My friend, Linda, has written a beautiful and tender book:
Release Date: July 1st, 2014
from Anaiah Press
When I received my copy of Linda Brendle’s new book, A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos, I rejoiced, and I hesitated. I knew it would be good. I read Linda’s blog all the time, and she has been a friend and encourager to me since 2006, the year before the 7-week road trip chronicled in her book.
So why the hesitation? It was because I knew this story would be so much more than a travelogue. It would be both balm and challenge. There would be tears, maybe sobs, along the way. It would engage my heart in ways that would be painful, yet healing. I would laugh out loud…and then sigh. All those things were true. Linda has gently and skillfully told the story of her life and the ones she loves, and along the way she has written for every weary and uncertain heart that comes across her words.
This book will, perhaps, appeal first to caregivers, who walk alongside aging parents or family members with special needs, battling exhaustion and second-guessing themselves. If that’s you or someone you love, please let me tell you: Linda gets it. Early in the book you’ll find a few italicized sentences that echo the hearts of every caregiver I’ve ever met. Buy the book for those sentences alone, and then go on the journey with Linda and her family. I think you will remember the beginnings of your own journey, and the love that helps you put one foot in front of the other on the darkest and brightest of days.
Here’s the thing, though: this book is for everyone. I would recommend it if you are:
- A parent of an adult child
- An adult child
- Wondering what “codependent” means
- Someone who struggles with mental illness
- Someone who loves someone who struggles with mental illness
- Someone who knows your way around gray and black tanks, and 30- and 50- amp hookups.
- Struggling to make sense of how the way you grew up keeps affecting you today
Yep, pretty much everybody.
My favorite thing about this book is the way Linda is both honest and honoring with her parents’ and other loved ones’ stories. She writes about real people: flawed and wonderful, broken and delightful, foolish and wise, weak and powerful, and she does it in a way that is winsome and tender. This is not a book of cliches or blame or too-easy spiritualizing. It’s a book by a woman who has experienced the wonder of knowing and being known, loving and being loved, no matter what that looks, feels, or even smells like.
My hope for you is that you don’t hesitate, but that you pull up a chair under the awning and savor every moment. May God bless you as you do.
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Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.
About the Author:
After 15 years as a family caregiver, Linda began writing to encourage, inspire and amuse other caregivers. She loves to travel and since retiring has traveled mostly by motorcycle and RV. She and her husband live in a small East Texas town where she gardens, writes and attends church.