Filmmaker Dave Iverson writes first book, Winter Stars, about his role as caregiver
We first talked with documentary filmmaker Dave Iverson — a man with deep local roots having graduated from Hillview School and Menlo-Atherton High School — a decade ago. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s.Disease in 2004, he was preparing to run his second New York Marathon to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
This time our conversation focused on the fact that he has written his first book, Winter Stars. It chronicles his 10-year journey caring for his aging mother when she was 95 until her death at 105 in the Menlo Park home he grew up in.
He acknowledges that writing is different than filmmaking, although says “the thread is telling a story.”
“I kept a journal most of my adult life,” he says. “And I did so while caring for my mom. While I was self-conscious about writing a book, I thought it was important to tell this story.
“We don’t think much about caring for a parent. We’d rather talk about other aspects of aging. I wanted to tell the story in a honest and clear-eyed manner. We need to think much harder about how we care for the old.”
Eventually Dave needed additional help. “The women [I hired] were lifesavers to me — all immigrants, all women of color. They were astonishingly skilled. What does it take to bath someone with tenderness and care?
“Caregiving in the end is physical and intimate. We ought to be better about providing care that is warm, respectful and loving.”
Writing Winter Stars helped Dave put his experience in perspective. “Caring for my Mom was something I wanted to do. My Mom had cared for my Dad when he had Parkinson’s.
“I think what I learned was that it wasn’t just my Mom who needed help. I needed to learn some things, too.”
You can hear from Dave in person — and purchase an autographed copy of his book — this Sunday, April 24, at the Peninsula Volunteers 31st annual Author’s Salon to be held at Little House. Get more details and buy tickets online.
All royalties from the sale of Winter Stars go to support Parkinson’s and eldercare organizations. You can purchase the book online through a variety of sources as well as order through Kepler’s.
Photo courtesy of Dave Iverson