A health crisis can turn from a sprint into a marathon. This site is for anyone who has passed the ten-mile mark and can’t yet see the finish line.
I’m Marylee MacDonald, a carpenter, mother, grandmother, and author of the recently published novel, MONTPELIER TOMORROW. I thought I was indestructible, but long-term care humbled me. My son-in-law had ALS, and I was his main caregiver. I figure there are a lot of other folks out there who’ve put their lives on hold while they’ve cared for a loved one. This site is for you.
Mixed in with the news about research, I’ll include some books that provide insight into what it’s like to be a caregiver for months and years. The sleepless nights. The back pain. The worry. One day it will be my turn to be on the receiving end of my family’s generosity. I’m looking for ways to make the job easier. If you have ideas on information that might be useful, please get in touch.–Marylee MacDonald
My Writing Life
Apart from being a mother, grandmother, and wife, I am also a writer. Caregiving did not stop that. I began writing my novel, Montpelier Tomorrow, when I was in the midst of my own journey as a caregiver.
My short stories have won many literary prizes: the Barry Hannah Prize, the Matt Clark Prize, the ALR Fiction Prize, the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, and the Ron Rash Award. My fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Bellevue Review, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, Broad River Review, Folio, Four Quarters, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, Raven Chronicles, Reunion: The Dallas Review, River Oak Review, Ruminate, StoryQuarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Yalobusha Review, and others. I have taught fiction and literary editing for River Oak Arts in Oak Park, Illinois and for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University in Tempe. Early on, I received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Fiction, and more recently, residencies at Footsteps for Creativity, Hawthornden Castle, and the Vermont Center for the Arts. In 2015, Summertime Publications, Inc. will publish my short story collection, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD.
If you would like to know more about my novel, click here. Book launch page for MONTPELIER TOMORROW
If you are a member of the Goodreads community, please add a review of my book.
I am sharing this with my mother — she has been a caregiver for many years and is still “in the midst of it.”
B. Lynn Goodwin says
Your blog is a service to caregivers and former caregivers, Marylee.
One of the ways to handle the stress of caregiving is to write about it. Keep a journal. Your place. Your thoughts. All of them. Getting them on paper helps you move through and move on.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at http://www.amazon.com/You-Want-Me-Do-What/dp/1606962973#. You’ll never know what journaling can do for you until you give it a try.
B. Lynn Goodwin