Meet J.L. (Judy) Smith, Author

     J.L. Smith and Grandson

J.L. Smith is the author of a new non-fiction book entitled “Reporting for Doodie: One Grandmother’s Story of Commitment, Frustration and Unwavering Love.”

When approaching the age of 50, Judy was totally blindsided when she found that her husband was having an affair. Suddenly facing life as a single woman, the probable loss of her home and a major career change, she learned that she was to be sole caregiver for her 2-year grandson as a result of the dual military deployment of her daughter and son-in-law.

During her time as caregiver, Judy lost the use of her right (dominant) arm as the result of a freak medical condition called “radial nerve palsy”. She spent a lot of time feeling like a broken woman while trying to change her grandson’s diapers with one hand (and her teeth sometimes) and just trying to meet his needs in general. Judy shed many tears of frustration, often feeling like she just couldn’t do “it” anymore…but what choice did she have?

Then in the midst of her tour of “doodie”, her grandson did something so funny that it was her epiphany to finally write the book she’d always dreamed of writing; she wrote it because she realized that there were so many other grandparents (and other family members) in this same situation and that a timely, relevant book of this nature could help them to cope. The reviews have been fabulous and many military-based groups are promoting it through their resources. Some have even compared her writing to that of Erma Bombeck!

As a result of this challenging experience, she completely reinvented herself – both inside and out. She began dating, wearing high heels again, lost weight and finally “found” her inner self – at age 50. She now feels more alive, empowered and fulfilled than ever in her life! Last year, Judy sent one well-crafted email to the “Oprah Show” about her experiences and they responded (within 3 hours of receiving her email) saying that they were completely inspired by her story and wanted her to be a guest on a show dealing with inspiring reinventions. (Unfortunately she couldn’t discuss her book because the second half of the show was dedicated to another author.)

Her dream came true when she published her book, after completely losing it twice due to computer problems. Her goal is to solicit stories from other caregivers of our military children and publish a second book and ultimately partnering with a major publication/TV show to bring this important topic to light and reward the best stories she receives with “prizes” for their service to our country, i.e., a much-needed vacation, babysitting services, etc. Most people don’t stop to think about these caregivers, but Judy found out firsthand that it truly is a life-changing experience – personally, financially, emotionally and physically. Being called an “inspiration” is the greatest joy she knows and she would love to share her experiences with your readers.

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