zondag 29 maart 2015

Book Excerpt from Learning to Float

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from “Tears on My Pillow”
I spent that first week at the hospital, returning each evening to our Whidbey Island home to recharge. I needed to gaze at the water and mountains visible from the house and yard. I needed to re-energize myself in the quiet of our neighborhood and cuddle with our cat Lydia. My first night alone, however, was not a peaceful experience. The house felt abandoned, empty of a part of its life energy. I was qualitatively different from the person who left the house earlier that day. I don’t remember how I got home that first night. I must have been on automatic pilot, pointing the car in what I thought was the right direction and hoping that it, like a well-trained horse, would find its way back to the ferry terminal and then to its garage. When I left her hospital room, Deloris was asleep, looking nothing like the vibrant and beautiful woman with whom I had shared two decades of life. Granted no one looks their best in a hospital gown with wires and IV tubes extending from their body. Yet as I watched her lie there, slack-jawed, pale, expressionless, in a drug- and stroke-induced unconsciousness, the enormity and uncertainty of the situation swamped my mind. Not knowing was awful. I could not help but grieve and imagine the worst possible futures.
Once home, after feeding the cat and eating some dinner, I sat on the deck with a glass of wine. I hoped the silent beauty of the star-filled late summer night might calm me. It didn't.
Later, alone and lonely in bed, I cried myself to sleep, the first of many such nights.


About The Book

Title: Learning to Float
Author: Allan Ament
Genre: Memoir
Allan and Deloris Ament’s lives take a dramatic turn when Deloris suffers a debilitating stroke. No longer an equal partner in marriage, Allan becomes Deloris’s primary caregiver, responsible for maintaining their household and her well-being. Learning to Float describes Allan’s transformation from a criminal defense attorney to a compassionate, emotionally vulnerable caregiver. Drawing on contemporaneously written emails and private journal entries, Ament unflinchingly exposes his emotional, mental, and physical ups and downs, consistently focusing on the love, humor, and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth he experiences on this journey. Anyone with the possibility of becoming a caregiver for a loved one, now or in the future, will benefit from the insights Ament shares. Everyone will be buoyed by the love Allan and Deloris experience as they face their new normal.

Author Bio

After successful careers as a criminal defense attorney, higher education administrator and instructor, and day spa manager, Allan Ament now enjoys retirement with his wife, an award-winning journalist and author, and their semi-neurotic cat (are there other kinds?) They live on an island in Puget Sound, north of Seattle, where, in addition to writing and being his wife’s primary caregiver, Ament serves as board chair for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (nila.edu).  His work has previously appeared in academic, professional, and literary journals, and is included in an upcoming anthology, Being: What Makes a Man. Learning to Float is his first book-length work.


Twitter:  @allanament
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