Don’t buy too many green bananas

Yesterday I finished up with the book I’ve been editing for Delores Warner.  She’s written a memoir about the 18 months she spent taking care of her husband, Vern, after he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  It’s her first book, but she’s doing everything right.  She has shown it to some of the people who walked through that journey with her and gotten statements to put on the back of the book.  Her sister-in-law, Ann Warner, has written an introduction to her book.  She’s got photos she can add when the book is printed.  She has a dedication to her children and grandchildren, and an acknowledgements page.  And now her book has been edited.

The book is entitled Don’t Buy Too Many Green Bananas because that was what her son said to her when she was shopping for socks for her husband while he was failing.  Throughout the book, there is a sense that the whole thing is moving inexorably towards her husband’s death, and yet there are touches of humor and lots of support from family and friends.   Delores does a good job of explaining what helped and what didn’t work very well through her own trial and error.  She includes a list of ideas and resources for caregivers at the end of the book.

Delores has promised to keep me posted on the progress she makes toward getting her book published.  I know there will be readers of this blog that will be interested in knowing the process, and there will be some who want to read the book when it comes out.  I’ll keep you posted.


2 thoughts on “Don’t buy too many green bananas

  1. Denise, thank you for your comments regarding my book. My next step is getting it formatted, and then finding a publisher that would be interested in publishing the book. Or I may self-publish if I have to. I never dreamed I’d write a book, but felt an urgency to get this book out so others would know what it is like caregiving a terminal patient, and help them to have some of the knowledge we discovered by trial and error, so they didn’t have to go through the error part. Thank you for your wonderful editing job, and your support.

  2. Denise, I’ve known Delores Warner and her family for many years. I was deeply privileged to stand by during her long ordeal as well as the writing of this book — and I’m as excited about its progress as I would be about a book of my own. Thank you for making the copy editing experience a good one for her.

    What struck me most about Delores’s book? Its generosity of spirit. Vern wasn’t an easy husband even at the best of times — but he truly was a generous friend and neighbor, and a wonderful father to the three Warner children. Delores never once suggests he was anything less than an excellent parent, a concerned neighbor, a supportive friend to others. Nor does she allow the deep pain of a less than perfect marriage infect the quality of her caregiving.

    Her accounts of the essential support of family, friends, neighbors, and even chance acquaintances, is most encouraging. We tend to think of Americans as eager benefactors of those who suffer tragedy in far places, but not terribly interested in the fortunes of our nearest neighbors, but in Don’t Buy Too Many Green Bananas, we are reminded of the genuine care and kindness of those close to home — and the great value of being ourselves kindly neighbors.

    That Delores has been able to write this book so soon after Vern’s death is nothing short of amazing. That she has done for the benefit of others, despite her own health issues is inspiring indeed..

    ALS — Lou Gehrig’s Disease — is among the most frightening of human maladies. The patient gradually loses mobility, and eventually even the ability to breathe, but does not lose consciousness. This results in what is termed “locked-in syndrome.” I understand it’s not entirely unlike being buried alive. No wonder a person so afflicted might be angry, lash out at least verbally. No wonder a caregiver might occasionally grit her teeth, retire to the bathroom for a good cry.

    God willing, none of us — or anyone we love — will fall victim to ALS; but if we or they do, we’ll have Delores’s book as a road map. Thank you, Denise, for helping to make that possible.

    Marjorie Rommel

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