“Journey to X” by Steve Long, a Paean to the Caregiver Role

On April 7 at 7:30 p.m. The Eclectic Reader will be honored to host local author Steve Long as he talks about his seven year journey caregiving for his chair-bound father, and mother with dementia.

Steve will read from his book, “Journey to X,” and then answer questions on the role of caregiver.  Seven years and never quitting.  Seven years and still with abundant love and a sense of humor at the end of the journey.

From the book:

“It is the tests that bring the very best out of us.  Just do your best and you will have much less to feel sorry for.”

“I am not saying it is easy.  Dementia can be a dragon.  But where are the knights in shining armor, the Joan of Arcs, the dragon slayers?  Where are the souls still willing to go on quests?  Where are those who will not flee or run away?  Where is the pity for a wounded mind?”

“We are all tested through love; because love is crucial for a healthy soul…”

“Beginnings…

Dementia is to grow old ungracefully.

Everything is stripped to the bone.

Every thought is lost in slow motion.

Everything undone.

Everything gone and fading away.

Everything left behind…

Yet,

At the center of Mom’s soul I have found

A kindness so deep

That I never realized how much was truly there before…

She is invincible;

And kind,

And a very sweet soul to be around even ungracefully!”

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October 2008

“Mom has simply outlived her memory.

Her thoughts fly away like sparks.

She talks to flowers and falling leaves.

She talks to patches of clouds and spots on the ground.

She talks to me…

Ours is a soulish relationship.

It is not about my comfort.

Rather, I am focused on my mother’s well-being…”

 

March 2012

“Mom and I still dance in the kitchen.

She is frail.

I must steady her.

Our dances are short and sweet.

I secretly measure her strength.

Mom smiles.

She enjoys herself.

She loves the attention.

And she feels needed and wanted…”

July 2010

“Dad seems fragile as a leaf.

He battles chronic back pain.

His knees are weak.

His feet ache.

He sleeps in a chair.

He needs a cane to walk and seldom cares to get

Out

Of the house anymore…”

 

December 2012

“Mom was looking at an old envelope addressed to her and Dad when she wondered,

‘Who are Clark and Rosemarie Long?’

‘My parents…’

‘Were they nice?’

‘You would have liked them…’

‘Oh, good…’ “

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