IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE AND HONOR TO WELCOME LISA CERASOLI TODAY….
AUTHOR OF… A MEMOIR BY LISA CERASOLI
“AS NORA JO FADES AWAY,CONFESSIONS OF A CAREGIVER”
So without further ado, welcome Lisa!!
Eat, Pray, Love…and my Grandma’s Bra
After three years of caregiving, I noticed my grandma’s bras had started driving her nuts. Now there were a number of logical reasons for this, the biggest being that they were from a different era (literally). Yet, somehow they had magically traveled through time and maintained enough “composure” to survive, but not quite enough to still be functional. I didn’t know what size they were, though, as the tags were all faded and frayed. The band around the bras were so stretched that when unlatched, they appeared completely rippled. The darted effect——so reminiscent of her time——had stayed intact, but that was about it. Needless to say, she needed new bras in about the size 40 A. (For all you dudes out there who are unfamiliar with this measurement, it’s primarily because it doesn’t exist.) Because of Alzheimer’s disease, she needed new bras that “worked” just like the old ones. She had no understanding of what to do with sports bras that went over the head, and the thought of not wearing one was sacrilege. Ah, a new mission for me.
About every two months, I was faced with an interesting and eccentric new task as her caregiver. Buying Gram a slew of new bras had become The Mission of The Fall of 2010, and, Jazz, my young daughter, was thrilled.
This project took weeks. In that time, Jazz and I brought home no fewer than two dozen bras, all in the ballpark of size 38 B. They were too tight around and too big in the bust, and no amount of convincing could assure Gram to settle for any one of them. At one point, Jazz said, “Gram, just pick one out and save it in your drawer till next year. I’m sure you’ll grow into it!”
Her point was brilliant so I ran with it, too. But Gram wasn’t buying the B.S. we were selling, and so we ultimately gave up on that idea.
It was a Saturday night around Halloween. Jazz had a costume party and I wanted to see a movie. Eat, Pray, Love was playing. I figured, even if Gram didn’t understand the movie, she could enjoy nice music and beautiful cinematography for a couple of hours. So off I went, Gram in tow. Like a good caregiver, I tucked her into her theatre seat with a nice big, wool blanket, nice ’n cozy. I could hear people “ooh” and “aah,” and comment on how cute Gram was as I did this.
…Well, Gram no longer possessed an inside voice, nor did she have a new bra yet——two things I hadn’t factored into our movie going experience——so about ten minutes into the movie, Gram shouted (and I do mean shouted), “Lisa, unhook my bra! It’s cutting the sh*t out of me!”
So that happened.
A quiet theatre had suddenly been roused. A serene movie had turned instantaneously slapstick. I nearly peed, but crossed my legs efficiently as I simultaneously dove inside the back of her series of sweaters and thermals to unhook her bra. She kept repeating herself over and over. The bra was really bothering her (plus, she had Alzheimer’s). I worked like a madwoman to stifle my boisterous gram who was now uttering, “Lower! The god d**n hook is lower!” I finally found “the god d**n hook” tucked and stuck inside the back of her waistband. I imagine that did hurt. I mean, if the back of my bra was jammed into my underpants, I’d be uncomfortable, too.
Looking back, I believe the incident enhanced everyone’s Eat, Pray, Love experience. The line should be written into the script as far as I’m concerned. It did, after all, get the biggest laugh.
That night I went home and indulged in a little drink, pray and love. The next day I left the house on a mission to find at least two bras in the size 40 A. Thank you, Kohl’s (mission accomplished). Oh, and thank you, too, God, for there’s never a dull moment in the land of Nora Jo!
If you’re ever feeling like your moments as a caregiver are dull, stifling and uneventful, I hope you think of this story. Maybe you can even come up with one of your own. Humor is a powerful tool. My gram’s antics in the theater could have been embarrassing, I guess. But we threw out the word “embarrassing” when we decided to take in Gram and care for her. It was a wise exchange on our part.
I love you, Gram!
Author, As Nora Jo Fades Away, Confessions of a Caregiver
“Like” my page, As Nora Jo Fades Away and mention My Book Addiction and More and I’ll send you a private link to watch my fifteen time nationally acclaimed documentary short, “14 Days with Alzheimer’s.”
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Thank you Lisa, for visiting with us and our readers today!
What a touching,humerous and compelling story! It takes a very special person to take care of a loved one with an illness,no matter t he illness. I am a retired nurse,and my heart and love goes out to you and your family. Hat’s off to you, your Gram, and your family! You and your family have taken something extremely difficult and made it work for you guys. Well done, Lisa!
A bit about the author:
Lisa Cerasoli left her hometown of Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan upon graduating from its one and only school Iron Mountain High. Michigan State University was her first stop. She tested into Lyman Briggs School of Science, majoring in pre-med. That dream quickly deflated when she realized she’s a complete hypochondriac, and the last thing she needed was to feed her neurosis by being around “sick people” all day. Feeling lost, she fled to Arizona for spring break… and didn’t get back on the plane to return home. Instead, she applied to Arizona State University. Four years and a few beers later, Lisa got a very practical theater degree and transported herself by way of a Honda Accord (that would be stolen twice by year’s end) to the City of Angels. L.A. was pretty good to the girl. She booked her first series, Acapulco Bay, within nine months. After that she spent two-plus years as a series regular on General Hospital, playing the quirky role of “V.” She then booked a string of guest star roles, including Oh, Grow Up, Diagnosis Murder, Pensacola Wings of Gold, two recurring roles on The Pretender as “Zoe” and Boomtown. In the fall of 2002, Lisa and her manager, Sandra Siegal, met with Ken Atchity of Atchity Entertainment, International regarding her screenplay, On the Brink of Bliss and Insanity. Ken thought it sounded like a novel, so she went home and blew out three chapters. That’s when she fell (for certain and truly) in love with writing. A few weeks later, Lisa’s father was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. She packed a bag, headed back to Iron Mountain and cared for her dad until his death in July 2003, while completing the novel. Two months later, she married a high school friend, Peter Weaver, who has an amazing son, Brock, 14. Together, they have the lively Jazzlyn Jo, 3, and Lisa has been writing like a damn fool ever since. Grandma also lives with them. She’s 87 and has progressive dementia. Lisa admits, “Mostly, she’s a progressive riot (when she’s not an utter safety hazard).”
A bit about the book:
AS NORA JO FADES AWAY,CONFESSIONS OF A CAREGIVER
A Memoir by Lisa Cerasoli
- Paperback: 180 pages
- Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc.; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1589851900
- ISBN-13: 978-1589851900
Life goes from Hollywood to Michigan to Mars when Lisa and her family take in her grandmother who has progressive dementia. The Weaver family quickly discovers that she isn t the only one suffering. The comicals of Nora Jo bring a whole new realm of crazy to their offbeat but copasetic abode, driving it into full-throttle Darwinian mode. It s officially Survival of the Fittest at the Weaver joint, and even the dogs are contemplating a quiet exit to the farm. The question is, how high a price can they pay for this traumatic change? And that s when this foursome redefines the meaning of compassion.
Barnes & Nobles:
(Sponsored by the author)
Thanks to the author, we are also offering 1 lucky commenter a digital copy of “As Nora Jo fades Away”. This is in addition to the above giveaway for the movie. This will be a digital copy of either Kindle or PDF format. YOU MUST clarify which you would prefer in your comment.Giveaway will run from July 16 until July 23,2013.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
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Thanks everyone for stopping by and spending time with our guest today!