We’re thrilled today to welcome bestselling author Sharon Sala to the blog.
As parents, we usually focus on our baby’s accomplishments. First laugh, first tooth, first time they roll over, first time they stand up, and the two biggies; learning to talk and walk.
After that, we usually mark the progress of their childhood by holidays and birthdays, and then when they start to school. But while we’re busy raising babies, something is happening that we rarely plan for, and hardly ever see coming until it’s fallen in our laps.
Our parents are aging, and as they do, the emotional regression to childhood is shocking. From petulance, to wanting things done their way, to having an unrelenting need to be heard. After eight years of caring for my 93 year old mother who lives with me, and who has dementia, I have become something of an expert at redirection. That comes when the person your parent has become is verging on a meltdown, and you find a way to redirect the negative energy that is pulling them under.
The good part of me being able to keep my mother at home is a blessing. The bad part is that she still thinks she’s in charge. I am, after all, her child, but she is no longer Mother to me. She has become MY Little Mama. Over the years, I’ve come to realize the one thing that sparks her biggest issues is nearly always fear. She has no short term memory left, so there’s nothing in her head to anchor her as to why she’s in my house. To save my sanity, I had to learn to give up the fact that she is no longer the mother who raised me. The woman she is now has become my baby. I make sure she gets her meds. I cook her favorite things because I want to make her feel secure. I put everything from her old bedroom into the bedroom she uses now, and I got rid of a lot of my furniture and am using hers, so that she would have familiar things around her to make her feel at home. And sometimes that is still not enough. I put my cranky baby down for naps. I redirect her anger by asking a question about something else. There is one plus about the loss of short term memory. She forgets that she was mad. But sometimes I see her watching me, and I suspect that, beyond being the woman who takes care of her, sometimes she’s forgotten who I am.
She’s a sly one though; my Little Mama. She’s amazing at pretending. She’s nearly deaf, so she fakes hearing what’s going on, and fakes remembering why something is about to happen. And like the child she has become, the lie she tells is not really a lie; not in her world. It is what needs to be said to get by.
My babies were also so very precious to me, and now so is she. I have accepted that my mother is gone, but I also accept and rejoice the Little Mama she left behind.
About the author
It was a job she hated that drove Sharon Sala to put the first page of paper in an old typewriter, but it was the love of the craft that kept her writing. Her first efforts at writing came in 1980 when she began a book that wound up under her bed. A second book followed in 1981 and suffered a similar fate, but she claims the writing bug had bitten hard. However, she let life and the demands of a growing family delay her from continuing until a tragedy struck.
Her father died in May of 1985 after a lingering illness and then only two months later her only sister died unexpectedly, leaving her almost blind with grief. She vowed then and there that she was not going to wind up on her deathbed one day with regrets for not following through on her dreams.
She joined writers groups and attended conferences and slowly learned her way around the written page. By 1989, she decided she had come far enough in her writing to attempt another try at book-length fiction and began a book that would later be entitled SARA’S ANGEL. As fate would have it, the first publisher she sent it to, bought it, and she hasn’t looked back.
As a farmer’s daughter and then for many years a farmer’s wife, Sharon escaped the drudgeries of life through the pages of books, and now as a writer, she finds herself often living out her dreams. Through traveling and speaking and the countless thousands of fan letters she has received, Sharon has touched many lives. One faithful reader has crowned her the “Reba of Romance” while others claim she’s a magician with words.
Her stories are often dark, dealing with the realities of this world, and yet she’s able to weave hope and love within the words for the readers who clamor for her latest works.
Always an optimist in the face of bad times, many of the stories she writes come to her in dreams, but there’s nothing fanciful about her work. She puts her faith in God, still trusts in love and the belief that, no matter what, everything comes full circle.
Her books, written under her name and under her pen name, Dinah McCall, repeatedly make the big lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and Waldenbooks Mass market fiction.
A woman with a vision.
Sharon’s next release will be on shelves in February!