Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Alzheimer's & Romance? Is that possible?

Robin & Angi
All I can say is that FORGOTTEN SECRETS is excellent. If you think I'm bias you can check out any of the 573 5-star reviews.

It's always my pleasure to have my cuz, Robin Perini as a guest on the blog. Today she's talking about her best selling book and one that's dear to her heart. She'll tell you why... 


An Unexpected Calling

First, I have to thank Angi for allowing me to be here today to share a story that’s near and dear to my heart. Please bear with me, dear readers, while I share my very unexpected calling and a blessed inspiration.

Life doesn’t always follow the path we expect, does it? I dreamed of being an author for as long as I can remember. In 2011 my dreams came true when I sold not just one, but seven books. No one was more excited for me than my mom. She’d been my cheerleader from the time I showed her my first, very bad, manuscript. She always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.

I understood then that my family would be travelling down a tough road. We’d known since 2008 that my mom was afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2011, her short term memory was impacted, but she’d responded well to her medication, and while life wasn’t the same as before, it was okay. My family learned to live by a new edict: Be thankful and appreciative of what you still have, not resentful for what you have lost—and continue to lose.

Fast forward a few years. I put out three books a year for a couple of years, and then my mom’s medication stopped working. In a period of less than six months, my mom went from being able to travel and spend time with the grandkids to being unable to communicate or take care of any of her bodily needs. For our family, life stopped.


I pushed aside many of my outside activities to focus on my mom. With the kindness and support of my publishers I adjusted my deadlines so I could help care for my mom and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Did you know that 1 in 3 seniors will face dementia. Did you know that of the top ten causes of death in the United States, only Alzheimer’s has no treatment, much less a cure (current medications only mask the symptoms; they don’t treat the disease).

Our family needed help and support. In those months, we came to rely heavily on the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. My dad attended (and still attends) several support groups. We even took part in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. At that event I was inspired by a high school student who raised $5000 for the cause by hosting a spaghetti supper. In that moment, I realized that I had no desire to host a dinner, but that I was an author. That I could use my passion for writing to educate and raise money for the disease that was stealing my mom from me, piece by piece.

Shortly thereafter, the idea for a book came to me. A book in which the only witness to a crime has Alzheimer’s Disease. Forgotten Secrets was the toughest and easiest book I had ever written. Take care of my mom changed me. For the better. But when the book came out, I didn’t anticipate the response I received. I have been unbelievably moved by the words of my readers. So many have written, thanking me for bringing awareness and for showing a slice of truth about Alzheimer’s. Some have the disease; some are caregivers; some have lost a loved one; some have never known anyone with Alzheimer’s but have thanked me for showing them a small window into the world of this difficult illness. I have been so gratified and encouraged. Sometimes I wonder if this moment in time is why I became a writer in the first place.

Even so, I felt like I had to do more. So I created a four-pronged plan to support the organization that had so helped our family so much. The Alzheimer’s Association has been a God-send to me and my family in so many ways.  Apart from the education and personal support, they were the ones who helped my family realize—finally—that we are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. I pray for that day.

And I wanted to do my own small part.
1)  I added an Alzheimer’s section to my website that has information on Alzheimer’s and even a few blogs from my dad and I about our journey with mom.
2)  I donate 10% of the royalties from Forgotten Secrets to the New Mexico Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
3)  I started the #1MemoryChallenge. The reason: I so wish that I could talk to my mom again, share memories, ask her questions about her life as a child, growing up, as a young woman. I can’t do that, but I can share my memories with loved ones. I can record them so they won’t be lost. And I can encourage others to do the same. Because once those memories fade (whatever the cause), they are gone. Taking part is easy:
a.       Record a memory through a video, photo and/or writing a story and post it on social media.
b.      Challenge 2-5 others to share a memory and tag them.
c.       Give them 24 hours to accomplish the challenge or to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association (or another organization).
      4) And I participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer's disease There are two ways to help: participate and/or donate. I’d love to have you on my team! J

I said earlier that the scope of my life had narrowed. The truth is, my life has become more complete and blessed than I ever imagined. I still write. I have learned how strong my family (especially my dad) is. I’ve met amazing people, including our caregiver, Bobbie, who is an angel.


My mom is still with us. She doesn’t speak and can no longer walk, but just last night I received a butterfly kiss from her when I helped my dad put her to bed. I love her more than I can ever express, and though I miss the mom I used to know, I am certain that she would be pleased that her book has touched so many lives. I’m blessed to have the mother I do. She is my inspiration.

Looking for more information on my expected calling? Try below.

Donation Pages
Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team Perini 
Robin’s Mom Tribute Donation Page

1 Memory Challenge


FORGOTTEN
SECRETS

At age ten, Riley Lambert watched helplessly as her sister was abducted from her bedroom. Fifteen years later, she’s channeled the pain of her past into a career as an FBI profiler. Riley devotes her life to bringing violent criminals to justice…and secretly uses government resources to search for her sister, who was never found.
When Riley gets a call from the only man who’s ever swept her off her feet with a killer two-step and dangerous smile—ex-Navy SEAL Thayne Blackwood of Singing River, Wyoming—it stirs up dark memories. Thayne’s sister, Cheyenne, has been kidnapped. There are no leads, and the only witness is the victim’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother.
Desperate to find Cheyenne, Thayne needs Riley’s expertise. With time running short, they delve into dangerous small-town secrets while fighting against an increasingly ruthless adversary. But when her past and his present collide in a shocking revelation, can they overcome the secrets that have kept them apart?

ROBIN PERINI is a RITA Finalist, award-winning and national bestselling author, devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Her mission's motto: "When danger and romance collide, no heart is safe." After seven prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finals, Robin has since sold fourteen novels. 

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Step Into the Crossfire 
with the first of THREE Series!
Montgomery Justice Novels - In Her Sights
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Carder Texas Connections - Finding Her Son 
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Singing River Legacy - Forgotten Secrets
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Have you heard about the Memory Challenge or participated?

4 comments:

  1. No I have never heard of the memory challenge but i am a rookie on the computer and couldn;t do it if i had to. Although it is a good way to get people to donate as that is a really good group. I do donate to the disease I have and there have been no challenges for it yet that i have heard of . Thank you so much Angi for fixing the link and having this guest it was so interesting!

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  2. Angi, thanks so much for having me. Dear readers, I'm happy to respond to any questions after I get home from the day job!

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  3. Great post Robin—gosh we've all been touched by Alzheimer's in one way or the other—walk to end Alzheimer's. And what a wonderful way to incorporate your life challenges into a novel!

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