Questions Lois Hjelmstad is Frequently Asked
About Her Life and Her Books


Questions regarding This Path We Share

  1. What kept you together all these years?
  2. Did you ever consider divorce?
  3. What impact did children have on your relationship?
  4. How did you build a post-parenthood marriage?
  5. What impact did breast cancer have on your love – and on your love life?
  6. How did chrnoic fatigue syndrome affect your roles?
  7. How and why did you decide to travel 400,000 miles together?
  8. How did you stand that many hours in a car together?
  9. What happens when one of you is angry?
  10. What effect does shift work have on a marriage?
  11. How did you stay connected through the illnesses of your mother and mother-in-law? The death of your father?
  12. What advice would you give to an engaged or a newly-married couple?
  13. Can you reassure a long-married couple that they can keep their relationship strong for many years to come?
  14. Is it possible to maintain and/or regain the early feelings of romance?
  15. In what ways do you hope This Path might help the newly-married? What bout the long-marrieds?

Lois Hjelmstad's Three Main Points on Marriage

(culled from her book, This Path We Share: Relecting on 60 Years of Marriage)

  • Consider your mate to be your primary relationship. We adore our children and they depend on us, but do not let your children edge out your mate.
  • Nurture your love. Love starts strong, but passion fades; busyness creeps in; inevitable disagreements provide wedges.
  • Commit deeply to keeping your physical intimacy alive. This is easy enough when one is first married (or living together, as is the custom now), but here again, passion fades; we get distracted with life; illness and aging make the commitment both more necessary and more difficult to keep.

Questions regarding breast cancer and Fine Black Lines

  1. How did you find your breast cancer?
  2. What prompted you to write a book about it?
  3. What do you hope Fine Black Lines might do for others?
  4. What go you through the experience?
  5. What impact did breast cancer have on your marriage? On other relationships?

Lois Hjelmstad's Three Main Points on Breast Cancer

(Culled from Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness)

  • Be the gatekeeper of your own health
  • Confront your losses and fears
  • Your new life can be richer – find a new passion that will enliven you

Questions regarding mothers & daughters and The Last Violet

  1. Why did you write The Last Violet?
  2. What's wrong with Mother's Day?
  3. What was your relationship with your mother like?
  4. What advice can you give to daughters today?
  5. What advice can you give to mothers?
  6. What other issues did you find important in relation to the death of one's mother?
  7. Do you feel writing promotes healing?
  8. In what ways did writing this book change you?
  9. In what ways do you hope this book will help others?
  10. How might individuals find resolution in their relationships after the death of one's mother?

Lois Hjelmstad's Three Main Points on Mother/Daughter Relationships

(Culled from her book, The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret)

  • Even though Mother's Day seems to be a contrived holiday, we can survive it, no matter what our circumstances. We need to understand our own relationships in the light of our experience, not how we're programmed to understand them by commercial interests.
  • Ambivalence is manageable as long as we own and acknowledge it. When we don't acknowledge our ambivalence or when we pretend otherwise, it is detrimental to love.
  • We try to preserve the myth that our mothers are perfect, because it is expected. We look for the perfect card, the perfect gift for the perfect person. When we debunk the myth, when we see our mothers and ourselves as real people, complete with faults and foibles, then we can experience the beautiful truth – we can love and be loved in spite of our imperfections.