BOOK DETAILS

My Ideal Partner

My Ideal Partner

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

ASIN: B01ISO66MA

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Memoirs, Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction

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Book Description

$3.99

In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid−forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times, like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it, so they wouldn’t always depend on the local paratransit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

Sample Chapter

PROLOGUE

THE BIG DAY

This couldn’t be happening, I told myself, as, in my underwear, I paced the upstairs hall in Grandma’s house between my aunt’s old bedroom and the bathroom. It was the afternoon of September 10, 2005. In the yard, I heard strains of music from the string duo my father hired for the occasion and the chatter of arriving guests. Soon the ceremony would start. Would I have to walk down the aisle on my father’s arm in my underwear? Where was my sister–in–law, Kathleen, who agreed to be matron of honor?

She was probably still at the motel with my brother, Andy; their two sons, Dylan and Tristan, ages eight and six, who were to be ushers; and their two–year–old daughter, Isabella, who would serve as flower girl. Not only were we missing ushers and a flower girl, but my dress was with Kathleen at the motel, or so I thought. Why wasn’t she here?

The front door banged, and to my relief, I heard the excited voices of my nephews and niece.

“Go out back, and don’t mess up your nice clothes,” Kathleen called before rushing up the stairs to greet me.

“You have my dress?” I asked, noticing she wasn’t carrying a garment.

“No, it’s right there on the bed,” she said, pointing to somewhere I couldn’t see.

With my limited vision, I could only make out people and objects close to me, and in the heightened emotional state of any bride–to–be, I hadn’t thought to look closely for the dress. I’d been pacing the floor and wringing my hands for twenty minutes, wondering where it was, and all this time, it was right in front of me.

“Just breathe,” said Kathleen, as she slipped the gown over my head. That was easy for her to say.

Later, fully dressed, I sat on the toilet seat while Kathleen applied my makeup. From the yard below, the string duo’s music and the din of voices drifted up and in through the open bathroom window. When I was ready, Kathleen said, “Okay, we need something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Let’s see...”

While she wandered through the upstairs rooms, I made my way to the ground floor, feeling anxious. The living room was deserted. Everyone was outside, waiting. Just as I sat on the couch to compose myself, Dad appeared and said, “Honey, they’re starting Pachelbel’s Canon.”

I leapt to my feet and called up the stairs to Kathleen, “Screw something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Let’s do this.”

I took Dad’s arm, and we maneuvered through the living and dining room and kitchen and out the back door. In minutes, Kathleen was at my side.

Isabella strolled down the makeshift aisle. “Oh, look,” said someone in the crowd. “She’s dropping rose petals and picking them up again. Isn’t that cute?”

I wanted to be annoyed, but she was only two. Still, I couldn’t help wondering what else could possibly go wrong.

Finally, I heard the musical cue for my entrance. “Okay, now,” I whispered to Dad, and we descended the back porch steps and moved down the aisle.

At first, I didn’t see Bill. Was he still at the Mint Bar? Then, all of a sudden, there he stood with his gray hair and sunglasses, wearing a green suit to match my gown. He took my hand and said, “Hello, sweetie. Are you nervous?”

As usual, his touch and voice were reassuring, and I smiled and said, “No, now that you’re here.”

Nothing else mattered, not the lost and found wedding dress, the late arrival of the matron of honor, the absence of something old, new, borrowed, blue, the errant flower girl. After a long day of preparation and celebration apart, we were finally together, unaware that tragedy would change our lives in three short months.

WHAT IS LOVE?

Being warmed from within by another,

having someone with whom to share dreams,

a soothing voice that comforts you,

gentle hands that smooth life’s hardships,

strong arms that hold you close,

lips that bring you pleasure.

Love is a heart that’s yours forever.

Continues...

Excerpted from "My Ideal Partner" by Abbie Johnson Taylor. Copyright © 2016 by Abbie Johnson Taylor. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie Johnson Taylor

Besides My Ideal Partner, Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, and two poetry collections. Her work has appeared in Magnets and Ladders, Labyrinth, and other periodicals and anthologies. She is visually impaired and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. This is the focus of her latest book. Please visit her Website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com .

View full Profile of Abbie Johnson Taylor

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