Phyllis McCrossin, author of the “Ramblin’ Road” column on Townbroadcast for the past two years, is publishing a book on Amazon.
McCrossin, who grew up in Allegan County in Hamilton and graduated from Central Michigan University, has penned “Who Is that Stranger in the Chair?” It’s the story of her mother, who suffered from dementia for many years until she died in 2015.
“This all started as a weekly blog that I wrote chronicling life with Mom while she struggled with dementia,” McCrossin said. “I had a small following of friends and family. When Mom passed away, many people at the funeral asked if I was going to continue with the blog and suggested I turn it into a book. I don’t know if they were being kind or just making small talk, but I took it to heart.”
She said that after the funeral she started to work on it off and on (more off than on).
“I finished a draft of it in 2017 and kept on re-working it,” she continued. “Even now that it’s published I’m still going back and correcting things. Sometimes you read something so often you don’t notice glaring errors until they are out there for the public to see and then they stand out like a neon sign. Kind of like weekly editions of a newspaper.”
McCrossin met Townbroadcast editor David T. Young in 1988 while she was a reporter for the Holland Sentinel and later she joined Young and staff at the Allegan County News & Gazette.
She is now retired and travels much of the country with her husband, whom she affectionately called “King,” and their travel in a small trailer serves as much of the material for her column.
About her book, she said, “I finally finished it this summer and sent it off to friends to proofread for me. My thought was: OK, it’s finally done, now I can paint, sew, collect rocks on the beach and maybe learn how to weave. Ha! I’m even more obsessed now than I was before.
“The book chronicles what I know of Mom’s life, her early years pieced together from letters and essays from my Uncle John Daling (he was a professor at Calvin College), stories Mom told me and memories from my childhood. The last half of the book is about Mom’s final years and the frustration of dealing with her dementia. It’s not entirely a downer, though. One can look back and see the humor in some pretty dire situations.”
She noted that thanks to Amazon Publishing just about anybody can write a book and get it published.
“I sincerely don’t expect it to be a best-seller,” she said. “And, it certainly is not a guide on how to deal with a loved one with dementia. It’s more of a ‘dementia really sucks and this is how we dealt with it, book.”
Perhaps those interested can go to the Amazon site and type in Phyllis McCrossin to get more details.