Rogue

Don’t worry. I haven’t dumped Bill for such a man. I just finished reading a Danielle Steel book by this title, and like her others, it was great. Maxine is a prominent New York child psychiatrist who works with suicidal and traumatized kids. She has three children of her own. Five years earlier, she divorced Blake, a wealthy playboy, because she was fed up with the fact that he was rarely home, traveling around the world to his many houses or sailing on his boat and fraternizing with other women. She meets Charles, another doctor specializing in internal medicine, grounded in his career, a bit of a snob. Thinking he’s just what she needs, she falls in love, and they become engaged. Then after an earthquake in Africa, Blake puts all his time, effort, and money into helping victims and turning a castle into a home for children orphaned by the disaster. Maxine is impressed by his attitude change. The book’s ending will surprise you.

Other books I’ve read by Danielle Steel include Changes, No Greater Love, and Amazing Grace, to name a few. She is the #1 New York Times best-selling author. According to Wikipedia, she was born on August 14th, 1947 in New York City. Based in California for most of her career, she has produced several books a year, often juggling five projects at once. All of her books have been best-sellers. She has published children’s books and poetry and raised funds for treatment of mental illness. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages, and twenty-two of them have been adapted for television with two of them receiving Golden Globe awards.

Most of the Danielle Steel books I’ve read are set in either New York or California and are about families who face one or more catastrophes. One thing I like about them is that conflicts are always resolved one way or another with occasional surprise endings. Most of the time, the endings are predictable, and I like that, too. Another thing I like is that although there is some romance, there aren’t many detailed descriptions of love making. If you like such stories, I definitely recommend you read her books. I guarantee you won’t be able to put them down until you finish them.

If you use BARD, the National Library Service for the Blind’s Braille and audio reading download site, Rogue and many other Danielle Steel books are available there. I’m sure they can also be purchased in print and possibly eBook formats from any bookstore, online or otherwise. The author’s Website contains interviews, movies, videos, and more. Enjoy!

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor , Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Departure

When Bill proposed to me, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living in Sheridan, Wyoming. At first, I thought he wanted me to move to Fowler. But when we talked on the phone after I received his letter asking me to marry him, he surprised me by saying, “Actually, I was thinking of moving to Sheridan.

Two months later, he arrived and spent a week with me. The time flew by, and all too soon, we were back at the bus station, saying goodbye. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver describes those last few moments before he got on that bus.

 

Departure

 

We kiss in the rain

while the bus thrums nearby,

waiting to take you away.

“What’s this hood?” you ask, as our lips meet.

I try to remove it.

“Keep it on,” you say, as I yield.

I hold you, will the bus to leave without you.

All too soon, you’re gone.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Magnets and Ladders Fall/Winter Issue Now Available Online

The fall/winter issue of Magnets and Ladders is now online. This publication features stories, poems, essays, and other articles by yours truly and other disabled authors such as Bruce Atchison, whom I’ve mentioned on this blog before. You’ll recognize my article about how to write an abecedarian poem from an earlier post. A short story of mine, “Cab Driver,” also appears in this issue. Bruce provides a sneak preview of his memoir, When a Man Loves a Rabbit. You can read these and more here. Enjoy!

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Making the Big Move

I started thinking about placing Bill in a nursing home last January when a new facility opened, but Bill wasn’t too keen on the idea until now. Greenhouse Living is a new concept in long-term care. Residents are housed in cottages with a capacity of twelve people. They have their own rooms and baths and can receive more individual attention from staff. The cottages have large living dining areas with fireplaces and patios. It’s a more home-like environment.

Lately, Bill has become almost too heavy for me to lift. I called in two therapists to see if there was any way to make transferring him easier. Both determined that it’s no longer safe for me to care for him at home. A couple of days ago, we went to look at Greenhouse and discovered that since Bill will be a Medicaid patient, there’s a waiting list, and it will be at least six months to a year before he’ll be able to move there. I can’t wait that long. He’s on the list, but in the meantime, I’ve moved him to Sheridan Manor where he normally goes for respite care when I go out of town for writers’ conferences and other events. He’ll stay there until he can be moved to Greenhouse.

Although he would rather be at home, Bill seems to have accepted the idea of nursing home placement. To tell the truth, I’m relieved. I’ve been caring for him for six years. When he came home after his first stroke, we thought he would eventually walk and regain some use of his left arm, but after he suffered his second stroke, and his therapy was discontinued six months later, it became apparent that I would be doing this for the rest of his life. I didn’t think I could do it forever, but I vowed to do it for as long as I could. Now, the time has come.

Yesterday, someone told me I would be lonely. I don’t think so. I was single for many years before I married Bill, and I hate to admit it, but I’m more used to being alone than living with someone. I’ll miss having him around the  house, but it’ll be nice not to have to plan my life around someone else. I can go out and not worry about leaving him alone. Of course I’ll visit him as often as I can, and we’ll keep in touch by phone. I’ll always love him, and he’ll always love me, and life will go on.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Anniversary, Anthology, and Publication

I can’t believe that Bill and I have been married for seven years. This may not seem like much, but given our circumstances, it’s quite a milestone. As some of you know, three months after we were married, Bill suffered the first of two strokes, and since then, he has not been able to walk or use his left arm. I’ve been caring for him at home. It hasn’t been easy at times, but we hope to have many more happy years together.

I plan to submit work for possible publication in Unteachable: An Anthology of Poets Outside the Academy. Some poets teach creative writing and other subjects. My brother’s a poet who teaches physics. This collection will be by poets like me who have other occupations besides teaching. If you’re a poet who doesn’t teach and would like to submit work, click here for guidelines.

I just received word that my poem, “Cancer,” will be published next month on Voxpoetica, a blog dedicated to promoting poetry. This poem, not in my collection, is about how my mother fought this disease, and the disease won. I’ll let you know as soon as it appears and post a link here so please stay tuned.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver