Jackie Madden Haugh, Author and Professional Speaker
Guardian of Memories, Preserver of Family History
Jackie Madden Haugh’s current book, The Promise I Kept, is a poignant, funny, and often heartbreaking story of a daughter's journey to live up to a vow she never thought she'd have to keep to her father, Jack, into a nursing home. Thirteen years later, now a single mother to four teenage children, the marker would be called in after her mother's passing. For the next nine years, she would watch over her father's care, first in his home with live-in help and finally with her. Totally unprepared for her new title, Jackie thought it would be easy. After all, her kids saw her as Super Mom ready to take on all life’s messes. But she quickly found her world filled with adult diapers, a pharmacy of pills, and days heavily laced in utter boredom. Cut off from friends, her children, and work, she began to crumble. As the days melted together, Jackie came to understand the rocky road they traveled was not about what she was doing for him, but what her father was teaching her that would change the trajectory of how she’d continue to live her life: in constant gratitude and with a heart filled with enormous love. The Promise I Kept is Jackie’s third book. Others in her library are, My Life in a Tutu, and 75 Beats to a Happy Heart, and is currently working on her fourth, Chronical of the Dating Crone. She still resides in her family’s town of Los Altos, California.
The most important thing the author wants readers to gain from her books:
The caregiving process is one we are never fully prepared for, even when we know it's coming. But, no matter how difficult, lonely, frustrating or boring the journey becomes, if If we allow ourselves to be present, the universe will leave golden nuggets that will change the caregiver forever, and for good.
Why the author is an authority on the subject of her books:
From age 20 to 50, I was my mother's caregiver. Despite she was married and living with my father, I became my duty to deal with the doctor, hospitals, medications, and her downward spiral of emotion. Once she passed, it became my father's turn, only his was completely hands on as he lived with me near the end. I'm authority on the aging and dying process because I lived it for nearly forty years and because I'm often asked to speak about the topic.
With my book signings, I talk about the caring process; the joys, heartaches, loss of time, money, patience, and, sometimes, sanity, and the rewards. I've been asked to speak at senior groups and hospice organizations, as well as many book clubs. I also talk about the gift of leaving a legacy behind for loved ones in the written form. We've become a society of read and delete and many are leaving this world with their stories still inside them.
Willing to travel