Julie Annette Bennett Pens Memoir of Spouse Caregiving, The Phoenix Man

About Bennett, Julie Annette

By Julie Annette BennettPhoenix-Man-Julie-Annette-Bennett

The Phoenix Man gives a complete picture from start to finish of a caregiver-in-training as my husband Scott lives through three debilitating diseases; a dying heart and eventual heart transplant, aspergillus pneumonia, and later, Alzheimer’s. As Scott learns to adjust through each disease and I try to keep a positive outlook, I express my feelings of despair and frustration with the medical community and with myself. As I learn to speak up for Scott’s needs, I find ways to cope with each setback.

When Scott collapsed in the Target parking lot on March 4, 2007, I believed he had died. As I called 911, I thought, Oh my God! I’m not ready. Please don’t take him yet. Please, God, don’t let him die! That moment in time began a medical journey no one should ever have to live through. Together, we faced uncertainties that would test Scott’s strength of spirit and fill me with the courage that would guide me as I became a caregiver for the man I love.

During the 12 years caring for Scott, I had not found a book that went from caregiving, to skilled nursing facility, to death, to widowhood. As Scott’s heart was dying and he waited for a donor’s heart, updating family and friends was difficult. Writing about Scott’s prognosis every few days became my way of giving updates to a growing email list. After Scott was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, I realized that I needed to continue writing about my caregiving experiences if I decided later to author a book. Thus began a new caregiving journey, only this time I was journaling about someone who was losing his mind. Then, after Scott’s death, it made sense for me to continue jotting down my thoughts during the grieving process. The writing was therapeutic and a story was ready to be told with the hope that other caregivers and family members would benefit from my experiences and tips.

From caregiver to widowhood, after each chapter is a Note to Caregivers, giving suggestions on how and where to get support. These notes remind the caregiver that their life matters too and permits caregivers to feel their frustrations and doubts. Most importantly, this book reminds caregivers that they are not alone. My hope for those who read our book is to remember that how you treat your loved one and others is of the utmost importance in this life.


Today I facilitate three Alzheimer’s support groups, search for ways to promote our book, and with Covid now almost over I can speak publicly to other caregivers. My son, Jonathan, and his wife Charlisse keep me busy with my grandchildren: six-year-old Killian and three-year-old Tatum. My stepson, Matthew, has an adorable male ginger long hair cat named Sunny whom I babysit every other week bringing me so much joy with his unconditional love. I am truly blessed.

The Phoenix Man book is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, BalboaPress.com, as well as other retail book outlets. The Phoenix Man website is www.JulieAnnetteBennett.com and I hope you will visit, read the blogs and media articles, and send me a message. Other social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Follow Julie:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thephoenixman25/

Facebook: The Phoenix Man
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