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"A haunting, contemplative work." Kate Jones (Pasadena, MD USA)
NOW ALSO ON KINDLE!
An intimate novel of an eighty-year-old woman spending the last years of her life at an Old Peoples' Home. The problems she must face are as different as they are unexpected from anything one can imagine in the ‘outside’ world, not the least of which is her husband’s gradual deterioration under the unforgiving progression of Alzheimer’s disease. As we follow the inevitable loss of her own faculties due to dementia, we discover what unexpected compensations nature offers to those whom no one else can help. Surprisingly, the book is spiced with abundant humour....
You can read more excerpts on my web site http://stanlaw.ca/gate.html By clicking under the picture of the cover, you can download the first chapter. It is yours to keep. By clicking on the cover itself, you'll find the rest of the book on the Amazon.com
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Stan I.S. Law
For anyone with interest in Alzheimer's and/or dementia, this book is a must read. This Fictional Biography is now available on the Amazon.com, most other online distributors, or through Ingram.
My poem (previously published in A/D), which later inspired my novel.
Just yesterday he was here. I looked into his eyes.
He was a man now, even as once a child that suckled
at my breast. I continue to see him. Constantly,
by my side. Or could it be just my longing?
Surely he can’t be here.
How come I am granted such wondrous illusions?
Shadows of memories of such joyful past?
But surely he is here. And he’ll never leave me.
I feel his gentle touch, passing over my brow…
No matter how spent, I shall always see him,
hiding behind my eyelids, days, nights, even now...
[From a five-star review printed in full below]
"The writing has classical grandeur and poetic beauty, the characters are vividly drawn, especially the nurses' helper, a giant of a man named Raphael whose sensitivities and erudition match the author's. This is a jewel of a piece of writing, with an honesty that makes transcendence and incontinence equally noble a part of the narrative. If you value the life of the mind, this book is for you."
Kate Jones, writer, editor, USA
5.0 out of 5 stars for: The Gate (Things my Mother told me).
A must read.
If you think your own life, or that of your loved one, might end up in an Old People's home, then this books is a MUST READ. You'll learn about Alzheimer's, dementia, loneliness... but also about unexpected joys and friendships. You will enter a strange and wondrous world where old age offers unexpected compensations. And finally, you will also learn to laugh at yourself, even if, on occasion, through tears.
B. Happach, publisher, CA.
More 5.0 out of 5 stars for: The Gate (Things my Mother told me).
A must read for the old and the young.
Now also on Smashwords at:
After giving away 110 free downloads of my novel: The Gate—Things my Mother told me, I have reverted to previous price of $4.99. Since, to date, I have not received any acknowledgements, I hope this miniscule price will not discourage people from reading it. There is still a 30% free viewing. Enjoy!
Please click below.
(By M. Beaulieu, Montreal, Qc Canada0
I've been a fan of Stan Law for some time and the Gate is one of his best. A departure from his international spiritual thrillers, this book locks us away in the unknown world of a retirement home where people waste away waiting. But through this bizarre world that most of us hope never to find, Law creates vast landscapes of memory and experience where an old woman teaches us that god isn't a big guy on a cloud and that what we do day to day is only part of what life is really about. A must read for the old and the young.
(Excerpt from chapter 2, "Alzheimer's")
Dad is sleeping. His kindly face completely relaxed. He doesn’t have any more problems to solve. There is even a suggestion of a smile on his face. He always liked to smile. At least, he kept this little memento.
My thoughts drift back to suicide. Am I sinning just by thinking about it? And then I sit up, as if facing an interlocutor. In my mind’s eye I see an old man with a long grey beard. A man we all admire. Socrates. When faced with the alternative of compromising his beliefs, Socrates unflinchingly drank poison hemlock. Did the fact that he was condemned to death absolve his action?
Then I see another ancient.
Buddha ate tainted rice, fully aware of the ensuing consequences. He knew he would die. The kamikaze pilots are believed to rise directly to paradise. The Moslems and the Christians also reserve this reward, paradise, each for their own martyrs. Even for the premeditated, fully-aware-of-the-consequences-of-their-actions martyrs who die fighting, killing, murdering . . . on the opposite sides of a theological argument. For the countless martyrs of the ‘Holy’ Crusades, the Jihäds. Martyr-knights, their hands covered with blood to their noble elbows, serving their respective gods.
I AM THAT I AM. I am a jealous God. Allah is One God. Presumably so is Krishna. And Vishnu and Brahma and...
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
(Excerpt from chapter 7: "The Institute")
Bart and Steve have gone on ahead to install the carpet in our room.
The carpeting has to be laid on the sly. We asked if we could furnish our room at the Institute, at least partially, with our own furniture, and got permission but they don’t know about the carpeting. By the time management sees the carpet, the two hospital-type beds, the desk, a cabinet with eight drawers, two armchairs and some other bits and pieces are already pinning it down. It’s also glued to the terrazzo floor. I imagine that for years to come, our room will be the only one with wall to wall carpet.
"But it’s unhygienic!" Sister in charge declares.
"But it makes them happy!" my boys counter unanimously.
"But it just isn’t done at the Institute!" she insists.
"But we just did it," they state the obvious.
Bart and Steve decide that the Senior Sister of the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary should have the last word, which they promptly ignore. The damage is already done, and Jan and I will be happy. As for the Sister? Well, she came three times that first day to gaze at the carpet, waved her head from side to side, as though not believing her own eyes. The Sister obviously considers it her duty to make sure that everyone live as long as humanly possible, in dull, sterile, hygienically exemplary conditions, no matter how miserable it makes them.
I try to explain it to her.
"We have no desire to live long, Sister. We have the desire to live happy."
The sister is very good at ‘buts’. But what about cleaning? But what about the bugs? But what about the extra dust? But what if you spill something? But what will other people say? But... Had I not been brought up right, I would suggest that the good Sister’s a pain in the butt. Or buts, in her case. No wonder Sister finds it such an innovation. Nuns don’t have carpets in their cells.