Walking My Momma Home is a memoir of my mom and me. It’s about love, hope, uncertainty, role reversal, courage and the raw humanity in Mom’s experience of losing herself to the disease. It’s about the hard decisions, conflicts, the relationship balancing and personal soul-stretching my care-giving required. It’s our story of surprising joy and laughter, of tears and terrors, of opening hearts and deep, emotional healing.

Filled with stories, reflection, insightful questions, and invaluable resources, Walking My Momma Home helps you reflect on and process your own journey through the raw experience of fellow travelers walking dementia’s labyrinth.

You are NOT Alone!

Over 15.7 million people today are caring for a loved one with dementia. As caregivers, it’s easy for us to feel isolated. If you’re weary of the heartache and losses you both suffer, of the restless nights and chaotic days, then you know that our frustrations, helplessness, and fear can drive us to our knees. Dementia is cruel.

But the care-giving journey that we are on also offers unexpected, uplifting gifts:

♥ profound personal insight     

♥ explosive spiritual growth     

♥ discovery of our deepest self

All of these gifts are buried, to be uncovered in the experience of walking alongside. Care-giving is tough, yet it can open a channel to accessible grace that will change your life forever.

Walking My Momma Home is a memoir of my mom and me. It’s about love, hope, uncertainty, role reversal, courage and the raw humanity in Mom’s experience of losing herself to the disease. It’s about the hard decisions, conflicts, the relationship balancing and personal soul-stretching my care-giving required. It’s our story of surprising joy and laughter, of tears and terrors, of opening hearts and deep, emotional healing. It’s our story of surprising joy and laughter, of tears and terrors, of opening hearts and deep, emotional healing.

Filled with stories, reflection, insightful questions, and invaluable resources, Walking My Momma Home helps you reflect on and process your own journey through the raw experience of fellow travelers walking dementia’s labyrinth.

PRAISE FOR WALKING MY MOMMA HOME:

“There are truly no words for how deeply this book resonated with me. There were so many days while reading it that the bravery and authenticity Kathy showed by sharing her journey helped me face the walk I’m currently on with my parents. I laughed. I cried. And then I cried some more, but I cried tears of comfort and understanding. This book is the ultimate story of the cycle of life – the journey home – that each of us is on, and it’s full of light, love, and laughter along with all the tears. Thank you, Kathy, for writing such a powerful, heartfelt book and for sharing your journey and your mom’s journey with the world. I’m forever grateful.” — D. D. Scott, International Bestselling Author

Here’s an excerpt from Walking My Momma Home

“Introduction

And so, it begins…

“Kathy, do you see those pink trees? Don’t run into them. WATCH OUT! Can’t you see them? They’re in the middle of the road. WATCH OUT! Oh, look at those colorful ties. I wonder why they are floating there? Do you think Jim would like one?”

With my 90-year-old mom’s startling hallucinations, an unexpected phase of life unfolded…for both of us…

Our day had started with a joyful errand, shopping for her dress for our son’s wedding, just the two of us out on a warm, sunny June day, strolling through our local department store, eyes out for the perfect ensemble for a beach wedding at the end of the summer. It ended with: visions of pink trees in the road, of dogs’ heads materializing through non-existent wallpaper,lines of soldiers gazing at a general who was issuing motivating orders on the eve of war and a malevolent flying squirrel whooshing by her bed in the dark.

These images terrorized my legally blind mom as she cowered on top of the covers in our guest room, too frightened to sleep that night.

What came next in my mom’s descent into dementia was a stunning, troubling, more than occasionally comical but ultimately humbling journey of the soul. It affected each of my family members uniquely, opening us, if reluctantly, to a world of the unknown.

For Mom, it was a serious and seemingly impossible fight as she struggled mightily to grasp at and maintain her sense of control despite intermittent but ever-increasing confusion.

For me and my family, it stretched us, built up walls then broke down the barriers between us. It brought me, her primary care partner, to my knees as I encountered one unexpected and absurd development after another – doing my best to keep my own balance while coping with and caring for Mom in her new, topsy-turvy reality. Finally, it taught me and is still teaching me, to release control, to rest, to love and to cherish small moments.

The care-giving path is a rocky one, fraught with detours, difficult decisions, and spiritual challenges. It is one that so many of us will face. It’s a path we travel that most surely is not the one we would have chosen for our loved one or for ourselves. Yet, how we choose to travel this road can open our eyes to a gentleness in life – a slower, more mindful appreciation of what matters when all else is stripped away.

I’ve discovered that I walk in parallel with Mom as her identity slowly unravels.

She is on a path facing unfathomable loss – loss of familiarity, of recognition of things present, indeed of the self that served her well for her 90+ years; yet, what she loses in her grip on reality, she is gaining in sweetness, innocence and a level of trust she could never quite grasp while wholly in control of her faculties.

The other path, mine, in this case, finds me walking this mind-altering labyrinth day-by-day hoping to grow more deeply into the higher self that God intended for me – striving to meet each new challenge with humor, grace and trust – qualities opposite my own intense, and alright, I’ll say it, anxious personality, qualities I’ve often found in short supply in my past.

Through caring for Mom, God has given me an enormous lesson in humility and an unexpected, though often resisted, opportunity to grow into someone different in my second stage of life. My hope is that by recounting my own stumbles and stretches, our family challenges and resolutions, and Mom’s fight for independence, clarity of mind and finally trust and rest, that you who are on similar paths may gain solace in the work you shoulder.

If you are caring for a loved one with dementia you certainly are not alone. According to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 in the U.S. are living with dementia. 70 – 80% of those (5.5 million people of all ages in the US) are afflicted with Alzheimer’s dementia, the most common form. This number is expected to double by 2050 to 13.8 million people. Add to these numbers the more than 100 other forms of dementia, including Dementia with Lewy Bodies (LBD – which we suspect is Mom’s type and the second most common form) vascular dementia from strokes, and dementia from Parkinson’s Disease, the crisis threatens to overwhelm us.

These figures are daunting. They cry out for intervention. No, they scream for a cure. And many hopeful signs for diagnosis and treatment are in the offing. But…if you are one of the many caring for someone you love who is experiencing dementia, these figures mean only one thing. You and your loved one will travel a path like none you’ve ever imagined. You are facing a walk into the complete unknown.

In this book, you won’t find medical advice for your journey. What you will find is a recounting of real-life events, emotional, humorous, poignant and infuriating events that make up the last few years I spent with my mom. I offer this story from my care partner perspective and share what I know now that you may find useful.

Let’s walk together and help each other along the way.

But, I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning…”

Want to read more?  To download a free sample or read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Go to  https://www.Amazon.com/dp/B07J47Z28X

Walking My Momma Home eBook edition is available now, with paperback and audiobook versions to be published yet this fall.

If you are intrigued by what you read, or if it helps you as you walk your own loved one’s dementia labyrinth, please drop me an email to tell me your story: kathyfloracoach@gmail.com or Kathy@kathyflora.com

You can also join me on my website and on social media at https://www.KathyFlora.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kakthy.flora.372

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kathyflora

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kateatthebeach

 

Click Here To Read Kathy’s Blog Posts

Click Here To Read Kathy’s Blog Posts

About Kathy Flora

Kathy Flora is a Nationally Certified Career Counselor and Master Career Coach. She began this work at Purdue University in College Placement. Through successive job changes, she’s worked as a consultant, a business executive, organization development and job search trainer, an elected State Representative in New Hampshire, an HR representative at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, and finally as a leadership program manager in an Intelligence Community agency in the federal service in Washington D. C. and Tampa, Florida.

Her life’s passion has been helping others find theirs. She has been a Hospice volunteer, is a leadership and HR blogger for A. J. O’Connor Associates, a volunteer career coach and speaker for CancerandCareers.org, and she delights in spending time helping out at Selah Vie, the local thrift store of Selah Freedom, a national not-for profit organization that fights Human Trafficking on the Suncoast and across the country.

She is a mom, a grandma, a daughter, a sister, a friend and Jim’s loving wife, a political junkie, public speaker, novice hiker, and an avid cyclist. She and Jim live in Bradenton, FL, with an inspiring view of the sunsets over the marsh along the Manatee River in a neighborhood with plenty of walking trails and biking paths. Those paths are where she finds her bliss nearly every morning before starting the rest of her day.

This is her first book, and it was a surprise even to her since she sat down to write on an entirely different topic. But as you may have noticed, God had other plans.

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