Introducing “A Daughter’s Promise” by Fran Lewis

A Daughter’s Promise
by Fran Lewis
on Tour October 1 – December 1, 2017


 A Daughter’s Promise by Fran Lewis


This story is about a promise I made to my mother to take care of her through her Alzheimer’s disease nightmare. The book includes my mother’s own thoughts from her journal about her ordeals with the various stages of this debilitating and dehumanizing condition. Her outlook on life was remarkable, and although her mind began to wander, she never lost sight of who she was, her sense of humor, or her family. This is the story of someone whose courage went beyond what most people could endure, and whose never-dying zest for life kept her alive. I hope our story will help others in coping with this difficult and demanding affliction.

Book Details

Genre: Memoir

Published by: Edit Pros

Publication Date: July 2017

Number of Pages: 147

ISBN-10: 1937317404

ISBN-13: 978-1937317409

Purchase Links: Title on Amazon Title on Barnes & Noble Title on Goodreads

F. Stone’s Book Review

It is likely that many readers have experienced the stress and sorrow while coping with a family member or friend’s struggle with Alzheimer. I have. My dear father would introduce me to family members he recognized, saying that I was his sister. I would be both angry and devastated that he would recognize a distant relative but not me. His deterioration into Alzheimer’s wicked grasp was first recognized by my mother. Sadly, I discounted her worries and complaints as exaggerations or frustrations with her failing health. When my dad’s behavior became truly bizarre, I felt badly that my mother had had to deal with her husband’s failing health on her own for several months without my dedicated support. Guilt and remorse and mourning set in.

While reading A Daughter’s Promise I could easily relate to Fran’s struggles and emotionally roller coaster while trying to honor her promise to her mother – never place her in a nursing home. Fran Lewis dedicated her life to ensuring her mother remained in her home. This required a major commitment to the safety and well being of a woman who was lost in a world where Fran could not follow.

I could feel the great love between Fran and her mother. Trust, loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice are the words that come to mind while reading A Daughter’s Promise. Though communication between her and her mother was challenged, there remained an underlying bond that was never shaken.

A Daughter’s Promise is beautifully written. Parts are the recollections written down by the woman suffering from Alzheimer before the disease took away her beautiful memories, her life trials. She spoke of her fear, knowing that in time she would not be the strong person who survived terrible  things. She would become completely dependent upon her family. In alternating chapters Fran wrote of the frustration, terror, and overwhelming fatigue having to bear the majority of the responsibility for her mother’s safety, meals, medication, hospitalizations – twenty four / seven. As the disease progressed, Fran never failed to keep her promise but it cost her dearly. Even so, she expressed no regrets. Such was the warmth and devotion between her and her dear mother.

There is but one minor criticism with the writing of this book. There was some unnecessary repetition. However, A Daughter’s Promise is a honest insight into the life of a woman suffering from Alzheimer and the life of her daughter struggling to maintain a balance with her life and keep a promise.

Read an excerpt:

Part One

A Daughter’s Promise

Reading has always been the way for me to escape to other worlds, learn about many different places, and expand my knowledge of so many subjects. With a notepad in hand and several pens at the ready, I begin reading the many books that authors send me each day. Detailing the plot, the characters, and taking notes throughout, I create a perfect analysis of the book.

Remembering what my mom had told me, to always look for that special message in the book and create that first paragraph to stimulate reader interest, I begin my review. Perfection: that’s what she always told me. Each piece of writing, each assignment had to be done to the standards set by my teachers and professors, and then pass the highest test: mom’s. I remember coming out of school one night, and she stuck her hand out waiting to see what I’d gotten on my midterm in one of my graduate courses in administration. I still smile when I remember what happened. I left out one question and got a 98, and I told mom what I did wrong and the right answer. But, the professor was so frustrated with most of the other students that she had to revamp the scores by adding ten points to everyone’s test scores just to have more students pass, so mom was satisfied with my 108. And, of course, on the final I did get 100 and an A in the class, because it was what was expected of me by myself, and of course, mom.

Till this day I still create my reviews, my schedule for my radio show, and anything else that I decide to venture into, like the MJ magazine in memory of my sister Marcia Joyce, with the understanding that my work has to stand up to the highest standards. The articles, reviews, stories, and issues that are published should be equal to those of any credible magazine on the newsstands.

So, mom, it’s been five years and it seems like yesterday. I hope I will continue to make you proud of me. You taught me well. Yes, I never leave the house without looking my best. You were my mom, my mentor, and my best friend. You will always be here for me in spirit.

Today you would have celebrated your 89th birthday with a special red rose and your favorite chocolate cake. Your blue eyes and your great smile would light up the room, and of course the presents we would give you would make you proud. You taught us never to give up on our dreams, nor settle for less than we want in our lives. You made sure that you listened when we felt down and needed a guiding hand to rise back up. You never faltered and never passed judgment. You were our mother, our guide, and our best friend. Rules were made and enforced, but never with an iron hand. Explanations were given for your requests, and we all followed suit and showed you the respect you deserved.

When you became ill we all rallied together as a family to make sure you remained at home and received great help. We were truly blessed to have Joyce, Joan, Laurel, Pat, Tessa, Loretta, and Getty to take such good care of you and, of course, someone we all miss and loved, Veronica Collins, your case manager, who made sure that you were safe and protected by the best aides in the world from Partners in Care. So, mom, happy birthday, and let the sun shine tomorrow so we know that you are still watching over us and protecting Marcia, who is with you now. We miss your wisdom, your guidance, the huge grey mobile that you drove anywhere you were needed, as the taxi driver for your friends, and the orange mobile that my reading students loved when you picked me up or drove me to school. I made a promise and vowed that I would do everything in my power to care for you, keep your mind and body active, and never even consider the one thing so many others do—placing you in a nursing home.

The circle of life begins on the day you are born and ends when you close your eyes for the last time and take your last precious breath.

Ruth Swerdloff started her life on November 22, 1927, and became a part of a loving, nurturing family that would remain intact for the first two years of her life until the loss of her mother, when things would change. But, Ruth was special from the start, and although facing her first obstacle at the age of two, losing a parent, she somehow learned to accept the change with the help of her sister, Tova, and three brothers, Kenny, Irving, and Harry. This is her story. This is where her circle of life begins.

Excerpt from A Daughter’s Promise by Fran Lewis. Copyright © 2017 by Fran Lewis. Reproduced with permission from Fran Lewis. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Fran LewisFran Lewis is the author of the Bertha and Tillie Series, Faces Behind the Stones series and a series of books on Alzheimer;s and Caregiving. She has three master’s degrees, worked as the reading and writing staff developer and dean of a NY CITY PUBLIC SCHOOl for over 36 years and remains in touch with her students. She is an avid reader and reviewer and has her own show on blog talk radio: Literary Viewpoints with Fran Lewis. Fran created her own Magazine MJ magazine in memory of her sister Marcia Joyce and her radio network too: MJ network.

Fran’s Website | Fran’s Twitter | Fran’s Facebook


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6 thoughts on “Introducing “A Daughter’s Promise” by Fran Lewis

  1. Fran

    Thank you for the review. Some of the repeated parts were left in to drive the messages home. Your review is greatly appreciated fran


  2. Both my grandmother and my aunt had Alzheimer’s so I totally can relate to your feelings and experiences. In fact, I have a friend who nursed her mother with Alzheimer’s for 10 years, and is now in financial trouble. I’m forwarding your review to her. I take my hat off to Fran for writing about her horrific experiences, and to Judy for the great review.


    1. Fran

      Thank you so much for your wonderful heartfelt comment. When my mom passed away I was in debt for close to a half million dollars. The first four years of her illness I paid 6000 dollars a month for the nights I understand what your friend is facingfran

      Liked by 1 person

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