While I have had a career as an academic, writer and trainer, this book is different from my others.
I admit that all my education and professional experience did nothing to prepare me for the diagnosis, decline and eventual loss of my husband, Jim, who suffered from a form of dementia, most likely Lewy Body Disease.
The book came about because during his illness, in an effort to rid myself of some of the more dreadful memories and to remember the more poignant ones, I occasionally wrote some notes, which I kept in a box. After Jim’s death, I became ‘nomadic’, and the box followed me.
One day I was introduced to someone with a long history in publishing. Over tea, I shared a few pages with Rae, who looked over them and said, “Write the book!” I did.
Then I turned to my long-time friend and publisher, Brian O’Kane, at Oak Tree Press in Ireland and asked, “Could you tell me what do I do with this?” Brian read the completed manuscript and responded with “Even though this is not our area, this book needs to get out there.”
Since writing the book I am painfully aware of how many lives have been and are being affected by the scourge of dementia. So I am deeply grateful when readers share that they have been touched, affected, reminded, helped, scared, reinforced, validated, and worried by the book. At every talk I give to caregivers, healthcare professionals or just plain folks, I am saddened by the epidemic and grateful that I can help in some small way.
As Jim wrote in the poem that appears on page 4, “One must be content to be happy in small ways.”
Elizabeth P. Tierney, Ph.D. is a writer, trainer, consultant and lecturer in Communications and Management. She was a school administrator in the US and taught at University College Dublin, Ireland and at Cesuga in Spain. She has trained and coached students and business people, spoken at conferences and is the author of seven books, including two published by Oak Tree Press: Show Time! and Selling Yourself. Elizabeth lives in Portland, Oregon.
Oak Tree Press develops and delivers information, advice and resources for entrepreneurs and managers. It is Ireland’s leading business book publisher, with an unrivalled reputation for quality titles across business, management, HR, law, marketing and enterprise topics. NuBooks is its recently-launched imprint, publishing short, focused ebooks for busy entrepreneurs and managers.
Author photo: Howard Baird, Aim and Shoot Photography.