The HELEN CHRONICLES:
When Your Mother Falls Apart

The Helen Chronicles: When Your Mother Falls Apart

Nearby Sonoran desert

Helen Chronicles“She’s already convinced herself she’s dying. For all I know, it’s true. And though it may sound harsh to strangers’ ears, I can’t do anything for her until she really is. Even if she comes out of this, she’d have to surrender and cooperate for us to get her into a nursing home, and that’s not going to happen. She isn’t rational any more. She hasn’t been for a long time. I don’t see how she’s managed to live on her own for the last ten years, to tell the truth. I felt some pretty strong emotions today. Not sorrow, but more a reaction to the archetype, the elemental thing that’s going on with Death nearby. This is huge with any parent, even one you’re not that close to.”

That’s from Chapter Two of The HELEN CHRONICLES: When Your Mother Falls Apart ($4.99). The drama hasn’t even begun yet and might not be easy to read, but every word is true. From the introduction:

The HELEN CHRONICLES is an annotated, chronological collection of blog posts that tell the story of a mother’s chaotic last few years under the influence of dementia, Alzheimer’s, paranoia, schizophrenia, delusions, and hallucinations. (If that says “family” to you, you’re in the right place.) The clang and shudder of the final rolling train wreck, presented in real-time dispatches through the eyes of an oldest son who tried to do the right thing out of love and duty at great risk to himself. One way or the other, Helen made it impossible for us to help her, as if she’d really moved on years ago and left us with her shadow. We all did the best we could, and this is how it happened.

About this Book

All content except the epilogue selected or repurposed from JHFARR.COM. Available from Amazon Kindle and iBooks. ASIN B00LKB6F4S (Kindle), ISBN: 978-0-9830838-3-2 (Epub). Includes lyrics to “Mother Don’t Kill Me” song; a special epilogue, “The Untold Story of Helen’s Capture;” and a bonus essay, “Juan del Llano and the End of Nearly Everything.” Approximately 33k words, 20 photographs.

Chapter Titles:

Introduction
Prologue: “Mother Don’t Kill Me” (song)
1. Mother Dear, What Have You Done? • August 7, 2008
2. Mother Watch • August 8, 2008
3. Big Stuff • August 10, 2008
4. The Context • August 17, 2008
5. Who Made This Mess? • August 20, 2008
6. Abandoned Beauty • August 22, 2008
7. “A Dark, Wild Thing” • August 24, 2008
8. Free at Last • August 27, 2008)
9. Crime Against Nature • August 29, 2008
10. The Oldest Fear of All • September 1, 2008
11. End and New Beginning • September 3, 2008
12. Money and the Damned • September 5, 2008
13. Birthday • September 9, 2008
14. Going There • November 28, 2008
15. Let There Be Flowers, Somewhere, for Helen • March 28, 2009
16. Threshold • June 23, 2009
17. Dear God in Heaven • November 14, 2009
18. The Impossibility of Everything • November 15, 2009
19. Entering the Twilight Zone • November 16, 2009
20. Remembering Helen • November 16, 2009
21. Not Rants! • November 17, 2009
22. The Good • November 17, 2009
23. “Center, Center!” • November 20, 2009
24. Psycho-Vampire Calisthenics • November 22, 2009
25. Thanks, I Needed That! • October 23, 2010
26. Tucson Reality Check • April 10, 2011
27. Tucson Follow-Up • April 10, 2011
28. Bellow from the Tar Pit • April 19, 2011
29. Trapped! • April 19, 2011
30. Following the Blood • April 22, 2011
31. Helen Escapes, or Did She? • April 24, 2011
32. The Far Side of Never • May 9, 2011
33. The End of an Era • May 12, 2011
34. Helen Street • May 16, 2011
35. “You’re So Angry!” • May 17, 2011
36. Whole New Deal • May 23, 2011
37. Arizona Otra Vez • June 19, 2011
38. Dragon Stink • June 23, 2011
39. Juan del Llano and the Arizona Waltz • August 22, 2011
40. Sticking Point • August 28, 2011
41. Foreshadowing Arizona • October 24, 2011
42. Nonagenarian’s Revenge • October 31, 2011
43. Days of the Dead • November 11, 2011
44. Poison Gas • December 6, 2011
45. Crazy and a Half • December 11, 2011
46. Tucson Plague Week Chronicles • January 23, 2012
47. “She is gon and left us…” [sic] • February 10, 2012
48. Possessed by Alien Gods • March 11, 2012
49. One Foot in the Spirit World • April 2, 2012
50 . Helen Virginia Farr, 1921-2012 • April 3, 2012
Obituary
Epilogue: The Untold Story of Helen’s Capture
Bonus Essay: Juan del Llano and the End of Nearly Everything • April 7, 2012
About the Author

About the Author

John Hamilton Farr is the author of Buffalo Lights, Taos Soul, The Helen Chronicles, and dozens of columns for Horse Fly, a monthly Taos newspaper. He has published online since 1996 and currently resides in Taos, New Mexico.

 

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