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Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: WestBow Press
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 X 0.88 (inches)|
Author: Rick & Martha Trader
Submitted: November 29, 2015
Tell us a little about yourself. Rick and Martha Trader have served together for nearly 30 years in pastoral and parachurch ministries. Rick holds a bachelors degree from the University of Idaho and a masters from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has over 30 years of crisis intervention involvements, multiple teaching certifications, and has conducted extensive work abroad in social, educational and cultural development. Martha has over 16 years of gifted experience in multiple areas of special education. Together Rick and Martha have served in church planting, pastoral ministry, more than a decade of pioneering missions work abroad, successful small-business owners, and more. Rick and Martha have two grown children and four grandchildren.
What was your motivation behind this project? As our journey unfolded for us we came to realize that what we learned on the journey, and at journeys end, while including a vastly greater knowledge of Alzheimers, and dementia, and paranoia, and obsessive compulsive disorder, and Parkinsons, and medicines, and systems, and many other things external to ourselves; that about which we learned most was ourselves and about the spirit within man that can exert itself even when the mind is eaten up by disease. That said, two very specific inspirations served as the catalyst that stayed ever present in our minds as this project developed. The first inspiration was Marthas dad, Winston. On the very last page of our book, in bold print, is probably the most concise representation of how Winston inspired. Also, as noted in the Dedication section at the front of the book, another huge inspiration for me (Rick), personally, to complete this projectbeyond wanting to complete the classroom assignmentwas to share not just the lessons learned from the classroom of dementia, and from Winstons incredible fellowship with his Creator, but to also share the lessons learned by observing the phenomenal grace displayed by Martha. Martha inspired me not simply in the years of service she provided to her parents, but in her confident, humble realizations that her/our focus needed to simply be on honoring her parents, rather than on all of the other distractions of attitude and frustration that can rob one of the joy of service. That revelation by, and singleness of purpose in Martha was what made possible our realization that this journey was, indeed, a classroom experience. Martha was an object lesson in her own right.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? About one-third of the American population is 50 or older. Translated that means that about 100 million people are prime for this book, and the other 200 million are having to live with us! As Boomers reach retirement age that value will increase significantly. We believe our story is written a bit different than many as it is about what dementia can teach us, not what we can teach others about dementia. As such (that the story is less about dementia, and more about what we learned from it), we hope that readers will gain the following: A) Knowledge that we are eternal beings and this life we now live is but a tiny spec on the scale of eternity, but it is no less a step that will determine the course of our eternity. B) A confident hope for life both here and eternally. C) A lot of good laughs, and perhaps even a few tears. Of course, having been the ones who lived the stories we write about, inside our heads we have the sound tracks and the rolling film to go with the printed story. Our desire was to try to put those sound tracks and visual images into words such that readers can hopefully gain the same lightness of heart, and confidence of outcome, even amidst the reality of something as ugly as dementia.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Almost every chapter includes lessons-learned at the end of the chapter. These all spell out how our lives were overwhelmingly impacted by this journey. The Lesson of Awe (pg 303) shares a big one in closing. Beyond that, the impact on us is simply too voluminous to try to condense here.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: We invite you to journey with us as we accept the mission of caring for one parent with dementia, only to end up with two parents with dementia, mixed with a healthy blend of OCD, paranoia, and Parkinson's. The intense darkness of such a dynamic at times also makes for a releasing humor. Poignant stories tell the tales, while the focus remains on how, when the Teacher designs the syllabus, the classroom experience will reach the heart. Over 30 humbling lessons (most in hindsight) about mission, mercy, faith, fatigue, keys and cars, time, toothpaste, amazement, awe, earthsuits, and more are set into an eternal perspective. What was the most humbling lesson of all? Come along with us and discover the most important one for yourself. A downloadable pdf summary sheet of the book can be found at the website identified on the front cover of the book.