Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have been a fan of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books for quite some time now. It's interesting to me how a short story can draw you in and make you feel like you are connecting with the person writing it. These books are so powerful in that way. They are filled with short stories written by real people about real life. Sometimes their stories make me laugh, sometimes cry, sometimes they just make me feel like I'm not alone. They really are like a nice warm bowl of chicken soup helping to heal your soul.

What I love about this collection is the wide range of themes. They have a book (or more than one book) for everyone. For sports lovers, for cat lovers, for teens, for moms, for golfers... everyone. You are bound to find at least one theme that really brings you in and helps you connect. And I was lucky enough to get to check out two of their more recent selections: Family Caregivers and The Magic of Mother's and Daughters.

101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice and Bonding
Do you have a family member who requires constant care? You are not alone. This collection offers support and encouragement in its 101 stories for family caregivers of all ages, including the "sandwich" generation caring for a family member while raising their children. With stories by those on the receiving end of the care too. These stories of love, sacrifice, and lessons will inspire and uplift family members making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for, whether in their own homes or elsewhere.
This book was really hitting home for me. I am fortunate enough to have all four of my grandparents still living. They are all nearing 90 years old and the conversations have been becoming more frequent about plans for the future. The talks of independent living homes, nursing homes, or moving in with family have been spinning but not landing anywhere. Reading the stories of others who had found themselves in this position is comforting. Knowing that you can view it as a burden and a blessing at the same time to have an elderly relative move in with you. Reading about how one granddaughter came to really know her grandmother in those last few months of having to take care of her. It sheds some light on a difficult area of conversation. And gives some hope that the best may yet to be.
101 Inspirational and Entertaining Stories about That Special Bond
Mothers and daughters. They are, at the same time, very similar and completely unique. This relationship — through birth, childhood, teen years, adulthood, grandchildren, aging, and every step in between — can be the best, the hardest, and the sweetest. Moms and daughters will laugh, cry, and find inspiration in this collection of entertaining, poignant, and heartwarming stories that remind them of their shared love, appreciation and special bond. A great gift for Mother's Day.
I feel so lucky to have a great relationship with my mother. As we have grown older and I have become a mother myself, our bond has tightened and we have become true friends. I can still call her when I'm sick or sad and she can make me feel better. I turn to her when I have trouble with a parenting issue. But we can also head out for an afternoon of shopping and gossip like giddy school girls. Reading the stories in this book made me reflect upon my own mother and how much I appreciate our bond. This really is the perfect gift for Mother's Day!