After sharing with one of my dearest friends the extraordinary occurrences that my siblings and I journaled during the time Dad was dying, and two years later, during the time Mom was dying, she told me I should write a book about them. I responded, “Maybe I will.”

However, my husband, Darrell, and I adjusted to a life that no longer included the numerous five-hour roundtrip drives to help care for Mom and Dad. We became more involved with our friends and doing other things we enjoyed – like going to fantastic Northwoods Wisconsin supper clubs. (I would be more than happy to recommend the best ones to you!)

I settled in enjoying teaching ballroom and Latin dance classes – I absolutely love doing that! I tell people not to worry about getting all the patterns exactly right because I’m really just teaching them how to have fun.

Moreover, Darrell was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer) two years after Mom died. The treatments took their toll on him. Even though now (five years later) he is still in remission, his care continues. I had completely forgotten about writing a book.

Until, as I wrote, “I had just lain down on the sofa to take an afternoon nap when, for some unexplainable reason, visions with words began popping into my mind describing the night Dad died. It was so overwhelming that I needed to get up and start typing them into a document. And this was over six years after both Dad and Mom had died! I noted to call my sister, Franchion, to ask her if I could borrow The Notebook. It was the type of diary we kept during Dad’s, and later Mom’s, time in home hospice care.”

In Dad Died, Then Mom, I share with you how my siblings, Bill, Marvel, Franchion, Shonnie, and I navigate something we have no desire to experience – until it becomes the experience of a lifetime.

Psst, don’t tell my two dog-kids, Ellie and Shelby, that I’ve already written the first chapter of my next book. Maybe I’ll complete it.

Written by Malia Arries

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