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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

From My Mother

From My Mother (Nonfiction)
By Darcy Leech
Electio Publishing
ISBN #978-0692589147
Price (Not published yet)
Pages (Not published yet)
Rating 5-Stars

“Living With A Terminal Disease.”

Darcy was told that her brother would die before her when he was born. Three years older than Dustin, her young life would become entangled in his care and helping her parents around the house at an early age. Darcy’s mother, Jo Lyn Bartz (nee Woodard), carried the genetics of myotonic muscular dystrophy in her genes, which she passed on to Dustin, and he was born with congenital MMD, a disease that would end in death while still a child. The disease would also take Darcy’s mother by age 51.

This is one family’s struggle to live with the disease. Darcy’s father, Randy Bartz was an Air Force enlisted man, and the family already struggled with low pay. Jo Lyn worked out of the house as a waitress to earn more money to help with finances, and now the struggle is even greater with more medical expense. The military medical assistance helped a lot, but there were always out-of-pocket expenses, and Randy could not just take off and share in the workload around the house, as much as he would have liked. He was with civil engineers, and had a job to do, while his wife and young daughter battled the problems at home.

Darcy’s problems were manifold. She felt cheated because of all the extra work around the house, not to mention less attention to her own needs, and often blamed her mother for not doing more. It was even worse as she became a teenager and wanted to fit in with her school class and sports team. She often had to wear dirty clothes to school, and was ashamed when her parents appeared at games dirty and wearing old clothes. She was intelligent and athletic and wanted to succeed. She was even ashamed when her mother won her a two thousand dollar a year college tuition for four years, thinking that her parents should have saved enough money for her college. But before we think of criticizing this young lady, we should never blame our children for not understanding. They are not ready for so much knowledge so young.  In later years Darcy would look back and see how foolish and wrong she had been, but no child should be put through so much.

As it was, young Darcy watched as her brother Dustin struggled through life to live, and eventually died at age 13. Then, as a young mother herself, she had to witness the decline in health of her mother, and watched MMD slowly destroy her ability to even smile. The one anchor for the family was her father, Randy, who stayed by the family and did all he could while earning money to keep them fed and a roof over the head. Many families in this situation live below the poverty line, and it’s a struggle even with a military retirement and a full time civilian job.

Millions of families struggle with disease in the family, whether MMD, ALS, cancer, or diabetes, and we seldom hear of their stories. Many don’t know where, or who, to turn to. FROM MY MOTHER gives insight to those struggles we don’t see, and should be mandatory reading for all of us. Darcy drew strength from her mother at an early age, then her father when Jo Lyn was dying. Their prayers sustained them, and with determination, Darcy succeeded in life, and now wants to tell her family’s story. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

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