Aging in Style with Lori Williams
Aging in Style with Lori Williams

Episode · 1 year ago

034. You have to Laugh to Keep from Crying: How to Parent your Parents


Fifteen years ago, there were plenty of medical books about Alzheimer’s and dementia, but few guides from a caregiver’s perspective. 

Author and Speaker Charlotte Canion decided to write a book called You Have to Laugh to Keep from Crying: How to Parent Your Parents with this in mind. She knew a conversational how-to guide would’ve helped others like herself who had to care for loved ones in their older age.

This week Charlotte shares her experiences caring for her parents and her father-in-law with Senior Services Expert Lori Williams. She’ll also explain helpful tips for caring for parents or spouses with dementia, as well as her “4 golden rules” to bear in mind to make the experience easier and even joyful for everyone involved.

Topics discussed:

- Caregiving tips for your loved ones
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s
- Finding purpose as you age
- Discovering joy in caregiving
- Making memories with senior parents
- Trying new things at any age

Takeaways from this episode:
- Even if you’re “parenting your parents,” it’s helpful and healing to make memories with each other. Find something to connect on.
- If your parents or loved ones had a passion, find an avenue to help them do it again. This helps them find purpose and contribute - and may even help their overall well-being.
- Love your parents unconditionally, and don’t give them grief for their condition.
-  In a sense you become the parent and they become the child, but don’t lose your respect for their perspective. It will make your life so much easier if you agree when they say the sky is purple! Have patience for them when they’re struggling. They’ll do and say things that you don’t understand, but try to roll with the punches.
- Your loved ones may say something uncharacteristic of themselves. That’s the disease talking, not them. Find forgiveness to set yourself free and cast off the weight of your grief.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

You Have to Laugh to Keep from Crying: How to Parent Your Parents
Sparks!: Ignite Your Way to Success:
Dementia from a daughter's perspective:

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Welcome to aging in style with me, Laurie Williams. I'm an optimist by nature and I believe you can follow your dreams at any age. My grandmother's journey with dementia ignited a passion and need to work with seniors. I've spent the past thirteen years learning about seniors and aging. In my mid S, I followed my own dream and found in my company, where I use my expertise to help seniors locate housing and resources. On this podcast we cover all aspects of aging. Joanna's each week to meet senior living experts and inspirational seniors who are following their dreams. The fact is, we're all aging, so why not do it in style? Hi, guys, welcome back to another episode of aging in style. So Glad Yoller here, because today's topic is going to be a really, really good one. We're talking about being the caregiver to your parents as they age, whether they have dementia or Parkinson's or whatever challenges that you know occur as they age. A lot of times the kids fall into the position of parenting your own parent, and that's a that can be a difficult role to be in. Causes a lot of challenges and we don't want you to lose yourself along, you know, through this process. So today I have brought on a author and a lady that I met not long ago. Her name is Charlotte Canyon and she is an author, speaker, has a radio show, she kind of does it all, writes all kinds of different books, but she wrote a book called you have to laugh to keep from crying, how to parent your parents, and it chronicles her journey with her father in law who had been diagnosed with dementia, and her mother with Alzheimer's and her father with Parkinson's. She had a lot on her plate, a lot going on, and her passion is really helping caregivers. So Welcome, Charlotte. I'm so glad to have you on the show. Lord, thank you for inviting me. Sir. Well, why don't we jump in? I've heard you tell your story before and I would love for you to share it. What was going on? Well, let's go back to the you know, about two thousand and five and my father in law lived with my husband and I. my husband's an only child, and he started showing signs of dementia. Now we know that the person that you know has dementia's the first one to notice it and they deny it and you know, they try to cover it up with all kinds of facades. Well, the second people that deny it are the closest in the family. So it's only son was in denial. No, OP's not going through this. And pop is what we called my father inlaw and I'm the daughter in law, and I saw it more and more and of course I was home more in and out, and I noticed it and I remember one day he came into the house and he was kind of Franny. I was cooking dinner and he said, Charlotte, I need you, I need you right now. So I, you know, of course, turn off the stove and I I said Pop, what's matter and he said I've had a car act. And I said, PAP, are you okay, you know, is anybody hurt? And he says no, no, no, no, come with me and I need we need to go in your car because of you know, messed up my car. So my mind's thinking, well, at least it was able to drive it home. Well, when I went out to the driveway, the hole right side of his car. Now, if you remember, our parents drove big Lincoln's and they broke big Osmobiles, they drove big cars, they were like anks. So you know, this Lincoln was just scrape all the way down. I mean literally, they totaled it by the time we got to the entrance. Count me. But Oh my Gosh, pop, what happened? And then, of course, my mind thinking, did he drive away from an accident? Are the police going to show up on my front door? You know, how do I handle this? And I don't have time, you know, to call Craig Right now.

Anyway, he says no, I hit a mailbox. Now my mind is thinking that had to be the biggest brick rock mail box in the world. We have done that kind of damage to his car. But out of love and respect for pop, I said O could get in the car because he wanted to go back and pay for the mail box. Oh, go back to the house where he did the mailbox. So we get in the car and we strike driving around our neighborhood and, as I told you, I live in south end, so I drove all about in South Dindon. Then I ended up driving through our doll kind of out by his bubble. But you know, we're trying to find this mailbox. He can't remember, HM, where it was or I'm not even sure he could remember what he hit. But as we're going down these farm roads, all of a sudden he sees this, this mailbox, and it's a polemail box. Now we all know what a polmail box is and it was just leaning, may be about ten degrees. That's the mailbox I hit. Now I know in my heart that that mail box did not do the damage, you know, to his car. But out of that love and respect for him, and I'm having patients with him, I said Okay, pop. So he wanted to go up to the door. Of course, I literally went, Okay, God, this one's on you. You're going to handle this, you know, because you know I'm just trying to be here and be support. We drove down the little driveway and course it was on about a acre and a half, and he said, okay, I'm going to handle this. I'm going to get out of car. You stay in the car, okay. So I stayed in the car and I kept my eyes on pop and he walked up to the porch. Now there was four little steps scoring up to this port and he started talking to somebody. Now I'm doing the best I can to see, you know, who he might be talking to, but I couldn't because they had let their shrubs grow up almost to their eve of their house. So if there was someone sitting on the porch, I couldn't have seen him anyway. So I just kept my eye on pop and all of a sudden I noticed that his hands he was kind of doing a fist. Now pop hadn't even temper. He was was a very ol man, I just a beautiful person. But when he kind of got angry, you know he it was going to the other side. So I thought, okay, time to get out of the card go, go take care of things. So I got out of the car and as I walked up to pop and grabbed his hand, I could see out of my peripheral what was going on. So I walked him up the four steps and then I walked him over to a park bench that was on that porch and sitting on that park bench was a scarecrow. It was October, it was Halloween. So pop was out there driving and he couldn't distinguish between a scarecrow and a real person. Oh No, and so you know my mind's going ninety two. Nothing. I don't know what he hit. You know what I'm thinking? We'll get back home and the police will be there. But he's still insisted on knocking on the door. So I let him and God took care of everything because this sweet young I bet she probably wouldn't twenty seven years old young lady came to the door and pop explained that he didn't hit her mailbox and h want to pay for it. He said, Oh my gosh, I've been wanting a new mailbox. You are not going to pay me for that mailbox. So thank you God the care of that one. But we got back in the car and went home and, like I say, I kept expecting the police to show up either that day or the next day. This Day, we have no idea. No idea what he hid or what he hit. have no idea. But that was the catalyst that finally made my husband realize,...

...hmm, maybe we need to go to a doctor and get a third party diagnosed this and then both of them will acknowledge that something's going on. So that's kind of was the beginning of my saga. And within six weeks of pop being diagnosed with dementia, and we know dementia as a huge umbrella that covers what three hunder different diseases. My mother got diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my dad with Parkinson Oh my good. So all of a sudden it was like, okay, I'm the daughter in all but I'm the only female on the family and we know that females do what seventy five percent of the caregiving in the world. It's getting a little better, but I have one sibling in my family and he lives threezero miles away in Alaska. So that means I'm the caregiver on both sides. And I mean I have five kids and twenty grandkids, so I care for people. So it was just now I'm going to beginning for parents, but I wasn't sure, you know, how to go from there. And Anyway, that's kind of the beginning of the saga. There's, you know, hope, but but I personally went to Barnes and nobles and I asked the information booth. I said, you have anything on parenting parents? HMM, and I swear that girl looked to me like a deer in headlights that even of course, she was young. You know, she'd we never we're not prepared for this. HMM. We're prepared to take care, to become the parents to our parents. They're the ones that taught us how to ride a bicycle, they're the ones that held our hands when we teeter tottered on our little feet. You know I mean, we're not supposed to take care of them. And finally I said, okay, I'M gonna have to rephrase this a different way. So I said, okay, do you have any books on Alzheimer's? And she said, Oh, yeah, we've had a section over there. Now we're now remember this. It was well over fifteen years ago. So she takes me to a section and I know they can't see me, but they take me to a section in the books. Are About fifteen books. That's all there was out there, and there happened to be this one she picked up and she showed me. It was things you need to know about Alzheimer's. I said, okay, and you know bondingt nobles has these chairs and all. So I, you know, sit down in a country terar and I start opening it and I decided to read a chapter. Lorie, I want you to know that was written by a doctor. He had this big, you know, PhD after his name. I couldn't understand the thing he was saying. HMM, it was like reading a foreign language that I never learned. So I went and got another one and all of them were that way. They were written by doctors and they were written in doctors terms. So I think that's the seed that God put in my head. was when your journey's over, you're going to write a book that will speak to the lay person, the caregiver that's walking that journey holding the hand of her loved one. And the loved one could be your spouse, it doesn't have to. It could be a spouse, it could be a sibling, it could be an aunt, it could be your grandma, you know it. It covers all the gambits. Anyway, that's kind of how my journey started. Yeah, and I love in your book you You talked a lot about creating those memories with your family members. Even though they have demental you can still create beautiful memories with them and also find humor along the way, and I think that is so important because, as I was sharing with the earlier, my grandmother had dementia...

...and there were so many things that were funny. I mean they just were funny, you know, and you really you had to find the humor in it. I mean, you know, you laugh instead of cry. I mean, there really is a lot of humor to be had. So I think that's really important, as you say, create those memories and find the humor. Well, I think in America more so than maybe other countries, because I think a lot of other countries multigenerations live in the same household. We don't in America, you know, very few, and and it could be that, you know, I live in Texas and mom lives in California, but you can still create those memories. Now I'm not talking about the year of Covid, oh my gosh, that home and whole nother ball wax. But you know, I've seen, I've actually seen Dr and covid and heard of many families moving their parents down close to them, are moving, you know, mom if she's going, when left, you know, moving her down, you know, close to them. But when I talk about creating those memories, you know we all have memories of when we were younger and mom, you know, did this or I helped mom bake a cake or you know those kind of things. You can actually do the role reversal. You can be baking the cake and have mom sitting at the table and she can help you, know, crack the egg or are stirred or you know, make those memories again. And even if she does it wrong and something like I say, you all laugh together and we all know in the industry and most people do as they travel through life. When you laugh you create endorphins in your body which you're healing and it's healing to them, because we all want to laugh at ourselves. I'm sorry, we do, and if we're not laughing at ourselves then we need to get our own little psychiatrist. But we need to reconize that we're not perfect. You know, if we're perfect, we would be somewhere else and we're not perfect. So, you know, I talked about creating memories. Give you another, you know, little example my parents, and I won't go into the the whole story of it, but my parents lived in East Texas and it was like an hour and forty five minutes from my house and there was no way I was going to convince my dad to move up close to me. When going to happen my dad had a wish that they would just both go to sleep and die in their beds. And you know what, in a perfect world that's what we'd all want to do. Sure, just go to sleep pass on. Our loved ones would grieve, they would bury us in and go on with life. But you and I both know reality. Today, with doctors, medical and technology, we're going to all live forever. I keep telling my kids going to live to be a hundred and twelve might be. But let me give you a fact. I just found out. I don't know if you have any ten year olds in your family. Are you know within that that realm? Did you know that fifty percent of ten year olds that are living today will live to be over a hundred? I believe that. I mean it's kind of a scary you know, they might be bonding have a body leg. So I you know, I know, I that go, but it's a little scary, you know, if we don't get a handle on, you know, dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson. Now I'm going to share this because my parents are God and God bless him, but my dad was a marine, and those of Y'all that have military and your family understand what I'm getting ready to say. You know, he was a hard man and to top it off, his mother died when he was two years old, so he never had a mother that showed him the kind of love that we know mother's loves can be. Well, he met my mom and they got married and they had me about sixteen months later and I was the apples of his eye. And then my mom had many, many miscarriages but...

...finally had my little brother, who's nine years younger than me. But reason I share that with you. My mom came from a strong Christian family and she was the oldest of four girls. My Dad came from not really a broken family, but you know he didn't have a mother. He was tossed from aunt to uncle and aunt to uncle. Join the Marines when he was fifteen. So you know they they were like that opposite attract you know they had something, but you know it was opposite track. Well, when my mother Got Alzheimer's and my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson, he was in denial. Of course. He's the closest love one that my mom was set sure, and here's one of those funny memories. To him she was just Betty Davis. Oh your mom is just acting like Bettie Davis. And and you know, and I can look back and laugh, because in his eyes he couldn't all he saw was the woman he married and he loved. He couldn't see the disease. He wouldn't accept the disease and all the you know, different antics she would do and you know, losing this and laying something in the wrong place or leaving the stove on. You know, all of those. You know, he couldn't cope with it. So he would just make sure she always had a bump bunt cake to eat because if you know anything but Alzheimer's, they like sweet, they do. So he always made sure she had bunkcakes. But I was blessed because I have an aunt, her baby sister lived fifteen minutes from them. So he was my eyes and ears on my parents for the first five or so, you know, clive, or six years, and she would let me know when something was going on and Oh my gosh. You know, there's a sundry stories, but you can laugh at all of them, and that it's the whole key is. You have to laugh after create those memories. You know, I remember my mom liked you know, onion rings. So every time we go visit, I would take her onion rings, you know, we'd stop at the hamburger joy can get her onion rings, you know, and those are fun things, you know, that you can do with your mom. Give you another example. One thing I did with my mother a lot was finally she got in such a situation, in fact we thought she was going to die, and I won't go into all of that, but she had total kidney failure and they told us that she would be gone in twenty four hours. My mom lived another seven and a half years, but I told you, strong woman, strong will there in this family. But Anyway, and she taught me how to garden. She lived, you know, in East Texas and had two and a half acres and, you know, had gardens and taught me how. So when she ended up close to me and she had to be in a facility because she had so many complications, I want to throw this in. I could have brought her home and taking care of her, but I had already seen many of my friends. It would have been hard. It would have been hard, but I could have gotten next her help and off. But she was better off in the facility. First of all, because she was a very social person. HMM. She loved having other people around to talk to him. And it doesn't matter when they're out there and they tell each other that's same story over and over. No one's going to say I've heard that before. No, because they have alzheimers. They don't know what happened three minutes ago, much less the story you told them, you know, the day before. But I used to take in a box and I found the perfect box. WHO's a cat letter box? I would fill it with dirt, I would buy those little four inch pots and we would go out and, you know, in the garden area there they you know, every home has an area where you can go out and she would have time of her life planting those flowers or planting those herbs, you...

...know, and that was a memory that I have. You know, whatever your parents are, loved, one's passion or you know, find an avenue that you can do together again. If they love to do Jigsaw Puzzles, do Jigsaw Puzzles. I don't know if you've heard the bubble wrap story, but it's a hoot gosh this one. And that's not my story. I'm just barning. I can't remember the young lady that did it, but her father was bed ridden and he had dementia. Wasn't real bad, but but he I think he had a stroke and then it went into dementia, which sometime that happens. But he wanted to work, he wanted a job. So she got to thinking, what can I have my dad do? And she had been receiving a lot of packages and had this bubble WRAPP and somehow she got the idea that she would have a company hire her dad. Now this is a company in her head. MMM, our her dad to pop those bubbles because in a landfilled they're better if they're popped. He would get a regular check every week for popping those bubbles. A matter of fact, he asked her to get him some gloves because his fingers were getting sold off in the bubble. So he had a purpose. Imagine. Yeah, but but he had a purpose and he had value and it's any he and his daughter were sharing memories. You know, she bringing the paycheck and you know he say okay, go put this in my account, you know, in other words, just be creative like you would, and I don't want to say you know, like a child, but just like you would a child, they're they're valuable. My parents are very valuable to the day they die. You know, I sometimes wonder. My mother had all Shimmer sixteen years. Oh my goodness, and that's yeah, that's a long time. I mean use this about half of that, but I think it's because we were having so much fun. We were doing things, you know, I'd read to her, I mean, or she'd read the back of a newspaper. I'm going mom, she lost her glasses years ago, but all of a sudden God took care of and she could read again anyway. It's just, you know, find those things that you can connect on and have fun with them. Yeah, and even if you're just playing at things, that's the trigger to having those memories. I wouldn't, and I'm going to get a little but I wouldn't trade those last memories for anything in the world with my mom, Oh, with my dad or with pop pop, and I would dance around the kitchen, I mean things, silly things you might do with kids, but I'm sorry, when I go through that they become children again. I think that's so important because I feel like, you know, when I talk to a lot of people. I think you know a parent has just been diagnosed with dementia. Of course it's scary, it's sad and everything, but I think it's good to look at it in this way, that you can still create these memories, like you're saying, you know, like bake a cake together, but your roles may be reverse. Your more the parent, they're the child. Dance with them, garden do you can still do these things with them and they do still have value. Everyone has value and I think that's so important and I think like you're saying is that when someone is home or they're not being they're not being stimulated in any way, it doesn't matter that they have some dementia, they're going to decline quicker if they don't have that stimulation, whether it's, you know, with their family or if they're any memory care community, you know, whatever it may be. And and I love that too, like the gentleman with the job, because I find a lot of senior communities, memory cares, they will give them a job. They'll say, Oh, Mr Smith, you were an accountant. Okay, so here's your briefcase, and and they truly believe they're going sitting down, they're going to work. They've worked, you know, an Eighthour Day, and I think that that is that's incredible. Well, I think that's what we need to do. We didn't do more of that...

...for our seniors. Well, I've discovered during COVID. Well, I was doing a little bit before, but it just started right before summer four last. But during Covid I was speaking to a lot of the senior centers and I was I'd put on my coveralls and my garden gear and I shoot it out in my garden room because we do a zoom, and I was sharing with them. You know the little story I told you, but I said what y'all need to do is build raised bed container gardens for your, you know, your residents, let them grow herbs and vegetables and then let the kitchen take them and cook them up and they show up on the seniors plates. And that's happening at many of us. Yeah, the seniors are growing those and and, like I said, I I've even physically gone out and taught them how to build a rays bed container garden or a Keyhole Garden. If you haven't heard the word Keyhole, look it up. It's Ky Joe Eli just like the Keyhole, but it's you know, you can grow those herbs and vegetables and and they they know they're doing something, giving your contributing. Yeah, and the rays gardens are so wonderful because if they're in a wheelchair, they can get out there and earth, they're using a walk or it's right at the perfect level where they can garden and be a part of it. Yeah, excellent idea. So what about, you know, working with caregivers? I know you call it. I was going to ask for your like your best selfcare tips, but I know you call it your for golden rules. So tell us about your for golden rules. Well, you know, I think this is something we all know, but some reason God had me to kind of organize it and I call it my for golden rules. But they're they're mantrus that we all know. And and their love. You know, love is number one. We have to love and we have to love unconditionally. In other words, when they do something silly, you know, laugh with them, never make fun of them, but you love unconditionally. And and a Biggie, you and I both know, is respect. You know, we talked about the role reversal. You know, you become the parent, they become the child, but you never, never let them know that. MMM work with them. If they tell you that the sky is purple, well, it's a pretty purple. You respect them for who, what and where they are at that moment and that will make your life so much easier if you did. And that was that was a hard one for me to learn with my dad, you know. My mom was a little easier, but like dad, you know, I had to learn respecting him for who what, who are was at that moment. And they also goes along with patients. HMM. You have to have patience with them, because I guarantee you, and I'm going to share a quick little SNIMP and it'll happen. That happens in every family. My mom and I had the greatest relationship. We even we would travel together, you know, she'd want to go visit her cousins in California and we'd fly out there and I mean she was my best friend, she was my my Cohart, she was the one, she was really the one that raised me, because my dad traveled a lot. But when they get older, you know, and they do things that are totally they don't understand you row with it. You just row with it. Some days you can't. I remember a Sunday that I was out vesting my mom, my husband and I were, and she had gotten too close to the front door and she had one of those bracelets on her ankle that set the laarm off and the nurses had just hurt fit, and so we were all going at the same time, going towards the door and mom didn't want to get away from the door and I said, mom, Charlotte's here and she looked at me. Oh my gosh, she said,...

I hate you, get out of here, don't ever come back. I mean it was the most hateful, hurtful thing I'd ever heard. Now I had to do some brain thinking right then. So that's something my mom. That's the disease. That's not my mom. That's the disease. But it's still hurts coming out of that. You know, the physical form. That was your mother. Hm, we got her calm a little bit, but she never I tried to keep a little bit of distance because she was angry. HMM. Now I don't know if she was in pain, needed some paint, you know, medication. I don't know what all was going on and that was probably the shortest visit I ever had with my mom because I just couldn't get her to a comfortable place and it was the nurses even said is probably better we leave, you know, and let them try to calm her down, but I remember crying all day. HMM. Like I said, I knew that wasn't my mother and it was the disease, but it's still hurt and so being patients, you know, made me walk in the next day and and it was my mom again. Hmm, praise the Lord. That only happened to me one time, but I know that it happens a lot. That is a hard thing to separate, you know, because it is your mom. It's the physical form of your mom, like you said, and the things coming out of her mouth or things that you would never expect to hear. And when I speak with families all the time, you know, I can hear the hurt in their voices and I may tell me a story of, you know, what their parents said. I think you know logically it's not. They're not meaning to say that's the disease, but it is a hard thing to you know, you have to sit back and kind of say, say to yourself. I mean, I know it's hurtful. Acknowledge that is hurtful, but it's not them. It's not. They would never they would be mortified if they knew what they were saying. Yeah, yeah, and so that's one of the that's a biggie that patients has stations. Had to have patience with them and sometime you might have to step out of the room, you know, and you're into visit, like you said Yeah earlier, go away from it, but you know, patience is big. And then the last of my four golden rules I've told you about love, respect and patience. The last is forgiveness. Now, we've all had times in our life when we've hurt someone or someone has hurt us, and we need to forgive because the person we're hurting most is our self. Because if we hold on to unforgiveness, must say that one more time. If we hold on to unforgiveness, it's like an anchor. It will weigh you down. But when we forgive people, it's freedom. It is total freedom. It takes off all that weight and I won't go into there's actually a big story in my book about forgiveness and it is mindboggling. I've actually done our long talks on just forgiveness and I have ladies come up to me afterwards they go, oh my gosh, you shared my story. Thank you. I haven't talked to my sister in twenty years and I look at him and I go, do you know why y'all are arguing or not speaking us and know I've forgotten. Well, after twenty you're not going to remember. Wow, but forgiveness is so big. But you know, because our parents aren't perfect, we're not perfect, there's got to be things you have to forgive. And, with that being said, when they have dementia or Alzhummer Park and center, any of the diseases, they're going to do things that you'll have to forgive them for before they even you know, either say something or do something. M absolutely well, I love your for Golden...

Rules and I think we all need to apply those to every part of life. Actually. So I crossed paths recently with a gentleman who shares my passion for seniors. His name is Jimmy Zolo and he shared with me that after both of his grandparents had moved into a senior care community, his family's world was just turned upside down as they became caregivers overnight. As you know, being a caregiver to someone close to you is often overwhelming and there's just so much for you to manage, even with the support of living in a senior care community, like making sure your loved one is all the products they need and keeping them stocked when stuff runs out. Well, Jimmy had that problem too, and he was scrolling through all of these product reviews across the Internet and, like most of us in the sandwich generation, we don't have enough hours in the day, so it can end up being way too time consuming and frustrating. He wish there's a simpler way to shop for his grandparents. And then, of course, the pandemic head which prevented visitation to the communities, making this process even more difficult. So Jimmy decided to launch his own business to solve this problem. He found it Joe and Bella, to make shopping for older adults simple. They carry everything from comfy clothes to creative gifts. They even have toilet trees that can be automatically reordered and tech that makes caregiving easier and what I love, and I know y'all would love this too, is that each and every product on Joe and Bella has been carefully selected by caregiving experts. Jimmy is giving us an exclusive offer for the listeners of this podcast. You can use Promo codes style to receive ten percent off your first purchase at Joe and Bellacom. That's code style style for ten percent off at Joe and Bellacom. I know, and talking earlier, that you have written a new book called the sparks. Okay, tell us a little bit about sparks. Well, I had to first back up. I was at a seminar in January before covid hit. HMM. It was an all day seminar and it was a lot of masterminders, you know, sharing their ideas and in this one lady came up to me. Her name was Sophie, and she said let's have lunch. So we got to talk and to eat. Job Us together. Long Story Short, she said, how would you like if we collaborated on a book? Now she had her PhD and she had a couple oather L S and we ended up writing a book and it's called sparks, ignite your way to success, and it launched on Thanksgiving weekend November twenty eight, and it helps people, you know, kind of reinvent themselves, know how to stay on top of their game, know how to recognize the imposture inside themselves they're trying to be something that they're not. So it's a really neat book and we have actually won three Amazon awards on it, wow, and a couple other shortly. So if anybody's interested, they can get it on Amazon. They can either go look up sparks and Nite your way to success, or you can look up Charlotte Canyon and it's under me on Amazon as well. Great will put a link in the comments to your book. I think that's wonderful and I think what good timing for reinventing yourself, because through Covid I think all of us have had to find a way to sort of reinvent ourselves because our world has been, you know, turned upside down Dar and basically turned ups. Yeah, and I also think for seniors. We talked a lot on the show about age is just a number and redefining yourself at any age, and I think that's really important for women, especially as we get older and maybe kids are grown and, you know, leave the nest and then you know, we are in our S or S. I mean, we can always redefine ourselves and start a new business, start a new hobby. It doesn't matter what your age is. So I think that's a incredible message. Will you were talking early on about... first book and I didn't share this, but you have to laugh to keep from crying. I was seventy years old when I wrote that book. Were you? Yeah, and Got God literally told me my mother passed away on January first, two thousand and fifteen, and God said now write your book, and I literally looked up to heaven and I said, God, you saw my grades in English in school. Want me to write a book? And he said, all my Gosh, Charlotte, you tell great stories. We got editors, they'll take care of all of that stuff. And this is the other funny thing. Within six weeks I got an email inviting me to a rider's seminar. That was the time I looked up again and I got okay, God, you do not send emails. I know you don't send email, but I went to that seminar and eleven months later the book was in my hand. In the next year it was voted the best self help book in the State of Texas. I want you to know a seventy year old little granny never dreamed this journey, but I've. I've reinvented my whole life, my whole journey. I'm having the time of my life. I'm abooked, well not during Covid I'm not able to hug, but I've been able to hug so many people. And you know, and when you go into a home, and I mean I love to, had those little ladies and those, you know, those gentlemen that want to talk to you and tell you their life stories. You know, you know, we've got two years in one mouth. We're supposed to listen twice and so, yeah, you know, I love people and God's given me this journey needs. They are calling me the voice of the caregiver. H I think it's because a lot of my stories are so similar to everyone else's. We all have this fine, I call it a silver thread, that kind of intertwines to all of our stories. They all have a similar thread that binds us together and we caregivers are the strength for each other, because if a caregiver doesn't have a mentor they can talk to, or a friend they can talk to. They need to find a group because caregivers have got to let it out and feel like, oh my gosh, did that happen to you too, and they realize they're not walking it alone. HMM. That's so important to have others, have a support group, that others are experiencing what you are and you're you know, instead of sitting there alone thinking this is my life as terrible, this is awful, this is only happening to me. There's a so many other people in the same going through the same journey. So that's a good point and I think that what an inspiration at seventy that you wrote a book and I think that is amazing and wonderful and that's a message that through this podcast, I really try to get out to people that your life isn't over when you turn fifty or sixty or seven to your eighty. You can be, you can do be anything you want, no matter your age, and I truly truly believe that what they yeah, it's true, you can. I'm a living example exactly. Well, the last question I want to ask you, I ask everyone on the show. Who is an inspirational senior in your life? Or husband. Well, you know, I've mentioned her earlier, but it's my mother, my mother. I still feel her channeling through me. She always gave me one bit of advice. She said treat others the way you want to be treated, and I have tried to do that in my life. I tried to love unconditionally and I try to treat others the way I want to be treated, and she's been that way as far back as I can remember. So she's my mentors. It was the senior that guided me. I wouldn't want to do anything different. She helped at her church. She would collect glasses for people that couldn't afford glasses. She was always giving back. I haven't shared this with you...

...and I don't know if you got one, but I made over seven hundred masks during covid early on and, you know, passed out masks and it was just something I can do, you know, I so. So it was something I could do. Is something my mother would have done, because my mother used just so all of my clothes. So you know she yeah, she would be the senior I would have always looked up to. She influenced me so much by her life and I know she's smiling down on me. I feel it, you know, all the time. If you know, there's things I wish I could really share with her, but you know, I know she's she knows. That's wonderful. Well, Charlotte, thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your experiences. I think it's such a blessing what you've done and writing all your books that you've written. I'm so thankful for you. I am going to share all your information in the contact so that people can confine you and they can order either, if they want. You have to laugh to keep from crying, which I love this book. It's wonderful, or your newest book, and you know, that's my mother's hands on the cover. Oh, is it really? Yeah, that's me holding my mother's hands and I never dreamed that would be the picture on the cover, but it's. That's beautiful and that's the best picture and I will I'll put this on social media and pray on my website to some people can see it. The know what we're talking about and can go order your book. But I so appreciate you being on the show and we will have all you know, like I said, all your contact information how people can reach you and then, as always, you know if you have questions or want to learn more about Charlotte and about her book, just reach out to me. You can contact me through the website, which is Lari Williams senior Servicescom and thank you all for listening. We will talk to you next week about.

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