Just this week I’ve received several emails from readers who’ve mentioned that they’re not only juggling their own lives, but those of an elderly parent. Reading offers them an escape. I’m hope that my latest Sweet Magnolias book, Home in Carolina, will also offer them a few chuckles.
Those of you who’ve followed this series know that attorney Helen Decatur has always been a type A control freak. In her story, Feels Like Family, Helen not only found herself married, but pregnant. In the interim between that book and this, she’s been struggling to get her professional feet back under her.
Now, in a secondary storyline in Home in Carolina, Helen is faced with bringing her aging mother home from Florida to recover from a broken hip. She does not come to the task with grace and good will.
I suspect many of you will be able to relate. I know I do. Though I lost both of my parents quite suddenly, over the past few years I’ve been involved with the care and decision-making for two elderly aunts. Along with my cousins, we’ve struggled with the decisions that needed to be made.
On one occasion, my cousin and I spent an evening taking my aunt to a retirement community, describing to her in an upbeat way all of the advantages of moving there and, we were certain, convincing her to our way of thinking. The next day, I proudly announced to her doctor that she’d agreed and asked that he reinforce the decision when he spoke with her. She listened to him quite attentively, smiled, then said, “Well, yes, but I don’t think so.” And so, there was yet another full-court press.
Sadly, she died less than a year after we’d moved her. I think had any of us know her future would be so short, we’d have found a way to keep her in her home.
Now with the last of my father’s siblings, an aunt who’s 97, we’ve promised to keep her in her home, as long as she cooperates. We’ve brought in live-in help, who apparently can do absolutely nothing right. The battles over cutting back to part-time help have been spirited. Even now, a year after we began this journey, I have no idea what to expect when I get back to Virginia. Just the other day, she was trying to win me over to her side about cutting back the caregiver’s hours. Each battle saps the energy of me and my cousins.
So, for those of you out there who are caught in between — the true sandwich generation — I feel your pain. I hope you, too, will find a few laughs in Helen’s storyline in Home in Carolina. And that you’ll also enjoy the long awaited story of Ty and Annie, which is the main thrust of the book. The book will be in stores March 30…and there are teases now running on my Facebook page, so if you’re on Facebook, sign up to become a friend.
There will be two more new Sweet Magnolias books this spring. Sweet Tea at Sunrise will be in stores at the end of April and Honeysuckle Summer comes out at the end of May. You can get all the details on my website, www.sherrylwoods.com, along with a checklist that groups all of my books by series and in order of publication.
If you’re new to the Sweet Magnolias, I hope you’ll enjoy their deep friendships and wonderful community. And, as always, I wish you lasting friendships of your own.