Friday, August 8, 2014

Guest Post by Author RJ Thesman: Hope for Caregivers through the Reverend G Series

When I coach writers, I often remind them, “Nonfiction tells the facts, but fiction shows the truth."

That quote has become reality as my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Mom is now approximately five years into the disease and she is experiencing the second level – what I call – The Intermission.

By writing a fictional series about Reverend G, a gutsy woman minister who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I have been able to share the truth about this horrid disease. It sneaks up on families and before they know it they are living within a nightmare of confusion, regressive behaviors and the sadness of a parent who no longer knows who they are.

Within the novels, I’ve tried to include some ideas for caregivers, ways they can learn to cope with what is happening to their loved ones. Often, readers email me to express gratitude or to agree with me about a particular experience that Reverend G goes through.

“Yes, that happened to my mom. How did you know?”

“I agree with you. It doesn’t help to argue with an Alzheimer’s patient. They win every time.”

“It hurts so much that my dad no longer knows my name.”

Because Alzheimer’s is such a tragic disease that affects entire families, I’ve also included humorous stories and characters within the book, including a cat who serves as part of the staff at Cove Creek Assisted Living. By including some of the lighter stories, my readers can deal with what is happening to Reverend G and also, hopefully, find some humor in the situations they are dealing with.

My main goal is to encourage caregivers, so I hope that comes through in these novels. Because fiction shows the truth, I hope that families who deal with Alzheimer’s can find encouragement within the life of Reverend G.

RJ Thesman

Intermission for Reverend G 
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: Three months after a fire ripped through Cove Creek Assisted Living Facility, repairs are complete, but even as Reverend G and her cat, Gabriel move back into their apartment, the retired pastor realizes life just isn’t the same. She continues to minister to her fellow residents — the widower who reads the same book over and over and the woman who waits by the front door for the family who never arrives. Even Gabriel is back at work, making his rounds and forecasting death. But while Reverend G is able to find the words to conduct a funeral service, anticipates the birth of her first grandchild and plans her future with her beloved, Chris, she battles her worsening Alzheimer’s symptoms — memory loss, paranoia, anger and fear. Now, her worst nightmare seems to be coming true. God hasn’t spoken to her in weeks. Has Reverend G lost her connection with God?

The Unraveling of Reverend G
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: When Reverend G hears the devastating diagnosis—dementia with the possibility of early-onset Alzheimer’s—she struggles with the pain of forgetting those she loves and the fear of losing her connection with God. With the help of her friends at the assisted living facility, Bert, a farmer from Oklahoma, Roxie, the stressed-out activities director and Gabriel, a cat with the gift of forecasting death, she soon discovers there’s humor to be found in forgetting part of the Lord’s Prayer, finding her iron in the freezer and losing a half-gallon of ice cream. And she discovers that while the question she wants to ask is, ‘Why,’ the answer really is, ‘Who.’ 

The Unraveling of Reverend G at Amazon

RJ Thesman has been a writer since she flipped open her Red Chief tablet and scribbled her first story. After writing 4 non-fiction books and almost 500 articles, she woke up one day with a novel in her head. That novel became "The Unraveling of Reverend G." She enjoys teaching writing workshops and helping writers birth their words. She is a certified life coach, works as a writing coach and as a coach for women who are Starting Over Single. She is the mother of an adult son, and she enjoys reading, gardening and cooking - especially anything with blueberries. Thesman lives in the heart of Kansas with her son and an elderly cat.

Connect with Author RJ Thesman


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