Loving Mom

Recently I had an experience that was surreal in its timing and a reminder of the cyclical nature of life. Mid to late July I was anxiously awaiting the illustrations to be done for my book For I Am Yours and enjoying a rare time of fulfillment and joy.

The day finally came that Lorraine Watry told me that she was done with the illustrations. A few hours later, my brother told me that my mother was in the emergency room.  After some brutal ER situations stemming from her Alzheimer’s, my mom was anxious and disoriented during her health crisis, which made things so much worse for her. The final stages of publishing the story I wrote about a mother’s love was juxtaposed with a new story about my mother’s life in jeopardy. And my heart ached with the thought of it.

That weekend I worked with Lorraine and the publisher to finalize the book while also making plans to drive to New York with my daughter Carol Linn to take care of my mother. What made my mom’s situation somewhat bearable was that my oldest, Nicole, flew into Rochester with her husband the very next day to take care of her Baba Ana. Carol Linn and I planned to join her a few days later. We planned our road trip, down to the book we were going to listen to on the 7-hour drive.

It wasn’t lost on me that I was about to spend an incredible amount of time with the child who was the inspiration for my book. It had been years since we had each other’s undivided attention. Once we dropped off Ian and Chico, we put the audio book on and…two minutes later we turned it off. We had so much we wanted to share with each other, from the inconsequential to the deep thoughts and feelings that we haven’t had time or opportunity to share with each other. We talked about stupid things that made us angry (and then laughed about them) and important things that made us cry. We talked about our roles as stepmoms and daughters, our fears and our dreams. And my heart swelled with the joy of it.

When we arrived at my mom’s home, we weren’t prepared for how much independence she had lost: She could no longer walk on her own or feed herself; she was unable to carry on a conversation; she was weepy and afraid—a dramatic difference from when I saw her just a few weeks earlier. Nicole was taking care of her as well as the move from an upstairs room to a main-level room—this after being in the hospital all night with my mom after the 4th ER visit in 2-3 days. I looked at Nicole and was amazed by my child, now a woman; I was completely blown away by her strength and diligence–whatever the job might be, she accomplished it. And my heart swelled with the pride of it.

We helped Mom walk to her room and get her ready for bed and then worked into the evening to finish the move. Nicole was leaving in the morning, and Carol Linn and I were taking over. I have to admit that I was nervous. I was an emotional wreck. Could I bind my breaking heart enough to take care of my mother? I’m not sure I would’ve been able to without Nicole’s example.

The next day, Carol Linn and I followed in Nicole’s footsteps. We helped my weeping mother get out of bed, go to the bathroom, brush her teeth, change her clothes, eat breakfast, and drink juice. We took turns sitting with her on the couch and holding her legs in our lap; we wrapped a blanket around her when she was cold; we held her hand and kissed her forehead. Most of the time she barely opened her eyes, but when she did, she was happy to see our faces, even if she couldn’t remember who we were at times.

We stayed for a few days, but then Carol Linn and I had to make our way back to New England to our other family members who needed us as well. Neither one of us wanted to leave her. It pained us to walk away. How could we leave her when she needed us so badly? Who was going to take care of her? Who was going to feed her, help her get to her room, change her clothes? Who was going to hold her hand when she was lost and confused? Who was going to say, “I love you” to ease her fears? And my heart broke with the thought of it.

Once home, I checked in daily with the staff on her progress. Every phone call confirmed my worst fears: She was crying and disoriented in bed, refusing to get up and eat. I wanted to run back and wrap my arms around her, hold her and wipe away her tears. But as the weeks went on, the new medication started to kick in. She wasn’t waking up weepy anymore. She learned to use a walker and eventually didn’t need it anymore. She started feeding herself and carried on conversations with staff and friends and family visiting her. And my heart swelled with the relief of it.

She is not back to where she was at the end of June, but she is much better than when we left her at the end of July. I know that eventually she will return to that dependent state because of the nature of the disease, but at least now it will be a slow decline. Even if she doesn’t remember my visits, I’ll be able to return and share the new book with her. I’m excited to read the words that epitomize my love for my children and that I now realize also echo my love for my mother. While I hold her hand and tuck a blanket around her legs, I’ll be able to tell her that I love her and that I am hers and she is mine, ‘til the end of time.

Episode 102: CBD and Soul Purpose with Nadine Thompson

August 4, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Nadine Thompson has dedicated her life as a social entrepreneur to empowering women and creating innovative entrepreneurial opportunities for people who want to improve the quality of their lives. Nadine has created a number of successful businesses under her brand Soul Purpose and is now working on her latest venture CBD products.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Pata Pata” by Miriam Makeba; 2nd song: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers; and 3rd song: “Human” by Rag n Bone Man.

To contact Nadine, go to http://soulpurpose.com/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 101: Historical Fiction with Thomas Ott

July 28, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Thomas Ott earned his Ph.D. in Caribbean History from the University of Tennessee and is the author of The Haitian Revolution: 1791-1804 and Saturday and the Witch Woman. In 2010 he retired from the University of North Alabama to write the story of Saturday, a slave on the French side of his ancestors and a participant in the world’s greatest slave rebellion. He joins me from North Alabama.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of his life:1st song: “City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie; 2nd song: “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash; and 3rd song: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge.

To order Thomas’s book, go to: https://www.wordcrafts.net/thomas-o-ott/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 100: Serendipitous Text Message with Kasey Bergh

July 21, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Kasey Bergh found new love when she sent a text and got a wrong number. Ultimately, they met, fell in love and got married 3 years later.  Kasey and Henry’s love story has gone viral, not only because of that serendipitous text message but also because Henry is 29 years younger than she is. Kasey shares the circumstances behind their first meeting and the ways they have dealt with some of their unique struggles in order to go all in.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Peace of Mind” by Rare Bird; 2nd song: “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin; and 3rd song: “Canon in D” by Pachelbel.

For more information on Kasey’s next adventure, go to: kaseybstl.com or follow Kasey and Henry’s story on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaseyandhenry/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 99: The Narcissist’s Wife with Laura Mansfield

July 14, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Laura Mansfield joins me again to talk about her new book The Narcissist’s Wife. This is Laura’s second book. For this episode, we found more common ground and talked about our own experiences with narcissists, how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from becoming enmeshed with narcissists, and that it is possible to have a fulfilling life after we remove the toxicity in our lives.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick; 2nd song: “Love in the Dark” by Adele; and 3rd song: “This Is the Sea” by The Waterboys.

Laura writes from her home in East Tennessee. Get in touch at:  lauramansfieldauthor.com

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 98: Believe, Hope, Remember with Abby Rosser

July 7, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Abby Rosser lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. She is a former kindergarten teacher who is now an author, publishing 5 books in 6 years, and currently working on book 6. Abby talks about her writing journey, her books, what it means to her to go all in, and where she finds meaning in her life.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel; 2nd song: “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon; and 3rd song: “Look Up Child” by Lauren Daigle.

For more information on Abby, go to www.facebook.com/abbyrosserwrites/ or www.abbyrosser.com

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 97: The HUGEmanities with Molly Campbell and Krista Jackman

June 23, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Molly Campbell and Krista Jackman are UNH Lecturers and have started The HUGEmanities Project, a collaboration between The New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative, and UNH College of Liberal Arts. It is an initiative that highlights the engaged, active thinking and digital humanities work UNH students are doing. We discuss why the humanities are an important field of study, define the humanities through song, and talk about going all in.

Defining the Humanities through song: 1st song: “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday 1939; 2nd song: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton 1980; and 3rd song: “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield 1966.

To learn more about the UNH HUGEmanities project, go to https://mypages.unh.edu/hugemanities

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 96: Stunt Coordinating with Amy Greene

June 16, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Amy Greene is a SAG stunt performer and stunt coordinator. Some of her films include Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (currently on Netflix), The Nun, Woodshock, and All Creatures Here Below. Amy talks about how she got started as a stunt performer, the film industry, and what it means to go all in.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: “Car” by Built To Spill; 2nd song: “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” by George Strait; and 3rd song: “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor.

For more information and to contact Amy, go to https://www.greenemachinestunts.com/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 95: The Ring on the Sill with Jody Clark

June 2, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Jody Clark

Jody Clark joins me again to talk about The Ring on the Sill the final book in his trilogy “The Soundtrack to My Life.” Jody grew up in the Kittery/York area of southern Maine and his books are based on his experiences growing up in a beach town. Jody talks about his recent launch party, meeting John Cusack, his writing habits, and what’s next.

The three songs he shared: 1st song: “With or Without you” by U2; 2nd song: “I Melt with you” by Modern English; and 3rd song: “Wild Irish Rose” by The Push Stars.

For more information about Jody and his books, go to: https://www.vacationlandbooks.com/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 94: Little Shop of Horrors with Jordan Formichelli and Marina Altschiller

May 26, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Little Shop poster.jpg.png

Jordan Formichelli and Marina Altschiller join me to talk about Little Shop of Horrors (opening May 31 at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord, NH), the show’s origin, producing a big name show as a start-up theatre company (Dive-In Productions), and what it means to them “to go all in.”

They shared three songs from the musical: 1st song: “Prologue”; 2nd song: “Feed Me”; and 3rd song: “Suddenly Seymour.”

For more information on Dive In Productions, email at diveintheatre@gmail.com.

To get tickets for Little Shop of Horrors, go to http://hatboxnh.com/ 

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins