I met Doreen (Dody) Cox via a mutual author friend, Lisette Brodey. Her kind and spirited nature made it easy for us to become friends, and we have crossed paths regularly over the past months on various platforms.
Dody is a strong advocate for indie writers, and I am more than happy to give space to such a generous author.
Dody recently relaunched her memoir called Adventures in Mother-Sitting. She wrote about it via a blog on Lisette’s site. Find out what her experience was as a full-time caregiver to her mother, coping with dementia.
I encourage you to connect to Dody. She’s a lovely woman to have in your social network.
For a daughter, at age 61, being called “mommy” by her own mother was a heart-wrenching experience. This happened to the author during the course of a three-year adventure as the full-time caregiver to her mother, much loved yet caught up in a downward spiral of physical, mental, and developmentally regressed disabilities.
Each day is an adventure because when dementia is present, the typical actions involved with daily care habits become unpredictable. The experience is also termed an adventure because of the surprising twists and turns of emotion that arose in the author, compelling her to recognize and face deep-seated fears and unwanted emotional reactions when her performance was not in accord with the spiritual vision that she had of herself. Moments of comic relief would save the author from the depths of despair during pill-taking and messy hygienic episodes, and her mother’s nighttime delusions. The mantra that kept the author going was an echo of her mother’s life-long response to any calamitous event: you can do what you have to do.
ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is not just a chronicle about the dementia-induced antics of an independent, spirited mother as she approaches the time of her death. The book is also about a daughter’s journey through an emotional rollercoaster passage of grief that gets intermixed with surprising sweet instances of joyful connections with not only her childlike mother but, also, her innermost self. Throughout the book, the author portrays the ways in which the physical and mental needs of an old-age mother and the emotional, spiritual needs of a caregiver daughter lovingly serve each other and how the dementia serves them both.
The memoir depicts not only the role changes that occur in the relationship between a caregiver daughter and her beloved mother but, also, the more compassionate relationship that the daughter gains with herself as she learns to walk more honestly and gently with her fears, worries, and shortcomings.
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Dody has also written a short story called A Sacred Journey.
Escaping at night from her home into a nearby forest, Leah is expected by the animals that live there. Communicating via mind-speak, one animal with mystical powers and two others guide Leah to a sacred clearing wherein lies a magical moonstone. It is here that Leah will encounter someone from her past, a beloved whose presence initiates a sacred, everlasting ceremony.
Leah’s escape and trek is revealed in counterpoint to the experiences of four trackers who are continuously confounded by strange, unexplainable situations. Unbeknownst to them at the time, forest animals are creating subterfuge situations to thwart the trackers’ ability to find Leah and bring her home. When they find her at last, the trackers experience a life-changing event, one that bridges a gap between their beliefs about reality and their wonderings regarding the mysterious unknown.
A Sacred Journey is a short story that embodies four major themes that are central to my outlook on life: first, be willing to see everything and everyone around me with fresh eyes. Second, stay open-minded as to the element of mystery that exists in our world. Third, affirm the sacredness inherent in the time of dying—beyond specific religious views. These three themes are enfolded in threads of humor, the fourth theme.
Find Doreen (Dody) at all her virtual homes
Born with a sense of wanderlust, Doreen (Dody) Cox had a somewhat convoluted career path, working in various business-related and mental health occupations. When dementia began to debilitate her mother, Dody resigned from her job as group counselor at an alternative school in order to take on an unforeseen endeavor: become her mother’s care bear. It was after her mother’s death that Dody’s path took another unexpected turn. She chose to honor her mother’s long-held wish: for her to write a book. ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is Dody’s first publication, a memoir that emerged from the pages of her journal. Writing was a steadying outlet throughout the three years that dementia took her and her mother on an unpredictably tumultuous, yet heartwarming adventure.
Currently, Dody lives in her native Florida and works part-time, teaching a GED class comprised of multicultural adults in one of her favorite places: a library. She continues to write and has recently published A SACRED JOURNEY, a fictional story with themes relating to nature, spirituality, hope, and dignity in death.