This collection of real-life, faith-based stories comes from two diverse gender and cultural perspectives that show the hilarious yet painful emotional roller coaster of caring for an aging parent. These talented coauthors bring to life the ups and downs and the joys and sorrows of caring for, in this case, their mom. Though managing vastly different psychological and cognitive dynamics in their parents and varied support systems, their struggle is the same: how do we make life work for our aging parent?Journeying through their stories, readers will gain a glimpse into an intimate reality that the majority of us will face. It is not all pretty or warm or sentimental. It is often thankless, inconvenient, awkward, and abjectly uncomfortable. However, this book provides valuable yet hilarious lessons that can guide readers through their own journey with aging parents. Embracing humor and compassion, Ralph and Feager invite readers into this essential work that we cannot abdicate to social service agencies or the health care system.
What do you do when your elderly mother drives you nuts? When we were younger our options were simple. We moved out, got married, started our own families, or maybe even put miles of distance between us. But when our mother reaches a certain age, she needs tangible care, our compassion and a constant helping hand.
As Baby Boomers now entering the latter stage of life ourselves, we likely see the storms of youth and adulthood differently. Now we want to tend to our aging moms (or dads) but may not know how. We try, we fail. We often don't know where to start or even what resources are available. We stumble onto an emotional roller coaster, both funny yet burdensome, that only ends with the unthinkable!
"My Mother, your Mama" offers an inside look at the journey from two unique perspectives. They weave together real-life stories and the stores of others to share with readers how to weather the craziness with laughter, frustration with friendship, and sorrow with Christ's comfort. The coauthors close with practical tips and resources, because every one of us travels a very personal journey that can take us to the highest highs, the lowest lows, and through the darkest tunnels.
Ralph and Feager offer unique tales about a current reality that millions in America presently face, and they do it with honesty, transparency, humor and insight. Their vignettes of caring for their moms are brief yet poignant and share with the busy Christian inspirational moments of deep truth. Most important, they show how God's love strengthens us and how to keep your sense of humor while caring for mom without losing yourself in the process.
Here is an excerpt:
Obtaining a California driver's license can be challenging, but securing one for my ornery mother is a feat worthy of knighthood. It all starts after a long wait in the lobby, when the clerk calls her name.
"Mom, they're calling you." I nudge her a little to encourage her to stand. She stays glued to her chair.
"That's not my name," she insists.
"Rita? Rita Plumb?" The clerk scans the crowd.
"It's your name legally-"
"Shush! I told you. That's not my name."
I sigh and rise, approaching the counter anyway. My mission? To convince the clerk to use my mother's middle name only. I grin. Most people like it when you smile. I am hoping that the clerk is like most people.
"Look, my mother hates the name Rita. She does this every time we go to the social security office, to get medical records, at every public agency. Can you please call her Louise? She won't come if you don't."
The clerk just stares at me. I motion to the amazingly still dark-haired woman sitting erect, fingers primly on her purse, looking everywhere but in our direction.
"You have a mother, don't you?" My eyes plead.
The clerk groans and shrugs. "Louise Plumb?"
As my mother shuffles to the counter, I thank the clerk who soon forgets and mentions the dreaded "Rita" again. My mother unleashes a tirade, and I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Ralph E. Plumb, D. Min. and Feager A. Pertilla, LL.D. bring both professional training and real life experience to the challenges of caring for an aging parent. There's is an inside look at this journey from diverse cultural and gender perspectives. You'll meet Feager, an African-American educator who cares for her mom at home with the support of involved siblings. And you'll meet Ralph, a global Christian leader and only child, who thinks he may go mad with the overwhelming task of caring alone for his needy mother descending into dementia.
Ralph Plumb is former president/CEO of the Union Rescue Mission Los Angeles, CA and International Aid, Inc. Spring Lake, MI and current CEO of Global Med Partners and contributing author to The CoMission (Moody Publishers) and When Did I See You Hungry (St. Anthony Messenger Press) as well as over 25 articles for national publications including USA Today, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He has worked and traveled in some 110 countries, taught at the master's level at Azusa Pacific University and USC Marshall School of Business and served his country as a Navy Chaplain. He is a consummate networker with a passion for linking need with resource.
Feager Pertilla is a lifelong educator and Christian leader with a passion for strengthening families. She served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Christian Schools International and has conducted numerous workshops for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. As a former superintendent of schools and director of the Apostle Price Ministry Training Institute of Los Angeles, she received recognition from the U.S. Secretary of Education for her contributions in the urban Christian setting and is a licensed minister for the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana. She is currently the founder of Challenging Opportunities Enterprises a consulting firm and tutorial for inner-city youth grades 2-8.