For a daughter, at age 61, being called “mommy” by her own mother was a heart-wrenching experience. This happened to the author during the course of a three-year adventure as the at-home caregiver to her mother, much loved yet caught up in a downward spiral of physical, mental and developmentally regressed disabilities.
Adventures in Mother-Sitting is not just a chronicle about the dementia-induced antics of an independent, spirited mother as she approaches the time of her death. The book is also about a daughter’s journey through an emotional roller coaster-passage of grief intermixed with surprising sweet instances of joyful connections with not only her child-like mother but, also, the core of her Self. Throughout the book, the author portrays the ways in which the physical and mental needs of an old-age mother and the emotional, spiritual needs of a caregiver daughter lovingly served each other and how the dementia served them both.
Excerpts Chosen by Doreen "Dody" Cox for You
Each day is an adventure because when dementia is present, the typical actions involved with daily care habits become unpredictable. The experience is also termed an adventure because of the surprising twists and turns of emotion that arose in the author, compelling her to recognize and face deep-seated fears and unwanted emotional reactions whenever her performance was not in accord with the spiritual vision that she had of herself. Moments of comic relief would save the author from the depths of grief’s despair during not only pill-taking and messy hygienic episodes but, also, during her mother’s recurring stumbles and falls and during those night-time personality changes that occur due to sun downing events that are a common aspect of dementia.
Adventures in Mother-Sitting is a story that reveals a mother’s final gifts of spirit to a daughter who had yearned for and sought after ever-deepening experiences of faith, trust, humility, and the peace that passes all of her understanding. The mantra that kept her going, reverberating in the back of the author’s mind, was an echo of her mother’s life-long response to any calamitous event. Her mother had always told her girls, “You do what you have to do. God gives you the strength. That’s how I was able to raise you four little girls after your daddy died.”
Regressed in her mind to comprehending the world through a child’s point of view, the mother’s last few years of life were full of happy, joyful moments despite the downward spiral of her physical body’s health. This mother’s expressions of spontaneous joy became the balm that soothed the author’s own tired, sad, and despairing spirit. “How can I stay sad in the presence of my mother’s joy?” the author wrote in her journal one night.
Adventures in Mother-Sitting depicts not only the role changes that occur in the relationship between a caregiver daughter and her beloved mother but also, the more compassionate relationship that the daughter gains with herself as she learns to walk more honestly and gently with her fears, worries, and shortcomings.
|Publisher:||Olmstead Publishing LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
The author was into her eighth year as a group counselor at an alternative school for at-risk students when her most challenging position of all presented itself. The author's first book, Adventures in Mother-Sitting, is a memoir of her three years as a full-time caregiver. Because of the downward spiral of her mother's mental, physical, and developmentally regressed abilities due to dementia, the author's well-honed communication and listening skills were put to their ultimate test. Her previous career adventures had indeed added more stores of knowledge, fostered the growth of self-confidence and provided assuagement of that restless spirit. The experience as her mother's caregiver, however, offered the ultimate spiritual adventure, bringing to the author bittersweet lessons related to trust, faith, unconditional love and compassion. The author, wanderlust currently at rest, resides in Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What an incredible journey of love, commitment, strength and patience! Adventures in Mother-Sitting is the memoir of Doreen (Dody) Cox's time as a caregiver (care bear) for her mother, Eva, who struggled with many health issues including dementia. Dody embraced the task that many hope they will never have to face. As I read, I realized that it was a time of hope and fear, joy and despair. Along with the pain of losing her mother a little each day, Dody embarked on a pilgrimage of self-discovery. She found strength when she needed it but she also wrestled with self-doubt. I can't imagine how a person can remain upbeat when clutched with the sadness of her mother's deteriorating health. She stumbled with her emotions but she got back up. This is truly a story of love and growth. It's a tribute to Eva but it's also a chance for all us to understand the steps of dementia and how it can effect those who try to provide quality of life. One of the best and most loving things that Dody did for her mother, was to help Eva maintain her dignity. This book is such an amazing work of heart!
I was a caregiver for many years, also. Ms. Cox story reminds me that I was not the only one out there. I was not alone. Be sure to read the book as soon as you can. Don't wait until you are a caregiver to learn her lessons.