John of Art Audiobook Now Available Through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

John of Art Book Cover Art
Hey, everyone! I thought that I’d post a quick message for everyone to check-in and to let you all know that the audiobook for John of Art is now on sale and available through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! A very special thank you to my voice-over artist, Chris Kenworthy, who did a phenomenal job narrating my audiobook. She once again created a magical piece of art that enraptures us all as we listen to this story that so desperately needed to be told! She also included a very special surprise at the end, which brought tears to my eyes. I am humbled and grateful to have someone as special as Chris in my life!
You can buy the audiobook here: http://www.tinyurl.com/y5smjky6
I do have tons of free promo codes. If a fellow author is interested in swapping books to trade book reviews just let me know. I’m really into reading other people’s work lately and would love the chance to review other’s work as long as they return the favor in kind.
I want to thank everyone for their continued interest in my work. I am so thrilled to say that I have not one, but two audiobooks made from my work that was done in 2019. That’s such an amazing feat and I couldn’t have done any of this without, Chris!
I am working very hard on a new piece that I am going to be sending to a traditional publishing company. I’m nervous and excited. This is the first piece of work that I am creating for a traditional publishing company. I know not to put all of my eggs in one basket. I am just kind of getting my feet wet and learning the ropes of what to do in terms of creating a polished manuscript and it is good experience regardless if my work is chosen or not. I’m at the editing phase, which scares me the most. The writing is what is always the easiest for me, but it’s the editing that’s the most daunting in terms of re-visiting my own work. You are essentially staring at your own soul in the mirror. It’s very vulnerable, emotional, and absolutely terrifying. I’ve done everything for this manuscript aside from the edits and table of contents. I worked on a cover art piece even though I know that they’ll create their own cover art, but I get inspired when I do my own cover art. I can stare at that piece for hours getting inspired and it really helps get me in the creative zone when it comes to producing new work or revising established work.
Anyhow, that’s me at the moment. Staring my manuscript on the screen scared to death to start hacking and slashing and editing and revising. Thanks, everyone for reading up on what I’ve got going on lately! I hope you are all doing well.
The Patreon project that I’ve got proposed will be slated for January 2020. I am hoping to be able to get funding for the majority of this project possibly through a grant, which I’m waiting to hear back from, but if I don’t have the funding secured by the new year, I’ve decided that I will limit the project to the NY/NJ area where I live and when funding becomes available I can always create future volumes of the work. You can read all about this new project on my Patreon page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess
Happy hump day!

Some Thoughts on Amazon’s The Boys

blog post august 5th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I just finished watching Amazon’s The Boys and have some observations I’d like to share with you all. First of all, I absolutely loved the idea of seeing superheroes, for once, being heavily flawed, culpable, and not as infallible as they’re always depicted. I also really liked how “The Boys” were “the good guys” or anti-heroes, really.

I have always had several issues with superheroes that I never voiced out loud for many years. My views may be seen as a widely unpopular opinion but here goes anyway. I always quietly noted all of the violence, all of the deaths, especially all of the collateral damage that was done while superheroes purportedly “saved the day.” You rarely see the superheroes acknowledging or taking a moment to apologize, to grieve, or to recognize all of the senseless lives lost and if they do it’s a mere afterthought. These superheroes are always larger than life characters who were given these powers and decided to dedicate their lives to being noble while saving the world from crime. But what if it’s not so black and white as we’ve been accustomed to while watching or reading tales in the DC or Marvel Universe?

The Boys provides a view of what it might really be like living in a world with superheroes in this day and age. We are heavily tied to technology and you can’t get away with anything these days without someone catching your actions on their phone and posting it to several social media outlets. You have to be careful with what you say, spin your words in a way that will get people to follow you, believe in your actions, and even pick a group, and with this show, in particular, the religious community and have them support your cause. In this world, they were made to be superheroes at birth and it wasn’t by some freak accident or some other hackneyed cause that became commonplace with superhero origin stories. We see how the individuals who are known as “The Seven” cope with their superhero status and how they unravel in front of our very eyes in quite a sight to behold.

You have A-Train who is fighting to keep his status as the fastest man alive, facing the reality of aging and the limitations of his body and toying around with Compound V to help him maintain his status as a renowned and beloved superhero. He inadvertently kills someone while speeding through residential streets with little regard for anyone but himself. He even sacrifices his own beloved Popclaw to cover up one of his many messes. To what end do your actions persist without consequences? One of the most poignant moments in the series is A-Train’s last conversation with Popclaw before killing her where he recalls what foods she ordered on their first date. He told her that he was impressed by her choice and loved how she wasn’t afraid to be happy. That was the most authentic moment that character had the entire season and that was the only chance we got to see A-Train being truly vulnerable, away from the Compound V, away from the influences of Homelander and Stillwell and Vought.

These “supes” as they’re known, are so scripted and violated and destroyed mentally as they’re constantly reminded by those around them how privileged they are to be apart of this elite group but what they had to do to get there is just way beyond what the average human being would tolerate just to become famous.

I always equated superheroes with the popular kids in high school. These are the kids who naturally excelled at sports, the beautiful young girls who were cheerleaders or chosen homecoming and/or prom queen, the Ivy-league bound kids, etc. These were the kids that I had the least in common with growing up. I was always awkward, shy, overweight, never pretty, plain to look at, unremarkable in every sense of the word. I’ve been bullied, fat-shamed, emotionally tormented, and so on my entire life and it has become something I’m used to. With every hardship I’ve endured and whenever I happen to tell my story to other people they always tell me how they are so impressed by how level-headed, smart, and accomplished I am. They tell me how strong I am to have gone through everything I’ve gone through and never turn to drugs, or alcohol or worse. I take my pain and I turn it into something positive. My weapon of choice has always been my words. I use words to make sense of my feelings. I use words to educate others to be better people. I use words to teach people tolerance, positivity, compassion, empathy, love, and respect.

I’m no superhero. I often end up sympathizing with the villains sometimes. Not that I’d ever condone any of their abhorrent actions. I can just sometimes relate more to their backstories and can understand how these villains did not have the mental fortitude to turn an extremely negative and unfortunate event in their lives and turn it into a positive.

This show, I realize, relies heavily on karma to serve these so-called heroes and heroines their just desserts. From A-Trains broken leg, to Translucents unfortunate demise, to The Deep’s gill violation,  to Queen Maeve’s coming to terms with letting all of those people die on that plane and the bitter loneliness she exhibits on a day to day basis just being her, to Homelander’s desperate need to father a child only to find out that he had a child as a result of his raping Butcher’s wife but only finding out several years later that the child actually survived. All of those cliched colloquialisms apply here: Fate catches up to us all, You get what you deserve, You reap what you sow. You get the point.

This show had raised so many thoughts and questions and I was really impressed from beginning to end. I was kind of dragging my feet starting this series and I rolled my eyes at the mere thought of watching yet another superhero driven series. This concept highly fatigues me and the concept has to be really mind-blowingly good for me to not fall asleep or even forgo watching it altogether. I really liked how the tables were turned and made what we would normally consider the villains as the kind of heroes/anti-heroes of the story. I liked how the superheroes weren’t always perfect, were heavily flawed, and weren’t even good people most of the time. I liked how Starlight was the young ingenue getting into something she thought was so noble and worthy only to be disillusioned and wrecked practically from day one after her sickening encounter with The Deep. We’ve all had moments where we find out that some of our heroes are not good people in real life and how scripted the majority of people whom we admire actually are and how Hollywood lies, and how things are absolutely not always as they seem. Thanks for reading my observations. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the show. Remember, if you decide to leave a comment, only positive comments will be published, so keep it clean, keep it polite, keep it respectful, folks.

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My new novella, John of Art, is out now and is available for paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. It is also available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold. If you’d like to get a copy of the paperback, just click the picture below and it will lead you to Amazon to purchase your copy of the new novella. Thanks to all of you who have already purchased your copy. I am in the process of making the paperback available through other platforms and my voice over artist is currently working on the audiobook and that will be released in September most likely.  Currently, I’m working on a couple of new things. I am working on possibly doing some book signings. I have just sent out a few inquiries regarding that so I don’t know if that will happen yet but will let you all know if and when that actually occurs. Thanks again and have a great week everyone!

Limited Release of My Latest Novella, John of Art, Available Now on Amazon!

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

John of Art, the second novella in the Seasons of Change novellas, is now available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle e-book format. Click on the first picture below of the book cover to get your copy now! $12 paperback/$10 Kindle e-Book

Click this picture below for your copy of John of Art!

ABSOLUTE FINAL BACK BOOK COVER

Back Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the blurb for John of Art:

John of Art, a sequel to A Wynter’s Tale, is the newest novella in The Moonlit Goddess’ Seasons of Change series.
Wynn and Lin are settling into their newly married life in Wister Bay, Maine. When Wynn gets some devastating news about his new fledgling business, he and Lin find themselves in a familiar predicament that brought them together years back. As Wynn tries to re-navigate his life once again, Lin’s business as a psychologist is thriving. Her new client, Simone Soares, comes to Lin seeking coping strategies for her depression and anxiety. The majority of Simone’s troubles stem from her caring for her ailing father, João “John” Soares, who is suffering from advanced dementia. What Simone got instead was a whirlwind of chaos she had not expected. A chance meeting with a mysterious, out of town stranger helps Simone handle her grief, financial hardships, and the origins of her birth. With the help of those around her, Simone learns compassion, empathy, inner strength, and above all else, forgiveness.

For the first time, my new work is now featured in e-book format in other outlets like B&N, iBooks, and anywhere e-Books are sold. Just look me up under any search as PSG Lopes (The Moonlit Goddess Presents: A Seasons of Change Novella: John of Art)  wherever you purchase your e-Books. Paperbacks through new outlets will also be available soon and I’ll make those links available to you all as the author copy of the paperback is approved in the upcoming weeks. I am using a different distributor aside from Amazon this time around in order to make my work more readily available to a broader audience. It’s a lot of fine-tuning and making sure everything is perfect before I release the paperback version through B&N, and other outlets. Lastly, the audiobook will be produced soon and will be coming out in late summer. I will update you all and provide the link for that as well when the time comes. The book has a song which accompanies it and you can listen to that here:

www.themoonlitgoddess.bandcamp.com

Thank you all for continuing to visit my website and supporting my work!

I’ve already got my eye on my next two projects and I’m in the developing stages of both! I’m always thinking ahead!

My Pilgrimage to the Ironbound

blog pic april 26th

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I had an enlightening morning today. My father worked in an area known as the Ironbound section of Newark for nearly forty years. Shortly after he retired, my family and I realized that he was going through something because he began behaving erratically and drove our family crazy for months before we figured out his catastrophic diagnosis. Upon revealing his diagnosis of dementia, our family was devastated but we weren’t exactly familiar with the disease. We were unsure of its progression, we were uncertain of his prognosis; we were basically left in the dark. With each passing month, we become more knowledgeable and educated ourselves on his illness. A lot of what we learned was from witnessing it first hand. There really was no appropriate preparation for what was to come.

Before my father was diagnosed with dementia, my family was pretty much estranged from him. Even though we all lived in the same house as him, my father was a private man and preferred to live his life separately from everyone else. Because dementia is all-consuming and requires round the clock care, this introduced us to a whole other side of my father we never really knew. I realized that I never really fully knew this man I called my father. Not because I did not want to, mind you, but because as I said he wanted it that way. He had his job in the Ironbound, his clubs and organizations that he was a part of, he had his writing and art that he would pursue on evenings and weekends. He would travel and drive around areas alone and we were none the wiser. Since his illness, we became so intimately familiar with our father that it was as if we entered a rabbit hole, an endless fountain of knowledge and information about him, some unsavory, but for the most part, we learned of some things he was interested in that we never knew about.

Today I met with an amazing woman who is well-respected and revered at the Luso-Americano newspaper and discussed my children’s book which I wrote in his honor: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. It was so nice speaking to someone who knew my father well. I could almost feel his presence in that building. My father, once notoriously known for how well-dressed he always was, proud and confident in himself walking into the newspaper building and talking away with all of these fine people. It was so comforting to know that he was well remembered. A big motivator for me writing my latest children’s book was to ensure that nobody forgot about my father. He was so important for so many years in the Ironbound community and then he disappeared into the ether and not many people knew about what happened to him. Many abandoned him, some called about him in the beginning but then very quickly it was as if my father ceased to exist. That didn’t sit well with me. As complicated as our relationship was towards the end of his healthy years, I would never want his legacy to fade. My children’s book was essentially my way of coping with this devastating situation my family and I have been dealing with for the past six to seven years. It has been a long, torturous, and highly emotional road for us all. Our goal and mission are to make damn well sure that my family receives the best possible care for him and that he is remembered for his positive contributions to society. I may not have known this side of him well but it was clear from my interview today that he was respected and that provided me with reassurance.

I know that I will continue advocating for others going through similar circumstances. This disease is tragic and heartbreaking. So many times I sit and think about telling my father about all of my accomplishments in writing and I wonder what he would have thought about it. I try not to romanticize his reactions too much because prior to his illness our relationship wasn’t the strongest. But I’ve gotten to know this version of my father and I can honestly say he is lovely and sweet and we currently have the best relationship that we have had since I was a little girl. I have actually read my children’s book to him and he gave me a thumbs up and told me in Portuguese that it was good. I thought his reaction was sweet and heartwarming. This was not exactly the same as if I were to have shown my dad prior to his illness but I accept that. Our family loves him and are fiercely protective of him. I will continue watching out for him and I will continue to fight to ensure that each day he is met with the dignity and respect he deserves. His legacy will persevere. I will make sure of that.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my work, you can always check out my Amazon Author Page here. (click on the orange link).

You can also click on any of the pictures below to order any of my books, audiobook, or music.

My novella, A Wynter’s Tale, is also now available as an audiobook and is featured on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! If you are interested, you can order my audiobook here. (Click on the orange link above for the audiobook!)

wynters-tale-outside-cover

Thank you very much to everyone who has already purchased my work in the past. Please make sure to leave a review and let me know what you think of my work! I appreciate you all always coming back and returning to read my blogs and to visit me on social media. I am continuously humbled and honored to have you all be a part of The Moonlit Goddess tribe!

Read-Aloud of My New Children’s Book: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia (Podcast)

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

Hello, everyone! Please listen to this week’s podcast where I discuss and perform a read-aloud of my latest children’s book: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia, discuss updates and latest projects, and more!

Thank you so much to all who continue to visit my blog, purchase all my books, listen to my podcasts, and just overall offer their emotional support. You all are amazing and I cherish each and every one of you!

Enjoy the podcast and hope you all have a fabulous and restful weekend!

Listen here to this week’s podcast: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast on Anchor

 

April Updates!

blog photo april 3rd 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

It has certainly been a while since I have last blogged about anything in particular. This past winter has been hectic, to say the very least!

Between the new year’s eve debacle, the torturous January that followed, being sick this past February with the flu and having both my parents afflicted with the flu, my dad being hospitalized with both the flu and pneumonia and spending his 76th birthday with strangers, our family being prepared for the worst thinking this was the end for my father, the stairs of the attic completely crumbling and not having access to my office or bedroom for a few weeks while my younger brother and brother from another mother created all new stairs, all contributed to my absence from the blogging realm.

2019 hasn’t all been bad! On a much brighter note, my father is doing very well, thankfully! He is situated in our living room with a fully functional hospital bed. He eats well, he enjoys reading magazines, he watches television, and he is able to answer simple questions and has become more verbal over the weeks since he’s been home from the hospital. Aside from the obvious afflictions that come with advanced dementia he is doing remarkable! There are still things that need to be taken care of, he’s obviously still in physical and mental decline and there’s no way of knowing when the end will occur. He has good days and bad days, but he can still laugh and still smiles and can still interact with us and that has been a huge blessing for my family!

Also occurring this year so far, I have released my third poetry anthology: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, which has been featured in my town’s local newspaper, and I finally released my new children’s book: My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. I decided to do a meaningful children’s book. It’s a simple poem illustrating what I went through when I found out my dad was sick. It is said in simple language and does not get into too much detail and is meant for children of all ages to learn and understand about this treacherous illness that their families may be experiencing themselves with a loved one. With every piece I create, I vow to not be frivolous with my writing and to write with purpose and meaning. I see so many ridiculous children’s books out there about topics like farting and other crude topics and I just feel that books are like food for the soul. You wouldn’t want your child eating junk, so why feed your child’s mind with junk, too? They deserve to read meaningful and powerful literature to inspire them and nurture their souls. That was my intention with my latest children’s book.

This piece was a real labor of love. It took weeks to get it all together and to finalize the formatting. I laughed to myself thinking I’d do a children’s book next after the poetry anthology because I thought it would be an easy venture. So many things went wrong during the production of this book and it dragged on many weeks more than I had originally planned. I am happy it is all said and done and the book is now fully released. I am pleased with the end results and am looking forward to my next projects in the upcoming weeks!

Another interesting opportunity that I got involved in this year, is the creation of the audiobook version of my novella, A Wynter’s Tale. I was presented with an opportunity to turn my novella into an audiobook and I set up an advertisement to do so and the lovely, incomparable Chris Kenworthy was gracious enough to accept my proposal for the audiobook and now the audio production of my novella is one other feather in my cap added to my work portfolio. I am super excited for its release and I will inform you all when it is finally available and will give all of the information on how to order your copy of the audiobook. It has been two years since I have released A Wynter’s Tale and I have learned so much about myself as a person, as a writer, as an artist, and I have pushed myself farther than I ever imagined I was capable of going. I am so proud of myself for continuing on and creating new pieces for everyone to enjoy. Each day I am blessed to present new works that demonstrate the varying aspects of the human condition and how we can all be better people if we all just work together. Thank you, Chris, for doing a phenomenal job bringing Wynn and Linda to life!

I realize my podcasts have fallen by the wayside as well over the past few weeks and I will resume podcasting this coming Friday. I will be doing a read-aloud of My Papa and Me. So stay tuned for that!

I also have my Goodreads page all updated. If you are interested in adding me through there, just click here.

Another thing that has gotten me through the painful start of 2019 is playing Pokemon Go. I am not much of a gamer, per se. I do play Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. I am also looking forward to the new Animal Crossing that is supposedly going to be released later this year through the Nintendo Switch. I have also played Pokemon on the 3DS during the Sun and Moon and Ruby and Sapphire eras. I played Pokemon Go for the first time in 2016 with my siblings. There were so many bugs throughout the game’s launch that we couldn’t stand it anymore and stopped playing.

This past Christmas, my sister renewed her interest and told my siblings and me how good it became and we all got into it again. What was so life-changing about this game was that I went through such a dark time this past winter with my breakup and my father being ill that I just didn’t want to leave the house. I just wanted to stay nestled in my room all day and I simply wasn’t living my life to it’s fullest. I mean, yes, I was able to function in terms of eating and sleeping and getting on with my daily responsibilities in terms of the house’s upkeep, taking care of my cats, and my father’s daily care, but I stopped caring about myself in the process. I literally would not wash my hair for weeks, not do my laundry, I would stay in the same clothes and I just was simply existing. I would breathe air involuntarily. I ate and drank to live and derived no pleasure in it. My world was gray.

By playing this simple game on my phone, it rejuvenated my will to live. I started wanting to leave the house again. I started caring about my appearance and started fixing my hair and my makeup again. I started wearing more clothes that I have in the closet other than the one green dress I wore on repeat because I just didn’t have the physical strength to go looking for another outfit. My family and I even found this amazing park that is a joy to play in because of the amazing wildlife and scenery, and also because there’s so much valuable gameplay in this particular area. All of this together has made life worthwhile once more for me.

The game is complex, it’s designed for everyone to enjoy. I appreciate the challenge and how it’s essentially a world-wide scavenger hunt. I like that it encourages people to get exercise and to leave their house. I like that it is a community-building game where you can make friends out of strangers. There are many friendly faces we have met along the way since we started playing and it is nice to see that this little game can bring so many people together especially during such a tumultuous time for our country. I know you’ll always find a friend when you know they play Pokemon Go. Regardless of any perceived differences, the game brings people together and that’s why I really love it. For anyone who plays, if you’re interested in adding me as a friend, my friend code is: 5019 3681 8101. My name in Pokemon Go, of course, is MoonlitGoddess. That’s how you’ll know it’s me.

On a final note, if you are interested in buying either my children’s book or my latest poetry anthology, just click on the picture links below. My children’s book, My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats ($12, $5, respectively). My poetry anthology: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats ($25, $9, respectively).

I want to thank everyone for continuing to come back and read more about me and what is happening in my life. I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks to everyone who has purchased my book in the past and recently. It means so much to me! I will let you all know when the audiobook comes out for A Wynter’s Tale. I am super excited about this latest addition to my writing repertoire and I look forward to hearing what you all think about it! I wish you all a wonderful week ahead!

These Past 3 Weeks

blog pic march 8 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

2019 has proven to be one of the most harrowing years of my entire life. I have endured quite a bit over the years but I always seem to be outdone by even greater and more severe challenges. Just when I fear that I can no longer handle what is being handed to me, I finally, FINALLY, see the light at the end of that very, very long tunnel.

I thought new years was bad, but these past three weeks were simply the worst experience I have endured to date. First, I get the flu and bronchitis, then my father, mother, and brother all get it as well. My father, having advanced dementia, was strongly advised to get the flu and pneumonia vaccine this season. We took him to our local pharmacy and he received both vaccines in November. These vaccines gave us this false sense of security because regardless of these vaccines, my father received both the flu and pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. Granted, we were told that there was no guarantee even with the vaccine but it was definitely absolutely ridiculous how he got both back to back and it was such a severe case he was in the hospital for almost a week. He even had to spend his 76th birthday in the hospital!

My family was absolutely inconsolable. Watching my father struggle with fever, cough, sneezing, being in and out of consciousness, was so heartbreaking to witness. Once he arrived at the hospital, they gave me him fluids and Tamiflu. After his week at the hospital was done, we noticed some drastic changes to his behavior.

Dementia is one of the most unpredictably cruel diseases I have ever had the misfortune of observing for the past six to seven years. My father was always a man on the go. He was always working. He was a full-time math teacher during the day, he taught night school and worked at a community college on the weekends. The man always had plans, always was out the door and we barely saw him. During the summer months, he would socialize with his creative art groups in the city where he worked and kept himself occupied. This was the father I knew as an adult. As a kid, we didn’t see him much either; however, because we were young, he would make it a point to do some trips with my siblings and I whether it was to the movies, apple picking, the beach, the park, etc. These events didn’t happen often, but he tried when he had the time.

When my father retired, he became a completely different person. His behavior was erratic, he became clumsy, he became aggressive, violent, and made many foolish decisions. As an adult, I didn’t really know my father well aside from the hi’s and byes and light dinner conversations. I didn’t really hang out with him much. I considered myself pretty much estranged from him. So when these things were going on in my dad’s life, I just assumed it was because he couldn’t adjust well to retirement. I figured he was so busy his entire life and the shock of retirement was just too much for him. But the chaos became greater, the insanity of the events involving my father became so grand scale that as a family we knew it was time to intervene. We did everything we could from allowing his driver’s license to lapse and having his car towed, to other measures to guarantee his safety.

During the beginning phases of his dementia, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer as well. My father was very fortunate to still be healthy enough mentally to be properly treated and has since been in remission. We took him to the neurologist and he’s had MRIs and they had told us he suffered from a series of mini-strokes. There was no way of knowing when they occurred or how often they occurred. As a result of these mini-strokes, his brain shrunk significantly causing the dementia. They said he had a mixture of vascular- type dementia and Alzheimer’s-type dementia. I remember one of the last things the neurologist told my brother at the end of the office visit after diagnosis was that we were in for years of heartache. He certainly was not kidding.

Over the years since dad’s diagnosis, we have had to become smarter and sneakier and wiser and always tried to keep one step ahead of my father. He would sneak out of the house and walk the streets of our town and be gone for hours and we would have to call for help. He would touch all the kitchen items and make himself “food” made out of napkins and milk. He would try to feed our cats saucers of dish soap. He would pace and wander all night in his bedroom not remembering he had to sleep. We went from doctor to doctor until we finally found one with the compassion and empathy to guide us and my father through each stage. She has been an absolute blessing and up until now, she has prepared us for what was next to come.

When dad came home from the hospital, my siblings and I were shell-shocked watching dad’s newest transition of this distressing illness. Dad lost his speech, he looked at us like we were public enemy number 1, and he refused to eat or drink anything. We all came to terms with the fact that this may very well be the end. He may need hospice care and it may be time for us to finally accept that it is time to let go. After the hospital visit, the hospital staff set up several health care professionals to visit the home and evaluate my father and to help with his care. We received two very caring women who have also helped us further understand our father’s condition and to kind of relinquish some control over what was going on.

As human beings, we are raised to believe you have to eat and drink to survive. The one nurse practitioner that visited us taught us that in my father’s condition that need to eat and that need for a three-meal structure no longer exists. He will eat when he’s hungry, he will drink when he’s thirsty and we can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. Even though to the naked eye it appears our dad is long gone, there is still the shell of the man he used to be in there somewhere and that man craves attention and dignity. He won’t be told when to eat, he won’t be forced to live up to our standards. He will do what he wants to do when he is ready. After hearing that, I was finally able to ease the tension that had been burdening my shoulders these past few weeks. I’ve let go of that desperate need to want to save my father’s life and to keep him living for a thousand more years.

Once I let go, I realized that my father began eating and drinking again. I nearly collapsed with relief. Along with eating and drinking, my dad began saying a word here and there. If you say, “Hi, how are you?” he will say “Good.” He will also nod his head yes or no when you ask him questions like, “Are you hungry?” or “Are you cold?” This was also a great relief.

I have literally been by his side since he’s gotten back from the hospital and I have been putting myself last, as usual. I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been lax with my podcasting, and I have neglected my latest writing project. I know that is completely and totally unhealthy of me to do. I just have been so traumatized over this event. I just wanted to be there for my father because I realize how short life is and I don’t know how many more moments I will have with my father.

I think life works in mysterious ways though. I think that even though this was such a tragedy, I feel that this has brought us all closer together as a family. I feel like I finally have a relationship with my father. I will never have the kind of relationship I always lacked and always wanted growing up, but I am satisfied with the relationship I have with him now. My father has become a sweet, kind, and vulnerable man. My family and I are constantly advocating for better care for him from the healthcare system. We have reached somewhat of a current homeostasis at the moment. His care is under control. We have people who come periodically to monitor his well-being and as a family we all take care of him and provide him with the best round the clock care we can possibly provide him with given our lack of knowledge of healthcare. We do the very best that we are capable of doing. Given our lack of finances, he is being cared for at home. We’ve adjusted and he is finally at a comfortable level post-hospital. At this point, this is the best we can expect given his condition. We are grateful to have him eating and drinking and engaging with us here and there. At this stage in my life, after everything I’ve endured, and my family has endured, there really isn’t much more we can ask for.

On this day, International Women’s Day, I’m going to allow myself to step away for a while and join the living and get the things I need to get done that I’ve neglected nearly a month ago. I’m happy to be back in my office writing and producing. It’s where I feel the most alive and happiest. Thank you all for continuing to visit to read my blogs. Thanks for the well-wishers. I had the loveliest comment on one of my blogs last night that helped motivate me to get back on track. Thanks to that individual. I am happy that my words bring comfort to some. I wish you all a very lovely day and a restful and relaxing weekend!

Podcast: Happy Birthday, Pápá!

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ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Today is my father’s 76th birthday. I decided to do a podcast reading of three poems I wrote about my dad. In this week’s podcast, I read “Ja Ja James,” “Wrong Door,” and “Broken Pieces of Me.” I discuss the transition of my dad’s illness throughout the creation of each of these pieces and how I went from a position of anger and resentment to one of reflection, peace, compassion, and, ultimately, forgiveness. All three pieces that I have read today on my podcast are featured in my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 1 and 3, respectively.

Click here to listen to this week’s podcast.

Thank you, everyone!