05 October 2014

Darlene Franklin on Coping with Life in a Nursing Home

Author Darlene Franklin

Darlene, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? Answer:
In an earlier visit, I talked about my daughter’s suicide. I hope that will always be the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome. But lately, I have been struggling with my health. I’ve been living in a nursing home for over two years, and have been hospitalized five times in the past three years.
In August I turned 60. I have enjoyed the benefits of physical therapy; I can move more easily. I’m also losing weight. Nevertheless, I can no longer write as much as I used to, and I get very frustrated.
I’m going to share a poem I wrote about that birthday. The prompt came from choosing an item on my bucket list.
LOVE’S THE WORD

I want love
My bucket list screams my need
Mix together one, five and six
Add two, three and nine
To be loved and to love others
Family and strangers

I might not make it

The doctor says ten years,
Fifteen if I’m lucky
Five if I’m not
I want more
I dream of outliving them all
Blow past seventy-eight to eighty

Whether my tombstone reads 2019 or 2034
Love fills the dash between life and death

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
When I began therapy, I was afraid of the pain involved with therapy. The verse I clung to was “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) I decided not to let fear stop me. I couldn’t stop the pain, but I could ignore it, to a certain point.

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?
            I have two books in large print: Beacon of Love and more recently, Homefront Dreams.
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
            I might recommend my book from earlier this year, Saving Felicity, about two families dealing aging family members dealing with dementia. An Apple for Christmas features twins and a child who is a problem student. The girls lost their mother. Several factors could foster discussion.
Question you’d like to ask readers:
Hmm. What are some of your favorite apple recipes? An Apple for Christmas should come with a warning label, this book will make you hungry.
I’d love to hear from twins. What is it like, good and bad?

Author bio:
Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. Poetry is her newest passion. She has written over thirty novels as well as more than 250 devotionals. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at http://darlenehfranklinwrites.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin.
 
An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin
Darlene’s books are available for sale at http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/

Giveaway: We're giving away three copies of An Apple for Christmas this week, celebrating Darlene's release of Book 4 in the Christmas Traditions Series. 

45 comments:

  1. Great interview Carrie.
    Darlene, thanks for sharing your struggles and life living in a nursing home. Having lived with chronic pain for many, many years, I can relate to your comment, "I couldn’t stop the pain, but I could ignore it, to a certain point", how true that is. Your Scripture verse is one of my favorites too.

    As you know, I read your book, An Apple for Christmas and really enjoyed it. I have an Applesauce recipe that was my grandmother's. It is easy to fix and delicious. My hubby and eldest son love apple pie, so I try to make that for them.
    Blessings on you both, Tina

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    1. I was delighted to discover how easy it was to make applesauce! I miss my Maine apples, though.

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  2. Darlene, Welcome to the OWG blog. We're so glad you have you here. I'm enjoying hanging out with you in the Christmas Traditions group and I've loved working with you on several other novella proposals we pitched to Barbour. Thanks for visiting with us!

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    1. Carrie, I'm glad we're finally in a group together. Praying the new proposals go through as well!

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  3. Hi Darlene, Thank you for sharing with us today. Your testimony speaks of the courage and strength that the Lord provides to make it through each day. Truly, we aren't promised tomorrow, and love is so important today. I haven't read any of your books but they look delightful!

    I'm not a big apple fan unless you give me some melted caramel to dip that fresh picked apple in ;) I do make some pretty good stewed apples that my family likes, but I don't personally like them. Weird, huh? Wishing many blessings as you continue your writing journey and serving the Lord!

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    1. Oh, caramel apples! I can't eat them now (even with my dentures). Enjoy them for me.

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    2. I just slice up a fresh apple and dip it in melted caramel. None of that hard stuff on a stick for me, either :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about living in a nursing home, while still writing great books. I haven't yet read any of your books, but they sound interesting. You especially caught my interest when you said you turned 60 in August--as did I. My birthday was the 20th , which I share with Al Roker, who also turned 60 this year. I like you (& probably Al Roker as well) think it would be awesome to make it to 2054! Good luck with your construed writing success and improved health.
    Vicki

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    1. Ps I'm an aspiring writer--yes, beginning at age 60 (actually began at 59). I say, if my friend can publish her first book at age 88, why not in my sixty's? ;-)
      Vicki

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    2. Go for it! I know an author (Martha Rogers) who had her first books published in her 70s.

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  5. Hi Darlene, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your daughter. So very sad. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your life struggles and faith. Jenny

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    1. Jenny, thank you for your prayers. God is faithful, whatever happens.

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  6. DARLENE, thank you so much for being with us again on OWG, and for sharing your moving, transparent testimony with us. In a few months I will be the same age as you (shhh), and you are indeed an inspiration to me. Your books stay as true to the genre CHRISTIAN fiction as any I have ever read and I appreciate that. I pray you are here for a long, long time, my sister. Your poem blessed me so much.

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    1. And congrats on losing weight, too! <3

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    2. Oh,Diana, thank you for your encouragement.

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  7. Hi, Darlene & Carrie!! Thanks for your touching interview, Darlene!!

    I'm enjoying reading "An Apple For Christmas" and will soon have a review posted for you. I love just about any recipe involving apples - like Anne, I love apples dipped in caramel - and also in peanut butter or Nutella. I also love applesauce, cooked/baked apples, apple butter, baked goods containing apples, and Oh - so many others!!

    I admire your courage in continuing to write amid your struggles, Darlene. I know what it is to deal with continual pain and mobility issues - and after helping care for an aunt who was in a nursing home, I know the atmosphere in a nursing home often isn't conducive to maintaining a positive attitude.

    I'm inspired that you're able to maintain a strong faith in God and am praying for your continued health improvements through physical therapy and weight loss. God specializes in doing the unexpected and still performs miracles - praying He has one in store for you!! Your writing is a blessing to so many!! Hugs!!

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    1. Bonnie, thank you! My answer is God - God loves me and any "inspiration" I have to offer comes from Him.

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  8. An Apple for Christmas sounds wonderful...the title just makes me feel good! You, my dear Darlene, are an inspiration! I appreciate you sharing a bit of your life's story and I hope you have many, many more years to tell it. I will be sixty next August....I can't believe it but hopefully I will face a new decade.

    I would love to read your wonderful book, I wish you more good days than difficult ones, and I thank you, Miss Carrie, for this beautiful post.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Melanie, more good days than difficult ones. . .so true. More good hours than difficult ones. . .a lesson I learned with my daughter. . .a lovely prayer

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  9. Apple Crisp is my favorite. So easy! and I live in 'the fruit belt'. The apple growing region along the south shore of NY State, so apples were all around.
    Thanks for the interview ladies. I'm looking forward to reading this one, Darlene. I'm enjoying this series. Great photo of you, what a lovely smile. You're an inspriation!

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    1. Oh, a good apple crisp. MMM. The canned apples they use here are a poor substitute.

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  10. Thinking about apple recipes, I'd have to say apple pie. Thank you for the interview.

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    1. Apple pie, absolutely, even sugar free. . .I am getting hungry

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  11. Hi ladies,
    Enjoyed your interview, Darlene. Very inspiring that you keep writing through all your trials. I just finished Carrie's book today. I can't imagine that this one could make me any hungrier. I am so ready for fruitcake now. Just sent the novella on to my mother. Would live too read yours too now that I am in a Christmas mode. Keep your spirits up and be blessed.
    Mary

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    1. Mary, writing keeps me busy and sane. . .I agree, I just finished Carrie's book as well. Where's the fruitcake?

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  12. Hello Darlene. I don't know how you accomplish so much living in a nursing home. I admire you. I have a lot of things too, but the main one that bothers me most is having A-Fib and high blood pressure. The doctors waited several years to even start me on meds. I have been to the ER and Hospital a lot since '09 all kinds of test, and mostly when I tho't it was my heart and tests are good. So, I just don't go unless it seems extreme. My kids fuss at me, but I said you can't go every time tho it's scary because they never find an answer for any of my problems. So I just say its my regular life and when it's bad I just say I know there are so many who are lots worse than me. And, you young chics, I have a daughter who is older than you, 62 and a son 60. Both will move up a year in Jan. and 2 girls in their 50's. But you see I started young. About twins, Darlene. I don't have any twins but 2 sets, of nieces and nephews. Also several of cousins. I know the identical twins can play tricks on their boyfriends, and take each other's place in school for tests and such. And, at home when trouble claiming to be each other when in trouble, each saying it was the other one. I admire you for all you do. And, am ready to read your book. I love caramel Apples, but I now need the dipped slices. But, I love apple butter too. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Hi Maxie, you sound like some of our dear older saints here. . .you must know a lot about twins. Margil and Pippin are identical twins as well. Those names are apple varieties.
      Apple butter. . .I haven't had that for quite awhile. Bring me some with some biscuits. . .

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  13. Hi DARLENE, and welcome to OWG again! It's always great to have you on! I sincerely pray many long and healthy years are ahead of you. Darlene, I truly admire you for your strength and persistence even though life has been so tough and you've gone through so much. And may God continue to bless your wonderful writing!!
    I don't have any good apple recipes but I do enjoy eating anything with apples in them! Going to enjoy reading your story too!! :-) In regards to the twin question... I am a twin and I have two older twin sisters as well. Can't say my experience has been good though on the whole. I think we just clashed too much. Part of that is our upbringing. Another part is that my sister was too dominant for me. So when I did stand up to her and say No, it never went well. After trying so hard for too many years, I came to the place where I needed to let go for the sake of my health and peace. But it's all good. God gave me a wonderful family here at OWG and I've never been happier!! :-)

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    1. Noella, lovely to hear from you. I'm sorry to hear your relationship with your twin has been so stressful . . .but thankful you could move forward.

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  14. Hi Darlene, You are an inspiration !!!! still writing and working with physical therapy, and I know that clinging to the verse helped, as God gave that verse to you to give you the strength to let go of fear !!!! that, dear Darlene, is proof that He is there for us. I think that verse will help lots of us that read it, we will remember it . I look forward to getting to know you and your books....I esp want to read An Apple for Christmas !!!!!! I so love Apple Crisp, and fall season is my favorite, so Bring on the Apples !!!

    Thank you Carrie, for another great review !!! She is surely overcoming, and such a great inspiration !!! I look forward to getting to know Darlene, I will read Saving Felicity - that is such great subject - but I am really looking forward to reading An Apple For Christmas !!! this series has me hooked !!!! :-)

    God Bless You Darlene !!!! Rosemary

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    1. Rosemary, thank you for your kind words. I am enjoying the series (I'm reading them as you are, as they are published)

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  15. Apple Crisp is my all time favorite !!!! The work that God has for you to do is not done yet ,keep pressing forward "In Him " you are a Blessing to many people . Blessings and Love ,DanaGirl Spille

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    1. Dana, I'm just asking God for more wisdom about what He wants, and what I want to write! :)

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  16. Thank you for sharing on this blog. Your testimony is encouraging. I have RA so I know what it is like to live with constant pain. And I sometimes wonder what my future will hold.
    I enjoy making apple dumplings for my family.

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    1. Oh, Cracker Barrel Restaurant creates an amazing apple dumpling. I order it whenever I go.

      I have RA myself. Yup, it's tough.

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  17. DARLENE it's so good to have you with us once again on OWG. Your testimony is a tremendous blessing to me, with all the things you have and are going through you are still pressing on! GOD knows the number of our days so don't give in to the evil report that satan would love for you to believe.You are using your days here for GOD's glory and HE is going to continue to bless you for that!!!

    I can't wait to read your latest story! The title alone sounds yummy! I pretty much love apples anyway you can serve them up. One of my favorites from my childhood is an apple served up with peanut butter! Yummy! Then again you can't beat warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream either!! OhMyGoodness just thinking about it is making me hungry! :-) (((BIG HUGS))) to you!!

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    1. Teresa yes, I will be here as long as God wills. I hope to make those years count.

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  18. So sorry for all the valleys you've been through, but thankful God gives you the heart to write about Him and be a blessing to others. By the way, I love apples and recently tried a variety I'd never heard of before, Mutsu. Very crisp and tasty.
    Susan Snodgrass

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    1. Mm, even the name Mutsu sounds yummy. When I looked for names for my twins, I was disappointed that so many female varieties hadn't been created yet.

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  19. This is a great interview. I had never even heard of Darlene Franklin before this. Each of the books mentioned sound fabulous. I'm going to have to try some of them.

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    1. Debbie, hopefully this will grow into a great relationship! Writers love readers! Of course, we read ourselves.

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    2. Hi Debbie, Darlene has a lot of books out! I hope you'll get a chance to enjoy all the stories! Blessings!

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  20. We have twin grand-daughters who are now 20 years of age. When they were 10 my husband and I took them shopping at Walmart. We hit the door and they both took off running in different directions. Brooke wanted clothes and Lauren wanted toys. Needless to say we all had a fun day and one we will remember for years to come.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Congrats, Janet, you won an ebook copy. You'll love this story with the twins! Blessings!

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