American Solutions for Business sales associate Mark Resnick recently endured a difficult battle that had a major impact on his life. He faced the diagnosis and treatment of his father’s dementia while doing his best to support his business and family. While doing so, Mark found respite in pouring his heart into writing, sharing the challenges and lessons he learned through these difficult years.
“Having the flexibility to service customers my way and within my schedule, was critical,” explained American Sales Associate, Mark Resnick. “American’s amazing support staff made this possible. The entire organization, from Larry and Justin on down, have supported and believed in my book from the beginning. I am eternally grateful for their support and genuine interest in my passions outside of my professional commitments to American.”
We had the opportunity to ask Mark about his book, as well as his journey with his father. Mark also took the liberty of citing pages in his book that you can read further into his answers.
What was the biggest POSITIVE takeaway from the beginning of the battle of health with your father that you did not expect to learn?
I got to know my dad better than at any point in our lives during his Alzheimer’s battle. I never expected that. We shared 200+ meals together and hundreds and hundreds of cups of coffee over a three year period. I wish it had not taken a terminal disease to learn his story but it was definitely one of the hidden blessings to come from his disease (See Page 4).
How did the diagnosis, and eventual transition to assisted living, change the way you do day to day tasks?
My dad’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis resulted in several big and positive changes in my life, from the way I approach my work-life and personal life. Charlie Johnson, a VP at Refresh Glass, introduced me to transcendental meditation in 2019 at our very own Convention in Forth Worth! Meditation has been an invaluable tool to manage stress and cope with his disease. Because of my daily meditation practice, I am also much calmer than ever before. My perspective and mindset has shifted, for the better.
Dad’s disease changed my outlook on life immediately. Shortly after hearing Jesse Itzler speak at ASI’s Forth Worth show in 2019, I joined his Build Your Life Resume and Calendar Club coaching programs. His messages on stage inspired me, but I know that I never would have spontaneously joined his programs had my dad not been sick. Jesse’s program was the main inspiration for writing Ten Days With Dad, as part of the program is challenging members to undertake a misogi (See Page 302).
In addition, I created my Daily Vitamin list, (see Page 304), which ensures that every day is a great one, personally. In general, so much of my life has shifted to taking care of myself and my family. My goals, mindset, beliefs, and values are about living life in the moment, enjoying family experiences (instead of planning them much later in life), and appreciating what I have in my life—rather than wishing I had a, b, and c. It really has been a huge transformation for me, prompted solely because my dad got sick.
I could go on and on!
Did watching someone you love and respect begin to forget who they were change the way you saw yourself?
Absolutely. I knew I had to take my health much more seriously, especially my brain. I began exercising, eating better, and limiting my alcohol, three essentials to promoting a healthy life and brain. More importantly, I finally learned how to love myself during his illness and throughout the writing of this book (See Pages 330-334). This was huge for me. Despite the pain and suffering we endured as a family, I have never been happier in my life. I am re-energized at work, have a new career as a writer, and am appreciating the blessings in my life more than ever before.
How did the rest of your family deal with the changes?
My immediate family, Coleen and our three children, have been so supportive and loving. It was difficult for them to watch me take care of my dad, but they were terrific throughout his illness. It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of teenagers in general, never mind watching their Papa during Alzheimer’s, but they were great with him. And continue to be supportive and proud of the book!
What passions were reignited in your life through this experience?
Writing for sure! I’m committed to being a full-time writer and a full-time salesperson. I used to believe, like so many of us do, that life was full of “either/or” choices, but it’s not. So I am committed to writing and selling. It’s one of the messages in the book: you can pursue your passion AND do what you are currently doing with work or volunteering, etc. Do both, but do what makes you happy—and don’t wait for the right time, reason, or season—do it right now!
What is your most valuable piece of advice that you can give to anyone navigating the world of Alzheimer’s with a loved one?
Don’t do it alone. Learn from other people. Ask lots of questions. Pursue every care-giving option before settling on one. The caregivers suffer far more than the victims of Alzheimer’s as strange as that may sound. My dad didn’t have a ton of retirement savings, but he had enough set aside to pay for his assisted living, then nursing home expenses. For me personally, finding the right nursing home was the most important decision we made. Assisted living was good, but had we known about Newfield House (nursing home in Plymouth, MA) sooner, I would have moved him there much sooner. They were so INCREDIBLE. Unfortunately, not every family can purse private nursing homes, and so, the options are more limited.
Many reviews of Mark’s book are already pouring in. Order your copy today!
To learn more about American Solutions for Business, visit http://www.americanbus.com.
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