I’m simply amazed!!! One year ago today on February 1, 2013, my book “Being My Mom’s Mom” was published. To date it has sold more than 1,000 copies and I’m grateful and proud! Today I celebrated this milestone in the most appropriate way, not at a restaurant, not shopping or at a spa day, but at the National Capital Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association participating in a Caregiver Support Group Facilitator Training course. I learned so much from our outstanding trainers, including ensuring that everyone in the support group feels heard, and how to be a great facilitator without taking over the group with our own story. It was a most fitting way to celebrate this day, given the whirlwind of Alzheimer’s related activities I’ve been involved in over the last 365 days.
Here’s a look at the Top Ten List of my 2013 journey to support Alzheimer’s research and promote our story.
1) Gave a presentation and signed books at three DC area churches, including St. Mark’s Capitol Hill, my own church community, which showed me a tremendous amount of love and support.
2) Discussed and signed books for three very diverse book clubs; a great group of women in their 30’s, a lively group DC seniors, and a group of lifelong friends from my childhood neighborhood.
3) Joined and contributed to five Alzheimer’s related Facebook pages.
4) Sold the book as a vendor at the John 3:16 Bookstore in Lanham, MD, the Active Aging Expo in Gaithersburg, MD, a Mothers Day Tea in Landover, MD, the Caregivers Journey Conference in Fairfax, VA, the 66 Beans Coffeehouse in Charlotte Hall, MD, and at the very popular Baltimore Book Festival.
5) Sold a personal record of 60 books and was the Keynote speaker for the holiday luncheon for the Montgomery County MD Long Term Care Ombudsmen Program.
6) Was a guest on two Radio Shows; The Medical Hour on station WCBM in Baltimore, MD and the Blog Talk radio show Alzheimer’s Speaks with Lori La Bey.
7) Gave a presentation at the Clinton, MD Branch of the Prince Georges County Public Library, and 10 copies of my book were added to the collection in the Prince Georges Memorial Library System.
8) Sold 25 books to and gave a presentation for the Arden Courts Memory Care Community for Marketing Director Julie Boone-Roth. Julie has become a friend and a fierce promoter of my book.
9) Participated in 30 days of activities in November in support of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month! I wore purple, the color of the Alzheimer’s movement, for 15 days of the month and met my goal of selling 100 books.
10) Selected as a panelist for the prestigious Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA (in conjunction with the University of Virginia) to be held on Wednesday March 19, 2014.
I’ve literally written more than 200 letters about Alzheimer’s and the book, read more than 400 pages on current Alzheimer’s research, met hundreds of people in all types of venues, and become passionate about writing my blog. I’ve learned more about myself in this year than I thought possible, working through my joys and my fears and recognizing my deepening love for my mom as this disease takes more of her away from me. I’ve learned to balance the sadness from this disease with sheer joy of being with our amazing Kendal. I find so much comfort in her love of life and her unconditional love for us.
Who knows what the next year will bring, but whatever comes, I’m ready for it!!’m energized by the support for the book and by the tireless efforts of the thousands of people working to find a cure for this disease. What a year it’s been!! Though I’m tired right now from a long day of work and learning, I’m about to recharge because Kendal’s here and it’s time to play!!!
I love my life and I Love Being My Mom’s Mom!
WOW! When you put it all down on paper……THAT’S ALOT!!!!! I’m soooooooo proud of your tenacity! Dr. Oz and Ellen……Here You Come!!!!!!
I was out of breath when I got to the end of your ‘epistle’. You must have been too. I don’t know anyone who has ‘learned’ as much about the disease as you have. While it may cut into your own or work time, you certainly are a spokes person. With more information ‘John & Jane Doe’ may learn how to cope with a loved one and maybe medical science can help.
Loretta you put it so well. Your words and wisdom are inspiring to all. I will continue to follow you in all of your accomplishments. I’m so happy to be a part of your wisdom and travels.