While most readers of this site are very familiar with author Diane Fanning, few know that her 90-year-old mother in law, Marilyn Fanning, is also a published author. Her latest book, Hope for the Journey: When Your Loved One Has Dementia, offers hope and encouragement for others as they take the journey backwards through a loved one’s life.
Keeping a journal during her husband Bill’s years of Alzheimer’s, Marilyn has captured the essence of the daily ups and downs of the disease, as well as simple, yet very helpful words of advice for caretakers. Not only does she share the difficulties she encountered, but also the humor.
Marilyn Fanning’s writing career includes 3 books and numerous articles for magazines such as Women’s Day, Catholic Digest and Guideposts. At 90, she still meets with her writing group on a regular basis. Through her writing, Marilyn Fanning wishes to help others, and Hope for the Journey, was her wish to share her experiences so others might learn.
Interviewed for an article in the Virginia Gazette, she says, “What I’ve learned about family and other relationships is much of what I’ve written and published over the years,” Marilyn says. “My faith and wisdom from friends and counselors have given me insight to help readers.”
Because of Marilyn’s health she no longer uses a computer, and with the aid of her good friends and family members she was able to complete her book, but publishers would not accept the project because she wasn’t able to do the promotions. But, the Fanning family had something else in mind.
One of their traditions is the “Zero” birthday party celebrating all the family members with a milestone birthday; 90, 60, three 40’s, and 10 were represented as they gathered to observe. Much to Marilyn’s surprise, her family self-published Hope for the Journey and presented her with several copies.
Each of the short chapters (written so caretakers can tend to their loved one) contains an observation about her husband Bill and his disease’s progression, along with her insights, resources, and suggestions for the reader. The final section of the book contains reflections about Bill written by his grandson and his daughter.
Hope for the Journey can be ordered through Amazon in print or a Kindle version.