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Love is an Action Verb: A Caregivers Journey

by Melodie Yates


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Love is an Action Verb: A Caregiver’s Journey by Melodie Yates, is an earthy representation of her experience framed as poems about truth, vulnerability, courage and strength. It is a portrayal of the helplessness, the frustration, the loneliness that erupts internally as we manifest outward calm and kindness toward those for whom we are caregiving. Her heart felt poetry was her mechanism for survival, regeneration, and expression of emotional angst.

Regardless of her professional accomplishments, her family/friend support, the knowledge that she was losing herself and her capacity to preserve was frightening. Caring for her husband as they navigated the murky waters of his decline with Alzheimer’s over the last 16 years brought the author to her knees. The soul-searching reflections offer her truth, deep and raw, about the realities of long-term care giving.

Despite these difficulties, the author also demonstrates a corresponding confidence that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Love sustains us and allows us to find the joy buried in the piles of dirty laundry, the messy house, the big decisions left unmade and the daily drip of decay we witness.

Join the author in continued exploration of truth. Each poem is accompanied by reflection and discussion questions that caregivers can use for their own insight or share with others in a search for mutual support. We simply cannot do this by ourselves.

Melodie Yates, 74, has spent the last 16 years as caregiver to her husband of 50 years as he has progressed deeper into Alzheimer’s disease. During her ongoing caregiving journey, she wrote poems as a release. Her related credentials are flexibility, love, perseverance, and desperation. With no formal training in writing, no expertise in caregiving beyond learned experience, she hopes her journey will help other’s find solace and confirmation.