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5 stars for Dad Died Then Mom by @MaliaArries #memoir #caregiving #caregivers #bookreview

Title: Dad Died Then Mom

Author: Malia Arries

Genre: Memoir, Caregiving, Caregivers

Book Blurb:

In Dad Died, Then Mom, Malia, along with her siblings, Bill, Marvel, Franchion, and Shonnie, guides you through something you do not want to experience – until you come to realize, as they did, it can be the experience of a lifetime.

Malia is not a nurse, a doctor, nor a psychologist. She is a family caregiver who is writing to you as a family caregiver. Because you are looking for a deep and hands-on realization of what you or someone you know might be going through, or will be going through, you may feel better able to connect with her even though every individual situation is different. Offering insight to prepare and help you through your journey, she shares her family’s journey.

Five siblings came face-to-face with the inevitable. Their parents were dying. They did not divide. They came together and worked as a team because it was not about them, it was about what was best for their dad and then their mom. Their parents modeled for them how to die graciously and they modeled for their children as they observed them care for their grandpa and grandma.

Rather than being a syrupy, depressing story, Dad Died, Then Mom is a heartwarming story. Of course, there are plenty of distressing and tearful moments, but there are also moments filled with comforting smiles and even laughter. Moreover, the beyond-this-world moments Arries describes are awe-inspiring.

Malia’s goal in writing Dad Died, Then Mom is to familiarize you with what may happen and to offer you options on how to address issues by sharing the actual, day-by-day, journaled occurrences she, along with her brother and three sisters, encountered with their dad and then their mom. Her aim is for you to read this story so you might also choose to experience this truly extraordinary time of life with your loved one, or to compare your experience, or perhaps you have received a terminal diagnosis and wonder what it might be like during your last few months of life.

My Review:

Heartfelt and tender this memoir will bring tears to a reader's eyes. Told in the first person and basically chronologically presented this book flows well. The day-by-day trials and tribulations of home hospice care are accurately described. This book is both the story of the caregivers and a tribute to two fine people...her mom and dad.

There is another aspect to this book that is laudatory. This book also sheds light on the oft-overlooked work of hospice workers, caregivers, and personal care workers. The sheer attention to detail needed to do this job is incredible. One cannot read this book and not appreciate the hard work done by the humble caregiver.

A personal journey through end-of-life days. This book is one of melancholy and love. Recommended to readers of memoirs. Recommended to anyone who has ever had to put their loved one into someone else's care. A powerful true story of faith, love, and family.

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

I’m Malia and I am a wife, a mom to two dogs, and the author of Dad Died, Then Mom.

Family, friends, dogs, and dancing are what I live for (and eating vanilla ice cream cones once-in-a-while).

During a usual day, I’m likely to be at my computer, throwing a ball for my dog, relaxing on our outdoor swing, or watching a movie. I am pretty much retired but continue to teach a few ballroom and Latin dance classes; I practice patterns often so I won’t forget them – well, at least the ones I can still remember.

Darrell (husband), Ellie (Labrador), Shelby (Border Collie/Labrador), and I live full-time in our vintage Prevost bus. Everything we own is in our “grand old lady” or in the Jeep we tow. Spending summers near Minocqua, WI and winters near Pahrump, NV takes us from lush woods and lakes to barren deserts and mountains. We love them both!

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Reviewed by: Mr. N


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