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Rockwall author launches latest book, ‘Voices of Aging’

Rockwall author Missy Buchanan joins several special guests on a panel of adult children and aging parents during the launching of her new book, "Voices of Aging," at Juliette Fowler Communities, 1234 Abrams Road, in Dallas. From L to R: Missy Buchanan, Jane McGarry, Dorothy Roberts, Ed Gray and Anne Holmes

ROCKWALL, TX (Feb. 22, 2015) Upper Room Books and Juliette Fowler Communities in Dallas recently hosted a launch event for Rockwall author Missy Buchanan and her new book, “Voices of Aging.” The event included a panel of adult children and aging parents including Dorothy Roberts, sister of Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts; Jane McGarry, special contributor for Good Morning Texas and former Channel 5 News anchor; and Juliette Fowler residents Ed Gray and Anne Holmes.

Buchanan, who’s penned many works including “My Story, My Song” (Upper Room Books 2012) which she co-authored along with Robin Roberts and her 88-year-old mother Lucimarian Roberts, spoke with guests panelists about their journey through aging and their experience caring for loved ones living out the final days of their lives.

Dorothy Roberts told of her experience acting as caretaker for her mother, and how many of the things discussed in “Voices of Aging” reminded her of that experience.

“It was an honor to get to be with my mother,” Dorothy said. “As I read through this book and some of the things that I was asked to reflect on, it really brought home the real purpose of one’s life which is to be of service, and what greater people to be of service to than to your parents.”

The panel also welcomed WFAA TV News Personality Ron Corning via video screen, who shared his experience taking care of his mother as she aged and going through the process of planning to make sure she received the proper care over the long term.

Corning explained that his mother’s story is one of triumph over tragedy, as she had suffered a massive head injury at the age of 39. She recovered to a point that no one ever expected, and had learned to live independently for about 15 to 20 years. But at age 59, Corning said he started to see her experience multiple issues, including problems with mobility and cognition. When a visit to the neurologist told him that the things his mother was experiencing was normal for someone her age who had experienced a major head trauma, he realized then it was time to have that conversation about a long-term healthcare plan.

“That’s why this book by Missy Buchanan is so incredibly inspiring; it’s a conversation starter, and if I had one thing to say it’s that every child needs to begin having that conversation very early on about what that long-term plan looks like,” Corning said.

McGarry, who lost her mother shortly after she was suddenly diagnosed with ALS, said the she became closer to her during the last few weeks of her life, and that her relationship with her dad has also changed since her passing.

“During those last few weeks, I had conversations with my mother that I’ve never really had the opportunity to have before, and I got to know her a lot better,” McGarry said. “So that was its own kind of experience. As for my dad, I’m just really fortunate that he’s healthy and he’s really become like a friend to me.”

Attendees of the event also enjoyed a light lunch afterwards and Missy was on hand to sign copies of her new book.

Missy lives in Rockwall, Texas, with her husband, Barry. One of her favorite things to do is visit older adult friends at three senior care centers weekly, as often as her schedule permits. Her works include the following:

“Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body” (Upper Room Books 2008)

“Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms (Upper Room Books 2010)

“Don’t Write my Obituary Just Yet” (Upper Room Books 2011)

“Aging Faithfully: 28 Days of Prayer” (Upper Room Books 2011)

“Joy Boosters: 120 Ways to Encourage Older Adults” (Upper Room Books 2012)

A nationally recognized older adult advocate, Missy has appeared on Good Morning America and several other high-profile television and radio shows. She travels widely to speak on issues of aging and faith at churches, retirement centers, and for special events.

Story and photo by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer and reporter. 

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