By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Millie Hoelscher Moran and her husband, Don, have published a book on their life’s journey. Both have been diagnosed with memory loss, consistent with Alzheimer’s. The book is called “Socially Challenged.”
The book idea is two-fold. It helps loved ones know about Millie and Don’s life, plus it helps them remember.
“I started writing about my memories,” said Millie. “It was comforting to later read about them and to help us remember the past. We laugh each time we read the book.”
Don and Millie agree that there is great value in keeping a journal. That it’s therapeutic and that it fills the time when doctoring for memory loss.
The book is a humorous romp through mostly Millie’s early life and then Don and Millie’s life together. It’s about family and faith and about the challenges of life.
“I grew up in Browerville, the oldest of 17 children,” said Millie. “I didn’t graduate from high school until after I got married.”
Millie’s parents needed her at home. She’s glad she waited to write the book until both her parents were gone because she felt they may have questioned their decision after learning of some of her experiences.
“But, I am who I am because of their decision,” she said. “When I finally did decide to get my diploma, I was able to take the classes I wanted to.”
Don grew up in Little Falls, then headed to California to attend school. The two met when he returned for his sister’s wedding.
“We courted through letters,” said Millie.
The book touches on some of the United States’ more historical moments.
“While living in California, we worked with the Right to Life groups during the Roe versus Wade era,” Millie said.
The book was begun about three years ago when they were first diagnosed.
“I talked Don into seeing a doctor and while there, it turned out I needed the medications more than he did,” said Millie.
The Morans stress the importance of early diagnosis with memory loss to get the support necessary to continue living a normal life.
“It’s not just an ‘old person’s’ disease,” said Millie. “Young people can have memory loss and Alzheimer’s, too.”
Millie said that talking about the disease is important.
“Don’t hide (the fact that you have memory loss), be up front. Awareness is the key,” said Millie.
“Socially Challenged” may be purchased at the Good Book and Gifts in Little Falls, at amazon.com, through Kindle and at the libraries of both St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict’s. It may also be purchased directly from the Morans by calling (320) 251-2540.