Letters From Madelyn


When Madelyn Kubin’s husband suffered a debilitating stroke, her health was failing, and she had limited financial resources. In order to cope with her loneliness, isolation, and the stress of caregiving, she frequently went to her computer, disengaged her emotional monitor and wrote letters to her daughter about everything she was experiencing and exactly how she felt about it.

Unflinchingly honest and surprisingly funny, Madelyn’s letters validate every caregiver’s experience with anger, guilt, depression, and grief, and demonstrate that even in the very worst end-of-life situations, it is possible to find peace and happiness from within.

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Madelyn Kubin was a seventy-year-old Kansas farm wife. Although she was physically fragile due to her macular degeneration, osteoporosis, congestive heart failure, and severe hearing loss, she tapped into physical, emotional, and spiritual strengths she didn’t know she possessed in order to care for her husband Quentin after he suffered a debilitating stroke.

Madelyn’s story of faith, courage, and love is told through her letters written in real time over the course of six-and-a-half years to her daughter Elaine. She wrote unabashedly about her anger, guilt, depression, and grief. She also wrote about her frustration with Quentin’s repeated requests for her to arrange a “sex date” with the girl he had taken to his high school senior prom sixty years earlier.

Although she prayed every day that she would be a willing channel for God’s love and compassion, there were plenty of days she felt like telling God to go find himself another servant. Madelyn’s experience shows how faith, grace, and humor can help a person find the physical and emotional strength to deal with life’s most challenging circumstances.

Reviews: What Other Readers are Saying about “Letters from Madelyn

For me “Letters from Madelyn” is warm, supportive, and real. Each story touches on something I’m experiencing. Through Madelyn’s humor, wisdom, and common sense, I feel understood and less lonely. She writes with uncompromising candor and insight. She’s a learner whose resilience in stepping up to the increasing and ever changing demands of her husband’s condition is amazing. As I read the book, I laughed, I cried, and I identified with her.

Sharon A Thorne

How I wish I’d read letters from Madelyn about three years ago. I lost my husband to Lewy Body Dementia about 3 months ago. I was his caregiver until the last few weeks of his life. If I’d had Madelyn’s letters and just read one letter a day I’d have found inspiration, ideas for coping with the physical and emotional stress, a stronger humor perspective and affirmation that I was doing some things correctly and I would have had less guilt about anger when I lost patience.

Mary Stein
I loved this book for the honesty, humor, and strength shown by Madelyn Kubin, who for six years was the caretaker for her husband of more than fifty years on a Kansas farm. I rationed the book out ten pages at a time for my morning reading buffet because I wanted it to last a while! Just as Madelyn Kubin was empowered by Unity, Reiki treatment, and “creative indifference” to keep her from being emotionally ravaged by the progression of events she had to deal with, I got a lift from her amazing letters.
Tina Martin
So touching and very helpful guiding others through similar journeys. Love the website for caregivers as well!
Kathy Hansen
Having been in the role of caregiver in my personal life, and also in my professional life, when we show up to a support group, or pick up a book, I have learned that what we all can’t seem to get enough of is truth. And this book delivers! Like anywhere else in life, that the truth comes with liberal doses of laughter makes it all the better. If you are considering reading this book, it can likely be assumed that you already know that caregiving is HARD. It’s made easier–and you feel so much less alone–when you have been invited in to this family’s story. Accept the invitation.
Heidi Hill
My husband has been bedridden for the past 3 years with no hope of getting better, and I also take care of my 92 year old parents. I have found through reading this book that I too can laugh, cry, find peace and joy in the midst of tragedy. Her honesty and straightforward writings brought reality to the happenings in my life.

I have read this book once quickly because I couldn’t put it down. Now I am reading it with my hi-lighter. The next time I will be reading it with my daughter.

I will gladly recommend this book as a must read for anyone who is caregiving.

Elisabeth Cardiel
I felt personally involved with Madelyn and her struggles and her humor and wit and wisdom and caring and resourcefulness and pain. I wanted to check my literary mailbox constantly for the next letter from this very real person I got to know so intimately and care so much about. I zipped through the book. I think current caregivers will feel encouraged by her surprisingly honest, open (sex even) and frank letters and realize they are not weird or bad for feeling as they do and they are not alone. Dear Madelyn’s been there already and she handled it and so can the rest of us. My only gripe is that now I’m in love with a dead lady I probably won’t get to meet until it’s my turn to go.
Don Wendorf
This book is truly amazing and I hope Madelyn somehow knows what an inspiration she is to many people. Elaine’s vision to transform the letters provides a real eye opener of daily challenges Madelyn faced after Quentin’s stroke. I admire Madelyn’s ability to realize she was in control of her attitude and the power it gave her in difficult times. Her words are so compelling I found myself wanting to reach out and help her over and over. I am in awe of her and believe the letters she wrote with such honesty of their last years together are a gift for many to learn from. Thank you for sharing Madelyn’s personal journey.
Cheryl Lowry
This is a story of real people with real challenges. They use humor and love to find their way. They are stoic and yet they lean on each other through sharing the day-to-day events of life. Where have all the good, solid, honest, people gone? They are on the pages of these “Letters from Madelyn.” There are lessons here about caregiving. There are greater lessons here about how to live a noble life.
Vicki Conte
This is a story of real people with real challenges. They use humor and love to find their way. They are stoic and yet they lean on each other through sharing the day-to-day events of life. Where have all the good, solid, honest, people gone? They are on the pages of these “Letters from Madelyn.” There are lessons here about caregiving. There are greater lessons here about how to live a noble life.
Vicki Conte
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The letters are simply from one heart to another. As a caregiver, I appreciated the deep and personal conversation from Madelyn. The book became like a good friend, a support needed during the difficult times when no one else is around to help. I recommend this book for all caregivers and anyone who wants to listen to a mother’s heart.
David Pimentel
This book takes one on the ride of caregiving, driving every emotion possible that comes with that journey, complete with the roadblocks, the detours, the breakdowns and wrong turns. I loved Madelyn’s candid honesty and openness, true FAITH, and her liberal splashes of humor and love. I highly recommend spending an afternoon with this mother and daughter team––two strong woman who found their faith strengthened by their experience!!!!
Debra Jensen
What’s it like in the caregiving trenches? Madelyn Kubin’s letters to her daughter, Elaine, paint a clear picture of this demanding role. Over the years Elaine received hundreds of letters from her mother, written to combat the struggles and isolation of caregiving. Elaine chose the best letters for this collection–powerful words from a powerful woman.
Harriet Hodgson
In an age of emails, cell phone calls, and 140 character messages, we are fortunate to read letters written by someone who knew the somewhat lost art of letter writing. From good or bad diagnoses from doctors to funny stories surrounding life around McPherson, Kansas, Madelyn’s letters will have you laughing, crying, and will make you feel like you’re part of her life.
David H
My working with the elderly makes you alert to all the frustrations of the caregiver. This book lets you see humor in delicate situations, but also to be sensitive to the struggles of the caregiver and the person whose health is failing. A MUST READ!

If you don’t laugh, cry, learn, and love this product, send it back for a full refund.