Hi hi hi! I hope you guys are all having a wonderful Wednesday so far! I am super duper excited to share another Tea Time with post. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite post, because I get to kind of speak to all these wonderful, inspiring people that I look up to SO much. As you know I launched Tea Time with earlier this year and it brings me so much pleasure to have Dr. Melanie Merriman on the blog today.
She is the author behind Holding The Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging. I read her book a few months ago, and if you read my September book club list then you might know what book I’m talking about. I felt an instant connection with Melanie, she was putting a lot of the emotions I have been feeling for the last few months. My grandpa has moved in with me until I make my permanent move to Colorado next year and it has been a very rocky road having him here. While I am grateful that he’s still here with us and it is nice being able to spend time with him, the age does affect a lot.
Alright babes, enough of me talking, I introduce to you the wonderful voice behind this emotional book, Melanie!
TEA TIME WITH MELANIE MERRIMAN
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO SHARE SUCH A PERSONAL STORY WITH EVERYONE?
The experience of watching my mother age and trying to make the later part of her life the best it could be affected me deeply. It was both wrenching and rewarding. Any time I mentioned it, both friends and strangers would tell me about their own experiences, and I could see how sharing our stories helped us better understand and cope with the situation. I knew I could offer both useful information and validation for other families going through this experience.
Yeah, I totally understand that, one of the biggest reasons why I started my blog.
WAS IT A PARTICULAR DIFFICULT BOOK TO WRITE, SINCE IT IS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL PIECE?
Any writer will tell you that writing itself is always difficult. The joy and the struggle is finding just the right way to bring the reader into the story. The strong emotions attached to this story made it easier for me to recall the scenes and even much of the dialogue. The challenge then was to get beyond the emotion to the truth of the experience—to explain what happened in a way that evokes feelings in the reader.
I am with you on that, I’ve been wanting to put together a book for a few years now and still haven’t found the right way to bring the readers into the story. Or bring the story to the readers.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND AFTER A LONG DAY?
I usually pour a short glass of wine to sip while I make dinner. The process of chopping and cooking helps me shift gears and turn down the volume in my brain.
That is so awesome, that you like to cook to unwind. It’s an amazing experience.
WHAT ADIVCE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING SIMILAR?
My best advice for families facing the care of an aging parent is this—reach out to professionals who can objectively evaluate the situation, and recommend specific options based on a family’s unique circumstances. It can be very hard for aging parents and adult children to agree on what needs to be done or even on who should be in charge. Professionals change that dynamic. Start with any professionals who are known and trusted—a physician, lawyer, or a clergy member with counseling skills. Other excellent options for assistance with identifying needs and then connecting with resources to meet those needs are: the local Area Agency on Aging (search for one at www.n4a.org); or an Aging Life Care Expert (aginglifecare.org).
FAVORITE FOOD INDULGENCE?
Ice cream—especially from a local place that makes it on site.
WE ALL HAVE A FAVORITE BOOK, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO READ?
Impossible! There are too many books that mean a lot to me. I’m not even sure I could come up with a top ten. Two books I read recently and that I think deserve more readers are Moonglow by Michael Chabon and Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt.
I just looked up Moonglow and have to say it is going to be added to my to read list. Sounds incredible.
IT’S A LAZY SUNDAY AND YOU DON’T ANY HAVE PRIOR COMMITMENTS, WHAT DO YOU DO?
Head out for an early walk and pick up a cappuccino on the way home. Read all morning. Go out for a French-style Sunday lunch with my husband and friends, followed by a nap on the couch, and an evening at home with a good movie.
Loving your kind of lazy Sunday!
PICTURE YOUR FAVORITE VACATION, WHERE ARE YOU?
A small town in Provence, France.
QUOTE OR MANTRA YOU LIVE BY.
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” E.B. White