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9781608082841

A Cup of Tea on the Commode My Multi-Tasking Adventures of Caring for Mom. And How I Survived to Tell the Tale

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781608082841

  • ISBN10:

    1608082849

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-05-14
  • Publisher: WriteLife Publishing

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Summary

Mark enjoyed his carefree bachelor’s life in Los Angeles. He had no steady girlfriend, no children, few responsibilities outside of work. But that all changed when “The Call” came. Genevieve, his eighty-nine-year-old mother, was on her deathbed. He rushed back to New Jersey to be by her side. Hours became days, days became weeks, then she woke up. So, he moved back into his childhood home and took over her care. His first task was to remove all hazards, which included the current caregivers.

After, Mark asked his mother, “Do you trust me?” She whispered, “Yes.” “Do you understand I will do everything in my power to keep you healthy and safe?” She smiled and nodded. “That means I’m in charge, and that means now you must obey me.” Her mood shifted in an instant. She looked him dead in the eye, then puckered up her lips. He wasn’t sure if this was a sign of surrender or one wishing him luck. He kissed her and hoped for the best.

The parent/child role reversal may not have been unique to Mark, but how he dealt with it was. One day, hoping to make Genevieve’s time on the commode a tad more pleasant, he offered her a cup of her favorite beverage. It was a hit, and a cup of tea on the commode became a staple on the morning menu, and the clear choice for the title of this intimate, funny, and heartwarming memoir of how eldercare can be done.

A Cup of Tea on the Commode chronicles Mark’s multitasking adventures of filling his mother’s last years with love, laughter, and joy. Though not always successful, he came pretty damn close.

Author Biography

Mark, a New Jersey native (Exit 163), holds an Industrial Design degree from The Ohio State University. After years of agency work, his love of acting led him to Hollywood where he appeared in dozens of television, film, and theatre productions. Mark also spent his twenty-eight years in Hollywood, entrepreneuring. He started five non-profit companies, but hold the applause. None were intended to be. He now lives in the South of France, but hold your pity. He of sound mind and body chose to suffer in the heart of wine country where he thinks the locals insist his French isn't so bad.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Genevieve’ s Vision 6 Part One: Crisis 8 Chapter 1: The Call 9 Chapter 2: Way Back When (1922 onward) 14 Chapter 3: A Silent Scream 18 Chapter 4: Mum’ s the Word (1970s-1992) 22 Chapter 5: Be Patient 29 Chapter 6: The Surviving Catholic (1963 onward) 32 Chapter 7: Planting the Seed 37 Chapter 8: Salt, Pepper, and a Drop of Whiskey (1962) 41 Chapter 9: The Miracle Poop 44 Chapter 10: The Recyclers (1960s) 47 Chapter 11: The Best Medicine 49 Chapter 12: Never Doubt a Mother’ s Intuition (1963) 51 Part Two: Change 53 Chapter 13: A Whole New Ballgame 54 Chapter 14: “ I’ m from Missour-uh” (My entire life) 60 Chapter 15: The UPC Label Mystery (1993) 61 Chapter 16: It Might Be Time to Get Mom Some Help (2006 and beyond) 64 Chapter 17: Odd Jobs and Early Investments (1960s) 66 Chapter 18: The Experiment Begins (2006) 69 Chapter 19: Then Came the Squatters 72 Chapter 20: Is that your Picasso in the outfield? (1965– 1971) 75 Chapter 21: It’ s Like Dé jà Vu All Over Again 80 Chapter 22: Natale (1891) 83 Chapter 23: There’ s a New Sheriff in Town 87 Chapter 24: My Brother Teresa (His entire life) 91 Chapter 25: You Can Take the Kid Out of Jersey But… (1957 onward) 93 Chapter 26: The Parade of Aides 98 Part Three: Commitment 105 Chapter 27: Single, Fifty-Five, and Living with My Mother 106 Chapter 28: Genevieve’ s Warehouse (Her entire life) 108 Chapter 29: I Am My Mother’ s Son 115 Chapter 30: Day of Beauty 118 Chapter 31: Not Another Fire, Please 123 Chapter 32: It Took a Theft (Late 1960s) 127 Chapter 33: The Battle of the Dutch Door 130 Chapter 34: If You Rebuild It, They Will Come 132 Chapter 35: Give Me a Break 139 Chapter 36: Genevieve’ s Personal Chef 143 Chapter 37: Reality Will Be Unkind 147 Part Four: Catharsis 149 Chapter 38: Just the Two of Us (1997 or 98) 150 Chapter 39: A Recurring Dream (1960s) 152 Chapter 40: Early in Our Journey 154 Chapter 41: A Two-Year-Old Walks into a Bar (1959) 157 Chapter 42: Un Maniaque du Mé nage 159 Chapter 43: And as Swift as Evolution She Shuffled Across the Floor 161 Chapter 44: Does Wiping Butt Cause Amnesia? 163 Chapter 45: Better Than Food (1960s) 166 Chapter 46: The First 6:00 am Wake-Up Call 169 Chapter 47: You’ re Gonna Need a Bigger Fireplace (1970s onward) 171 Chapter 48: Our Champion of the Arts (1960s) 173 Chapter 49: Queen for a Day 177 Chapter 50: Genevieve and the “ Two Gs” (1994) 180 Chapter 51: Superstorm Sandy 182 Chapter 52: Why Are You Doing This? 185 Chapter 53: Bed, Bath and Beyond 189 Chapter 54: Okay, Be How Patient? 192 Chapter 55: Full Circle (1948– 1997) 195 Chapter 56: House Calls, Who Makes House Calls? 200 Chapter 57: My Chick Magnet 203 Chapter 58: When Ya Comin’ Home? 204 Chapter 59: What is It with Old People and Kleenex? 206 Part Five: Curveball 208 Chapter 60: Third Time, No Charm 209 Chapter 61: Marina and Martini 215 Chapter 62: Halloween Delayed 218 Chapter 63: A Surprise Letter from an Old Friend 221 Chapter 64: Care Takers, A Crime Ring 224 Chapter 65: Three More Birthdays 226 Chapter 66: The End is Near 229 Chapter 67: Letting Go 232 Chapter 68: Our Journey Comes to an End 242 Chapter 69: You Led the Way 248 Mark’ s Vision 250

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