Meet Vicki: I started life in a small town in eastern Montana, known for its cowboy bars and yearly “world-famous” horse sale. Breaking the mold, I did not grow up to marry a cowboy or live on a ranch, but after securing a degree in elementary education from Montana State University, promptly spent more than two months vagabonding about Europe before settling into married life and a job in Michigan.
Three babies, two moves and a new husband (much) later, I am now happily settled back into the unhurried life of a Montanan in the south-central part of our beautiful state. The babies have long since grown and gone, although happily, my son and his wife moved back to Montana, which means I now have two grandsons nearby!
For over 30 years I was a lactation consultant, counseling women on how to succeed with breastfeeding. In January of 2014, I made the decision to leave this career behind in order to pursue my writing and other as-yet undiscovered adventures.
Journaling has been a part of my life since I was 16, a form a therapy that helped me cope over the years with the ups and downs of life. I have also written and had numerous articles published in lactation journals. My typical subject matter of lactation, however, took an abrupt turn from life’s beginning to life’s end when I began keeping a diary documenting our family’s journey, after my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my dad with Parkinson’s-related dementia. Over time, this diary became my first book-length work, a memoir detailing our rocky road through this devastating disease. I was inspired to publish Somebody Stole My Iron after sharing it with friends and friends of friends traveling the same difficult road and hearing them tell me how much reading it helped them on their journey.
Somebody Stole My Iron- About the Book:
Navigating the waters of dementia can be frightening, unleashing a myriad of emotions for everyone involved, precipitating anxiety and grief, anger and frustration, extreme sadness and feelings of hopelessness. After my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, followed closely by my father with Parkinson’s disease-related dementia, I struggled to find practical, helpful information to light my way. Somebody Stole My Iron began as a diary to help me cope, but emerged as a road map for others. It offers a glimpse into my family’s life as we rode the waves of dementia, sometimes sailing, other times capsizing. My memoir offers useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer’s research, personal lessons learned along the way, and ideas/tips for managing the day-to-day ups and downs of dementia. It is a story of holding on and ultimately learning to let go, transcending the pain and turmoil to discover love and compassion. Above all, Somebody Stole My Iron chronicles the tenacity of my mother as she fought her way through the tangled and bewildering labyrinth. The goal of my narrative is to offer hope to those whose lives have been intimately affected by dementia, letting them know that they are not alone.