Sharing Your Stories - EXPRESS YOUR VOICE
I'd love to hear your comments, stories, or questions you may have. If you would like to share your reaction to Released to the Angels or tell a personal story, please do!
As I travel and speak at events, I sometimes share others' stories---their pain, joy, and humor. If I find your story/comments to be something that could benefit others either in a presentation, on this website, or in written form, could I have your permission to do so?
Marilynn, I helped with your book signing at the Wisconsin State Alzheimer's conference in the Wisconsin Dells while you were the keynote speaker. Hearing your story, I had to leave in the middle of your talk, because I was so emotional. I too, am losing my sweetheart to this disease. When I came back, I was asked by a resort staff member if I knew Patrick. ( She could tell by looking at me, that I was moved.) I told her yes, I guess I did know Patrick. That I was going thru all the things you were sharing with over 750 people. She expressed her concern with a hug. Then I received your book in the mail, as promised by you. I have read many books, since his diagnosis. Yours is the first to touch my life. I thank you for sharing. Please, after you read this book, pass it on to a neighbor, co-worker, friend.
I recently heard you speak at a conference, and as you spoke I realized what a wonderful thing you are doing. The people around me were as affected as I, and my friend leaned over and whispered, "If I had her attitude toward life, I wouldn't be so afraid of this disease." And as you continued speaking I realized that it isn't a matter of adopting an attitude as it is simply experiencing the simple moments around us. Thank you, Marilynn.
I read your book and it helped me tremendously. You were kind enough to answer my e-mail with such wisdom. I showed that e-mail to so many of my family & friends (tears were shared by all). You cannot realize how much you have done for others. Thank YOU! I wrote lyrics to your song "Released to the Angels":
-Gloria (Gig) Gurinko
The time is here,
Please have no fear,
Now with the angels you’ll fly.
Though I may cry,
It’s not goodbye,
Someday I’ll fly up with you.
I’ll miss you dear,
I know you care,
Now with the angels you’ll be.
Mem’ries we share,
Love deep and rare,
I know you’ll still be with me.
Soaring, soaring as you watch from up above
until we meet again, my love.
You fought so long,
It seemed so wrong,
Now with the angels you’ll be.
Your suffering’s gone,
You’ll now be strong,
It all makes sense now to me.
I’ll miss you, dear, I know you care
Now with the angels you’ll fly.
Mem’ries we share,
Love deep and rare,
I know you’re here.
This is undoubtedly the best book I have ever read on a Caregiver's journey thru Alzheimers. It is a loving and heart warming story and a MUST READ for anyone dealing with this disease. Truly inspirational!
*Thanks for writing it [the book]. It changed me in a way that will last for the rest of my life. It really is beyond words for me to explain."
- Pat Bullock, Program Host of KHAC 880am Radio
"As a doctor, I try to learn from every patient/every family. Patrick taught and reminded me of the importance of understanding the human under the disease. It can be easy to think of patients as mere vessels of disease to which we can test medicines. But the disease is not the person, and even to the end, what is "Patrick" came through the mire of Alzheimer's. His sense of humor, his compassion and love for you were always there. Watching you care for him, to help bring him peace, music, comfort—I will always remember."
- Dr. David Jaeger, Neurologist (Pat's doctor)
"A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful love story. I laughed, sighed, smiled, recalled similar incidents, grieved and I wept...I wish it had been a biography of strangers not a biography of a friend I knew, respected, and loved. My soul comforting thought is that Pat had you who loved, respected, and honored him."
- Frank (a friend of Pat)
"I am a CNA who has worked with Alzeimer's patients for 9 yrs. It was a passion of mine and found that they are so special and they can teach us much. I never knew what their families were going through even though I would comfort them until recently. It seems I am now the caregiver to both my parents in just a few mths time. It is not easy all the emotions but this book has given me more insight and find the humor and enjoy them never knowing when the end will come. I thank you for writing such a heartwarming book and have told the ALF where my parents are about this book in hopes they will take my lead. With much happiness in my heart I thank you once again for sharing your story."
"Pat was a dear & loyal friend to me, years before Alzheimers struck him. He inspired me with his love of God, his wise counsel, his ability to find humor in this life. And there is just no way to accurately describe his deep love of his wife, Marilynn, and her recipricated adoration of him. This book is not just about Alzheimers. It is about the deep, abiding love of two people that stood up to and survived all the meaness of Alzheimers and found God-given beauty...even there. A wonderful telling of an inspiring, true love story. "
"I liked the humorous anecdotes, thoughts, and observations the most. I found myself frequently "laughing through tears" when reading the book. It had an emotional impact on me."
"...the reader learns early that both characters are worth his time. It is a joy to follow the story because of the wisdom and courage each has about life. Marilynn and Pat's love story gives us all hope that relationships can be rewarding when people have the wisdom to look for the blessings rather than concentrating on the tragedies in life."
"Your incredible ability to open the windows, doors and indeed the whole house of your life, your love, the pain and joy of your deeply personal relationship with the man that clearly God must have given to you and are still on a journey with, is an inspiration to me and I am sure everyone else that reads yours and Pats story. Thank you for sharing with all of us during our similar sojourns."
"I went to high school with Marilynn and we just found each other after years of mutual searching. I used to visit her and her family who lived right across the street from us at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, and Fr. Pat (he was my priest and confessor....whoops!) would often be there. I spoke with her 3 days ago and told her I could sense then that they were already in love. It was clear to me, however, that Pat was keeping his emotions very much under control out of respect for her young age and his status in the church as a priest. But just because he loved Marilynn didn't mean he loved God any less....in fact, as we all know, love keeps growing and expanding...the more you love the more capable you are of loving. Incidentally, that disease took my father in 1976 and his sister 2 years later. Marilynn was always a brilliant and beautiful person inside and out and she still remains so. Praise God we have reconnected and that she has passed their incredible journey on to the world."
*Marilyn Thank you so much for your book, my father-in-law who has Alzheimers lives with us and I have been taking care of him for 4 yrs. It's getting tougher as the disease takes his mind .We now have him in depends and I have stopped working. At times I am so tried that I think how much longer can I do this.Thank you for your story.
*This was the best book I have ever read on Alzheimers and I have recommended it to so many people. What a beautiful life you had together. It reminded me so much of my life with Paul. So many of the same things you experienced are the same as I have experienced. Paul is still living at home as I have chosen to use home care. I haven't exercised my long term care yet because I can still handle things on my own. Your book was truly and inspiration to me.
*Thank you, Marilyn Garzione...I am remembering the precious time I had taking care of my father. Pop was our hero...he had taken great care of many people his whole life...it was a pleasure and a privilege to take care of him. He was always sweet...and funny, too. I gave away our living room furniture and turned our home into a nursing home...my mother had everything except cancer and was also confined to her hospital bed. You would have loved to see our living room with two hospital beds, potty chairs, oxygen machine, etc. We had lots of company and good times. My daughter eventually moved in to help. The last year, we gave away the dining room furniture too so we could have a bed close to the "ole folks". I worked at several jobs within five minutes of the home...my employers understood when I had to go home. It was also the finest time I had with my daughter. Pop went to Heaven ten years ago, Mama seven years ago but I still feel their presence with me. I would not take anything for those thirteen years. I was blessed and I am thankful.
*I'm going to be attending a caregiver conference in September. You will be speaking there. I read your book, Marilynn, and I need to meet you. You have affected my life. Thank you for the good you are doing to help those struggling with this disease.
*My Mother had alzheimers, and my brother and I were the caregivers. She's gone now but we were lucky, we had Mom in her own home,my brother lived with her, I came in everyday. The most important thing we learned was to have a very "sick" sense of humor. Some people look at me with shock & horror when I tell stories but you really need to stay a little crazy, especially when you find petrified pecan pie in storage or pillows filled with teabags. We were lucky Mom was for the most part very pleasant, it ws harder on us. We would laugh over Mom & her 22 year old cat being incontinent together. We were also lucky to have great friends willing to sit with Mom so my brother could go out. It was very much a group experience, we had so much love from everyone. When Mom needed 24 hour care my sister who was retired took over her care, it was much harder on her. I would advise anyone facing this-be willing to give up money-I quit jobs, you might have some health problems-make sure you have an understanding Dr. Utilize your friends, it's amazing what can happen, but you need to laugh. It is the biggest lesson I learned about life. Laughing through it, and when you tell stories afterwards, you realize no matter how difficult, somehow, there was fun ! Fun & Love.
*Your book is helping me understand the real need to cherish the small moments that go by so quickly with this disease. Thank you, Marilynn for giving us this insight and the joy of moments you shared with Patrick.