Melodie Yates

Loe is an Action Verb by Melodie Yates,SpotlightPublishingHouse

About Love is an Action Verb

A Caregiver's Journey

A book of poetry...

Love is an Action Verb: A Caregiver’s Journey by Melodie Yates, is an earthy representation of her experience framed as poems about truth, vulnerability, courage and strength.

It is a portrayal of the helplessness, the frustration, the loneliness that erupts internally as we manifest outward calm and kindness toward those for whom we are caregiving.

Her heart felt poetry was her mechanism for survival, regeneration, and expression of emotional angst.


Regardless of her professional accomplishments, her family/friend support, the knowledge that she was losing herself and her capacity to preserve was frightening.

Caring for her husband as they navigated the murky waters of his decline with Alzheimer’s over the last 16 years brought the author to her knees.

The soul-searching reflections offer her truth, deep and raw, about the realities of long-term care giving. Despite these difficulties, the author also demonstrates a corresponding confidence that there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Love sustains us and allows us to find the joy buried in the piles of dirty laundry, the messy house, the big decisions left unmade and the daily drip of decay we witness.


Join the author in continued exploration of truth. Each poem is accompanied by reflection and discussion questions that caregivers can use for their own insight or share with others in a search for mutual support.

We simply cannot do this by ourselves.

What Others are Saying

This collection of thoughts, poems and cries from the heart is a precious contribution to collective human experience. Having had the privilege of knowing both Drs Richard & Melodie Yates, reading these poems brought grief of loss and joy of witnessing human love & fortitude. Here we are brought face to face with how two souls live their connected lives, surmounting obstacles of physicality and emerging triumphant spiritually. This triumph is not observed by a materialist age who only celebrates youth and physical health. This is about the messy business of living with a transcendent outlook. I am certain this work will bring some degree of resonance and peace to those in similar situations.

—Farid Sabet, MD Medical director of Behavioral Medicine Solutions     

It probably does not come as a surprise that medical illnesses such as Cancer, Systemic Lupus, Migraine headaches and many others have engendered poetry. Alzheimer’s disease, and it is a disease, is no exception but its poetry is more heavily weighted towards caregivers rather than the person’s whose brain is affected as they descend into chaos and slowly lose our most precious possession – our identity.   Therein lies the true pain and pathos of Alzheimer’s disease; not a physical pain, but something closer to caregiver existential angst, mixed with a large dose of determination, alternating at times with a sense of impending helplessness.   Melodie Yates’ volume, Love is an Action Verb: A Caregiver’s Journey, is an astute and loving tribute to her life partner and husband Richard Yates.          

It documents the meandering and varying path that is Alzheimer’s disease. Paired with ideas for discussion, it reaches deep into our hearts, the place where feelings lead to new insights and novel approaches to the care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease.

—Alan J. Lerner, MD Neurological Institute endowed chair in memory and cognition University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Professor of Neurology Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine October 2023

View our Video Interview with Melodie