I wasn't meant to be a sandwich

Just this week I’ve received several emails from readers who’ve mentioned that they’re not only juggling their own lives, but those of an elderly parent. Reading offers them an escape. I’m hope that my latest Sweet Magnolias book, Home in Carolina, will also offer them a few chuckles.

Those of you who’ve followed this series know that attorney Helen Decatur has always been a type A control freak. In her story, Feels Like Family, Helen not only found herself married, but pregnant. In the interim between that book and this, she’s been struggling to get her professional feet back under her.

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Now, in a secondary storyline in Home in Carolina, Helen is faced with bringing her aging mother home from Florida to recover from a broken hip. She does not come to the task with grace and good will.

I suspect many of you will be able to relate. I know I do. Though I lost both of my parents quite suddenly, over the past few years I’ve been involved with the care and decision-making for two elderly aunts. Along with my cousins, we’ve struggled with the decisions that needed to be made.

On one occasion, my cousin and I spent an evening taking my aunt to a retirement community, describing to her in an upbeat way all of the advantages of moving there and, we were certain, convincing her to our way of thinking. The next day, I proudly announced to her doctor that she’d agreed and asked that he reinforce the decision when he spoke with her. She listened to him quite attentively, smiled, then said, “Well, yes, but I don’t think so.” And so, there was yet another full-court press.

Sadly, she died less than a year after we’d moved her. I think had any of us know her future would be so short, we’d have found a way to keep her in her home.

Now with the last of my father’s siblings, an aunt who’s 97, we’ve promised to keep her in her home, as long as she cooperates. We’ve brought in live-in help, who apparently can do absolutely nothing right. The battles over cutting back to part-time help have been spirited. Even now, a year after we began this journey, I have no idea what to expect when I get back to Virginia. Just the other day, she was trying to win me over to her side about cutting back the caregiver’s hours. Each battle saps the energy of me and my cousins.

So, for those of you out there who are caught in between — the true sandwich generation — I feel your pain. I hope you, too, will find a few laughs in Helen’s storyline in Home in Carolina. And that you’ll also enjoy the long awaited story of Ty and Annie, which is the main thrust of the book. The book will be in stores March 30…and there are teases now running on my Facebook page, so if you’re on Facebook, sign up to become a friend.

There will be two more new Sweet Magnolias books this spring. Sweet Tea at Sunrise will be in stores at the end of April and Honeysuckle Summer comes out at the end of May. You can get all the details on my website, www.sherrylwoods.com, along with a checklist that groups all of my books by series and in order of publication.

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If you’re new to the Sweet Magnolias, I hope you’ll enjoy their deep friendships and wonderful community. And, as always, I wish you lasting friendships of your own.

Sherryl Woods

8 Responses to I wasn't meant to be a sandwich

  1. Pam Keener

    Thanks for the blog. You are a new to me author. I like the fact that even though you move on through the series it seems as though you still give ongoing news of past characters if that is the case I am going to be right there buying up this series. I hate it when a series continues and we get a fleeting mention of past characters. I want to know what happens after the HEA.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam

  2. Kathleen

    I can certainly relate to your struggles with your elderly aunts, but in my case it is my mother. We had to put her in a nursing home at the first of the year and she is not making it easy on her five children.. We were lucky that the decesion was taken out of our hands. She was in hospital for the second time in Decemeber for Congrestive Heart Failure and the doctor told her that she could not be looked after at home any longer.. So she took it better than we thought, but as she did not get her first choice of nursing home and doesn’t like where she is, things are just a tad difficult for us.. But we hope that one of her first choices comes up soon. It will make life easier for all of us…
    I am looking forward to reading the next books in the Sweet Magnolia series and especially reading and relating to Helen..

  3. Diana Smith

    Sounds like some more good books coming our way Sherryl. I never had to deal with what you are talking about but know when my Mom had to go to nursing home after hospital when she wanted to go home she just gave up and died. But I wasn’t part of that because we had been estranged for years. It has to be tough on family members who are involved. Thank you for a great blog and come back to see us soon.

  4. MarthaE

    I haven’t read one of your books for a couple years but I am reminded that I really enjoyed the Trinity Harbor trilogy!
    These books sound good especially since I am an attorney. :o)
    My dad will be 86 at the end of this month. He is still pretty healthy and active. We are fortunate that our stepmother, who is younger by 20 years, is there with him.

  5. Sherryl Woods

    Thanks for the comments and the support. It’s an interesting struggle with the occasional hysterical moment thrown in.
    Pam, yes, all of my books include past characters in the current books for exactly the reason you mention. What’s the point of creating a community and not letting readers continue to be a part of the whole place or family? I do this not only with the Sweet Magnolias, but with my Chesapeake Shores series and many others.

  6. Quilt Lady

    I can relate with you, I have been there myself! Your books sound fabulous and I have never read your work before, but will start looking for your books!

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