Best selling author Frances Fuller offers a unique outlook on aging based on her own experience. Her insights are penetrating and deal with issues that many seniors and their families are concerned about.
WILMINGTON, NC, November 24, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — November is the month when the country starts to focus on being thankful. That may be difficult, given all that we have endured this year, and Frances Fuller, award winning author of Helping Yourself Grow Old raises the question “Will We Be Thankful in an assisted care facility?” The new piece on her website describes her experience in a community dominated by infirmities, frailties, illness:
In October, I sat on the porch with Bee, another resident here. I was in one of the big white rocking chairs that always seem to invite me to sit awhile. My friend was in her wheelchair. The day was sunny, the sky brilliant, and across the road the strip of forest that protects us from the next subdivision was several shades of green.
It must have been the little nip of cold in the air that made her say it. “I hate autumn.”
The words stunned me. I had been looking forward to sweater weather and the wonderful colors of fall.
“Why?” I asked her. “Why do you hate autumn?”
“Because everything is dying,” she said.
I tried, not very effectively, to convince her that it was just part of a cycle. Without it we would not have spring. She dreaded the winter that has to come first.
Already now some of the trees across the road are lifting bare branches to the heavens, and we are all a bit depressed because death has visited us here in the care community. This too is natural. We are old. We grow frail. The leaves fall from family trees. We mourn each loss and regret the brevity of autumn colors.
But suddenly it is November, a month we Americans have dedicated to being thankful. A staff member has encouraged us to say thanks formally at our separate tables in the dining room, but mostly we don’t. You see, we don’t sit down at the same time or order at the same time or begin to eat together.
Of course, we talk all the time. We say what we are thinking, I guess. And there is a common script that gets repeated often when I happen to be with a certain group. It begins when someone complains about the food. The vegetables are cooked too much. Or the mashed potatoes are cold, the meat is tough. And who gave them permission to call this gumbo?
There will be a silence following our complaint. Then someone will say, “But I didn’t have to cook today.”
Another will add, “I am not planning to wash the dishes either.”
And a certain woman can always be depended on to say, “I didn’t have to go to Kroger.”
The full piece is available at her site at http://www.francesfullerauthor.com.
There are many great books on aging available. However, many of them were written from an academic point of view. Most are penned by sociologists, doctors, gerontologists, even the CEO of AARP, and one by a Catholic nun, Joan Chittister. Chittister’s book, ‘The Gift of Years’ is beautifully written, focusing on spiritual values and finding meaning in life. Chittister admits in the preface that she was only 70, which is the front edge of aging, and her book is somewhat abstract.
Atul Gawande’s book, ‘On Being Mortal’, relates medicine and old age, It enjoys high Amazon rankings, in the category of “the sociology of aging.” It contains a great deal of valuable scientific information and shows understanding of the physical and emotional needs of the elderly.
Frances Fuller’s book, ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old, Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost Ninety’, is an up-close and very personal encounter with aging. It is an uncontrived and firsthand look at her own daily experiences: wrestling with physical limitations, grief, loneliness, fears, and the decisions she has made about how to cope with these and keep becoming a better person. She faces regrets and the need to forgive herself and others and is determined to live in a way that blesses her children and grandchildren.
Frances deals with many common, universal but sometimes private issues in an open, conversational tone. Her confessions and decisions invite self-searching and discussion. She tries to make sense of her own past and to understand her responsibility to younger generations. In the process she shares her daily life, enriched with memories from her fascinating experiences. Her stories and her voice — fresh, honest, irresistible — keep the reader eager for more. The end result is a book that helps create a detailed map through the challenging terrain of old age.
The result of this intimate narrative is that readers laugh, cry and identify with her mistakes and problems. Reviewers have called the book, “unique,” “honest,” “witty,” “poignant,” “challenging” and “life-changing.”
For these reasons it is a book unlike any other book on aging you will ever read. The book can serve as a primer on what lies in store for all of us, from someone who is working through many of these issues. While the book is a perfect fit for book clubs, there are many other individuals and groups who could benefit from the information and ideas in the book:
Those approaching retirement
People who are currently retired
Children of aging parents
Those who have lost a spouse
Retirement community discussion groups
Church groups (men and women)
and a host of others. For group discussions, Fuller has made a set of discussion questions available at her website at http://www.FrancesFullerAuthor.com.
Readers have lavished praise on the new book. One Amazon review stated, “I find myself thinking,’I need to read this again and take notes!’ It’s full of wisdom, humor, and grace. I also have committed to rereading it annually – it’s that important!” Another said, “There is valuable life experience in this book. Helping Yourself Grow Old is truly is a book for all ages, and one not to be missed.” Another stated, “Beautifully written book telling timeless truths, for both the old and the young. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and learn wisdom from someone who has lived so much life.”
Frances’ prior work, ‘In Borrowed Houses’, has taken three industry awards and has achieved Bestseller status. Frances Fuller was the Grand Prize winner in the 2015 ’50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading’ Book Awards. It received the bronze medal for memoir in the Illumination Book Awards in 2014. Northern California Publishers and Authors annually gives awards for literature produced by residents of the area. In 2015 ‘In Borrowed Houses’ received two prizes: Best Non-fiction and Best Cover.
Critics have also praised ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called ‘In Borrowed Houses’ ” . . a well written book full of compassion . . . a captivating story . . . “. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching . . .”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, ” . . . western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”
Frances has shared stories about her life in an interview with Women Over 70, and a recording is available on their Facebook page.
Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. The full text of her latest article is available at her website. Fuller’s book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. A free ebook sample from ‘In Borrowed Houses’ is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other issues relating to the Middle East on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.
About Frances Fuller:
Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.
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