Today, I’m pleased to announce…
I’ll Have Some of Yours: What my mother taught me about dementia, cookies, music, the outside, and her life inside a care home.
For the twelve months that had passed since my mother’s death, her presence was with me in the beams of sun streaming through my office door. Or her spirit rocked in the chair that I kept positioned near my desk, a chair that held the fuzzy brown teddy bear I carried home after our last Mother’s Day tea together. Or as had happened when I was little and I called out, “Mommy, let me run to you,” and I ran with all my heart, a sense of her waited for me at the finish.
And in the final day of the final hour of when the manuscript became I’ll Have Some of Yours, my own Jeannie — Jean the Bean, Jean Januzzi, Vincenzella Jean Giuliani Januzzi, Mom — nudged me in my dream-state.
She and I were outside in the courtyard of her care home, a pearly blue sky above. For some reason, I had been carrying her around the paths. She was wearing red, a symbol of our blood ties, of raw energy and passion too. My tanned legs were beginning to buckle, my arms trembling from muscle fatigue. Sweating, I had walked a long way with her in my arms, more so than I could have realistically walked with her in real life. I only had a short distance to step to reach the inside sitting room.
Finally, I set my mother down in the white wicker chair with tufted blue cushions that she so cherished. As the afternoon sun coaxed its way onto her cheeks and into her heart, my mother let out a long sigh and closed her eyes.
Won’t you sit for a while and take this journey with my mother and me?
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