October 15, 2019 is the official publication date for My Singing Nana, published by Magination Press.
Billy is close with his Nana. But Nana is starting to forget things and Billy is worried. When Billy’s sister is too sick to sing in their family summer show, Billy and Nana work together to come up with an act that saves the performance! Billy learns that no matter what happens, he and Nana are “always amigos!”
This story celebrates the ideals of family, heritage, and happy memories, showing kids that no matter how their loved one might change they always have ways to maintain their special connection.
"A winning story that also serves as a useful family resource."—Publishers Weekly
"A tender tribute to families who have loved ones suffering from dementia."—Kirkus Reviews
Read Pat’s Author Note
Families savor happy memories. A number of the women in my family were wonderful cooks, and I enjoyed having my three children help me bake. Soon, my granddaughter will be my helper. Baking memories and family gatherings are happy memories for us. All families, of course, confront challenging realities too including aging.
How do children respond to grandparents or other seniors who may begin to experience memory loss, and where do children have opportunities to share and discuss their confusion, worries, and feelings?
In their eighties, both of my parents suffered from dementia. Alzheimer’s, named for the German physician, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who first identified the brain disorder that now bears his name, is the most common form of dementia. Not a normal part of aging, Alzheimer’s is regularly in the news, since an estimated 5.8 million Americans are confronting this disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
I was encouraged to write this book by my sister, Stella Henry, who cared for our parents at the end of their lives. For over thirty years, as a nurse, administrator, and co-owner of a nursing home, she helped thousands of families deal with challenging health issues.
Caring adults know that children are capable of compassion and thoughtfulness. A few reminders:
- Be truthful with children. Share age-appropriate information.
- Encourage children to share their worries with parents and trusted family members or teachers. Children’s questions provide clues about appropriate issues to address with a child and her or his level of understanding.
- Remind children to be polite and patient with their family member or friend.
- Model loving, thoughtful behavior that strengthens family bonds.
I often smile at many happy memories of my parents and think of my teasing dad and my mom’s fabulous laugh.