Monday, October 24, 2011

Book of the Month

Wow! I am honored, thrilled and grateful to have Forever a Caregiver chosen as the October Book of the Month Club pick on

Denise Brown, founder of, will talk with me about the book tomorrow (Tuesday, October 25) at 12:00 p.m. PDT. You can listen here.

Forever a Caregiver is a book that took me ten years to write but was actually a lifetime in the making. (Still – 10 years? Sheesh!). Denise was one of the many people who encouraged me to publish this book and who ignored my disclaimers along the way (I can be quite persistent with my disclaimers). I am very grateful to Denise, my family and friends for helping me see this book through to completion and publication instead of indulging the coward in me and letting me safely keep it to myself. My hope is that others will see their own family experiences in this book and find acceptance of their family roles and experiences.

Now that I actually know what caregiving is, I realize I was born into this caregiving role. Everyone has family roles and mine happens to be the one where I take care of people. Maybe it’s the control freak in me but I enthusiastically accept this role although, I admit, it was not always something I wanted to do. As a teenager, keeping a watchful eye on Mom so she didn’t sink further into depression (and attempt suicide again) was not something I would have volunteered to do or wish on anyone else for that matter. Yet it was one of many experiences that I accepted, managed to get through and which I actually appreciate for making me the person I am today.

“Appreciate” may seem an odd word choice but I wouldn’t want to be anyone else and those experiences helped shape who I am. For me, appreciating these family experiences (and family itself) is the perfect word.

That complete acceptance of my experiences made me a better caregiver to Mom when she was terminally ill twelve years ago and helps me be the best caregiver I can be to Robert today. Don’t misunderstand – caregiving is not easy and it certainly isn’t always (or even mostly) roses and butterflies and lollipops but taking care of family is what fulfills me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Call me crazy!

Please recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves in a caregiving role or who has struggled with accepting some of the mess that comes with being a part of a family.  I'd love it if you listened tomorrow too!


Joan Oliver Emmer said...

I am so proud of and happy for you Trish!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thanks for your support, Joan! I'm happy to have finished this book. On to the next one. :-)

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

I'm halfway through the book and can honestly say that it is amazing! Amazing story, great writing and always a hint of humor --- helps the medicine go down, so to speak.

I'm Very proud of your accomplishment and so happy to know you! I have already recommended your book to a few folks (I hope they've actually ordered it!)

Cheers to your success!!

Heidi & Atticus
"commentary to give you paws..."

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thank you, Heidi! I know this is a difficult read for you but hope not too difficult. You've been so supportive and I am happy to have you (and Atti!) as friends. :-)

Judy, The Reflective Writer said...

Trish, So glad I stumbled on this post--don't know if I'll be able to listen tomorrow, but I'll be thinking of you. Even more important, I need to order your book! I got distracted earlier when you first announced it, but now I'm putting it onto the "immediate read" list. As I've shared, I did some caregiving for an elderly aunt, and although she didn't live with us, I had experiences with moving her across the country, finding a suitable place for her to live (which took a few attempts), interacting with care providers, and visiting her regularly as her only family. It gives me such a different understanding of people who take on even larger caregiving roles, as you have done.

Congratulations on being selected Book of the Month!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thank you, Judy! I hope you enjoy the book when you're able to read it (the interview was actually on Tuesday but you can still listen to it if you'd like). I plan to write more books on the caregiving experience and have found many people have related in some way to these first experiences in my book (my caregiver training wheels as I call them). :-) I commend for you taking care of your aunt. It's not easy to take care of someone long distance and then dealing with care facilities. I actually think it may be more difficult because instead of giving care and love to your family member, you are using a lot of energy fighting for good care. You did a great thing for your Aunt, Judy.

Unknown said...

I think writing the book is one of the hardest things to do in life so I admire you for that. Congrats and good luck, Trish!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thanks, Dennis! I'm happy it's done and I finally was able to let it go (that was the hardest part!). I'm hoping the next one will be easier. :-)