of the world’s coffee houses and how many dreams, have lived. How many dreams have been born and died here.

I take some comfort in knowing, that much coffee has been drunk, many late nights and early mornings have been spent in coffee houses around the world, by many different people from all walks of life. Trying to spin ideas, and make new things-much like this piece of technology that sits in front of me.

The world is full of ideas. Ideas are the windows to the soul. All of these things were created by people like you and me. The dreamers. The 8a.m. Coffee drinkers.

Perhaps this is the start of a new adventure, and hopefully in a few weeks the completion of a new book.

New Adventures

My Son has started pre-school this year. A new adventure for both him, and myself. It is so exciting to hear him talk about all the friends he is making, and new things he is learning.

It is also eerily quiet. It is an odd feeling.

I find I now have extra time to write. Which means that I will be working on more blog posts. I also hope to be a guest blogger more frequently, and be able to contribute to the many communities of people on line, as well as read what you all have to share with the world.

I am also working on a new and exciting book. I hope it turns out better than the last one I self-published. I will be seeking and agent and a publisher for this one. (I actually pulled that book, because it did so poorly. I will fill you in on everything I learned with my self-publishing experience in another blog post.)

The book I am working on is a fiction book about a families struggle with dementia. I would like it to be written from several different perspectives. The Dementia Patient, The Family, and the Caregivers. It is inspired by my Grandfather, and the many other Dementia patients that I have had the pleasure of caring for over the years. I will be sharing a preview of the first chapter later.

I will also have more time to focus on writing short stories for all of you, as well as writing more short stories for my Son, which I love to also illustrate. Although, I am by no means a great artist.

I also hope to continue to do inspirational posts about writing, and about my faith.

Eight Credits

Eight Credits… that is all it will take for me to get my Associate of Science and Associate of Arts.

This comes as a relief to me, as I realize all those loans I took out when I was young and stupid might not be in vain.

Eight Credits closer to my dream of becoming and English Major. It has always been my dream, since I was in first grade. I dream of not only writing, but teaching others about fiction and literature. I would love to be a professor and help others achieve a dream, that I had all but given up. Until I found out how close I am, to taking another step toward that goal.

On the way to the college campus, I prayed to God, asking for his guidance. Then, the thought of my Grandfather pops into my head, and I clearly hear him say. “Chris, just do what you love.”

That was all the conformation and guidance I needed.

 

Meditation from a Bar Stool

As I sat alone at the bar, waiting for the people from my high school graduating class to arrive, I observed others and sipped my drink quietly. Two hours and two drinks later, and some really good food, I was still sitting there alone. The people that RSVP’ed never showed and I realized many several things. The most important lesson this taught me, is I am so very lucky.

I phoned my husband, told him that the whole class reunion thing is a joke. We had a good laugh about it, and I asked if he wanted me to get carry outs for him and our Son. Of course he said, “Yes.” I placed the order, then waited for the carryout. As I was waiting I saw most of the men were my husbands age, watching the ball game with there buddies, trying to hit on and pick up women who were my age, or a bit younger. There was one man I observed, that looked to be 55-60 years of age bragging about some young girl that was barley legal that he took home the night before. I have not idea if this was true or not, but never the less entertaining.

The bar scene that looked so good in my early twenties didn’t really appeal to me any longer. Quickly approaching thirty, I wondered why so many people my age still do this. Then it hit me. Some of them are not as lucky. They don’t have a husband and a wonderful little boy to come home to. Most people put careers and money above people.

It was probably one of the reasons no one showed. To busy because of work. To busy hanging out with their friends at a local bar. Maybe people cannot afford to get dinner or drinks, or simply put… people just don’t give a shit.

The carry out arrived, and I settled up with the bartender, and called my family to let them know I love them, I would be home soon.

Random thoughts from this experience: 

If your forty, and hanging out at a bar every night… trying to “pick up a young chick,” watch out. You might get more than you bargain for.

You can only depend on family, and a few good friends. That is the truth.

RSVP’s… I don’t really think people in my generation understand what that means.

People are so inconsiderate.

People just don’t care.

People don’t give a shit.

I’m glad I am not one of those people.

I can’t believe people actually wanted me to rent a room for this thing. I’m glad I didn’t, because I would have had a huge bill.

I am never putting a class reunion together again.

Thank God I can make time for people and I am never too busy for friends or for family.

All this from the corner of a bar stool…

 

Book Release Day is Here!

I am so excited! It’s February 1, 1017 and My debut book Unspoken Words is now available in e-book format on Amazon. Included below is a book trailer, available to watch on YouTube. In the description, under the video- are links to my Amazon Author page, and Goodreads page.

Unspoken Words is free for Amazon Prime members and people who subscribe to the Kindle Unlimited program. If you have neither of those, it is $2.99. The print version should be available for purchase on Amazon,  at the end of next week.

Bringing in the New Year

I really don’t get this whole, Goodbye and Good riddance to 2016 thing. I have seen many people posting about how horrible 2016 was for them on Facebook, and I am just not seeing it.

I understand life has ups and downs. We all have good days and bad days- However, I fail to see how life is so horrible. As long as my lungs, have air in them and I am breathing- Isn’t that something amazing? Life is a gift and how rare it is to exist. I think that New Years is like another Thanksgiving- a time for reflection- where we look at all the amazing experiences we have had, and all the experiences to come.

I am thankful most of all for my Family. There are days (the hard days), that I’m not so sure I could get through- if I didn’t have them in my life. My Son- The person that I treasure most in this world. He teaches me to live each day as my last- and to live everyday with joy and happiness in my heart. My Mom and Dad- I love you very much. You are the best Grandparents a little boy could ask for. (…and I thought I was lucky, having you as parents!)  To my Friends- for the days I just need some extra support.

All these people give my life meaning. I am so blessed and thankful to have all of them in my life. I am lucky to have a stomach full of food. I am blessed that I have joy and happiness in my heart, that many people could only dream of.

My New Years Resolutions

  1. To continue to live with a grateful heart.
  2. To make sure I use the gifts that God has given me
  3. To change the world with the gifts God has blessed me with.
  4. To make this world a better place than it was, before I journeyed into it.

If there is anything 2016 has taught me, it is that life is sometimes difficult and frustrating.  To combat these aspects of life, one must have meaning and purpose in there life. We must live with joy and gratitude in our heart, like children. Jesus once said, “Let the little children come to me.” Those children are us. It is through reflection, and spending time with my greatest teacher- my Son, that I found the God Given gift that was always in my heart. The gift was the gift of words. It says in Genesis, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” Your words have power. As an Artist- or spiritual being, that is the greatest gift God has given us. We were made in his image- our words give us the ability to create the life we desire. This is life’s greatest secret. It is why I believe being a writer, is one of Gods highest callings. It is also why we need to be careful of what we say, because words really do become things. One thing is certain. Love is the most powerful tool we have been given to choose our words wisely.

I know this drives my Husband crazy, but I always say- “You two choices, always- to love, ot to be angry- Life is really that simple.” If more people chose love, this world would be a whole different place.

My challenge to you this year, is to find what burns in your heart. Then keep doing it. Live like children. All of us are guilty of letting life knock us down and beat us up. We are so busy doing battle, that we forget our entire purpose. Remember, when you where young. You thought you could do anything, and change the world. You still can. You just stopped believing, when people told you that you couldn’t. Remember, words are things. Don’t let the negativity drown out your spirit. The only thing we leave in this world-when we go into a pine box, is what was in our heart.

I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds in store for me. I am going to continue doing the things I love, with the people I love. That is the fun of the Journey.

 

Writing Goals For 2017

  1. I am currently working on a series of Novelettes, that I would like to publish and offer separately, and also offer them in a collection, when they are published.
  2. I feel that the Novelette is often overlooked, as short stories, Novellas and Novels are typically published

Novelettes are typically between 7,501 to 17,500words. They are a little longer than short stories, but can be easily read in one sitting. I feel they will become important again, and here are the reasons why:

  1. People here in the U.S.A. often work two full time Jobs, just so they can support their families. Many young people do not have the time, and are unable to dedicate the time to reading a full length novel.
  2. I think with now with e-books becoming so readily accessible, the short story and Novelette is becoming more popular, and will eventually be the chosen over the full length novel in the future generations of young adult.

It is my overall goal in the next few years to redefine the novelette, and bring it up to date for the 21 century.

My immediate goal is to finish my first volume of Novelettes for 2017 and make them available on Create Space and Amazon Kindle.

I would also like to create my own publishing imprint.