“An intimate, funny, and heartwarming memoir
of how eldercare can be done”
The Author’s Latest Media Appearances
Mark discusses “A Cup of Tea on the Commode” with FireBreathinRob on his podcast. Check it out here.
To order your A Cup of Tea on the Commode, click here (save $3.15 on the paperback on amazon). eBook is only $8.99. Also, available in a Large Print version.
Time with Teepa – What’s special about male caregivers. Meet a son, Mark Steven Porro, author of “A Cup of Tea on the Commode,” who was on this journey and made a difference in his mother’s life. Click the link to listen in.
To order your A Cup of Tea on the Commode, click here (save $3.15 on the paperback on amazon). eBook is only $8.99. A Large Print edition is also available.
Mark joined Dr. Allen Lycka to discuss “A Cup of Tea on the Commode.” To have a listen, click here.
To order your A Cup of Tea on the Commode, click here (save $3.15 on the paperback on amazon). eBook is only $8.99.
Mark shares his story, “A Cup of Tea on the Commode,” with Colton Perry on his “Just Dumb Enough” podcast. A show that acknowledges no one is always an expert, by dispelling misconceptions with real experts. Give it a listen on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.
Mark discusses “A Cup of Tea on the Commode” with Daniel Lucas on his podcast “Book 101 Review.” Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or click here to listen on Spotify. Please forgive the technical issues.
Check out my interview with Chuck Tuck goes behind the story of my memoir “A Cup of Tea on the Commode.” Click here to give it a listen.
On September 12, Mark Steven Porro shared “A Cup of Tea” stories, tips, and laughs LIVE with Chris on the ever popular Chris Voss Show. In case you missed it, click to watch now. Enjoy.
To order your A Cup of Tea on the Commode, click here (save $3.15 on amazon).
Early Praise for A Cup of Tea on the Commode
“The author takes an unflinching look at the unglamorous yet rewarding journey as the primary caretaker of his dying mother. Interspersed with the day-to-day saga of this new undertaking, are stories from his childhood growing up in a Catholic family with five siblings in New Jersey. He weaves them together, employing a wickedly humorous skill not unlike that of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. Let the reader be forewarned that this memoir is sometimes painfully graphic in its descriptions of the process of death and dying. It was not without a great deal of love and personal sacrifice that Porro made the process as comfortable and dignified as possible.”
— M. Chaffee, Verified amazon purchase (5-Stars)
“This book was like sitting down at the kitchen table and sharing troubles with and old friend. Having parents is common, taking care of them with all the intimate details involved is not. Mark Steven Porro shared all the victories and defeats, sorrows, and disappointments along with making you giggle at some of the sillier exchanges between he and his mother. This book helps us to appreciate the tremendous effort that goes into caregiving and why we should all look to help lighten caregiver’s emotional and physical load when we can. Thank you NetGalley for providing this opportunity for me to read this book. It’s a keeper.”
— Laurie Mosey, Librarian, a NetGalley Reviewer
“I could have inhaled this book, but it was too good, too funny, too revealing, too transparent and too intimate a memoir to rush through. My breath was literally taken away in tears and laughter. It is so much more of a memoir of just one person but of a whole family in a time and place I also called home. The period details are so rich and comforting. The love between Mark and his mom is such that one feels a certain destiny was fulfilled and captured in this book. I don’t know if I loved the book because of the family it illuminates or because the writing is so good and funny.”
— K. Nicolet, Verified amazon purchase (5-Stars)
“A wonderful story of a man helping his mother toward end of life. The love he shows her and the patience he has is so lovely. Funny stories of his family and upbringing makes you laugh and remember your own childhood. I also was with both my parents when they passed so it was a reminder of those times, sad but worth saying last goodbyes. A wonderful read for all.”
— Jane Clark, Verified amazon purchase (5-Stars)
“All my life I thought I was a slow reader, but it turns out I just needed to find the right book! I started reading this after midnight and couldn’t put it down till 5:30 in the morning. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to laugh out loud and perhaps shed a joyful tear, as this memoir explores the humor, heart, and beautiful flaws of family!”
— Owen S., 5-Star amazon review
“Loved this book! Reading it was more like sitting with Mark, a glass of wine and chatting about life, love, and parents. For those fortunate enough to be able to care for a mom or dad during their end of life, you could be reading your own story. So many similarities with my life and love of my parents. And good memories of a childhood sans cell phone, tablets, and video games. We had silly outdoor fun! Kudos to the author. Well done!”
— Marilyn G., Verified amazon purchase (5-Stars)
“Not many books out there will give you an honest look at a reversal of rolls of caring for a parent in their older age. This book will make you laugh out loud, “ring a bell” in your own life, cry a tear or two and make you smile. The Author not only “steps up to the plate” taking care of his mother during her last few years on this earth, but carries the reader through a journey of reflections of his youth and growing up under HER care.”
— CJV, Verified amazon purchase (5-Stars)
“A Cup of Tea on the Commode is a beautiful tribute to Genevieve Porro. As a reader, I felt like I got to know her as a person—she is funny, endearing, sensitive, and I laughed many times throughout. I love the narrator’s tone of voice is unique, humorous, definitive, and conversational. It speaks to the readers. Mark doesn’t shy away from expressing all emotions he felt as he took care of his mother, and it is very endearing. There are many touching stories in the manuscript, and many that will resonate with readers on an emotional level.”
— Allison Itterly, Acquisitions Editor
“This is a humorous account about Mark Steven Porro and his family’s story from his siblings to his parents, to the suicides in his family. It all makes for a mostly humorous but at times a sad tale and how in a time where people are only looking for what makes them happy, this man gave up everything to move back across the country to tend to his dying mother. It really is touching, heartwarming, and so worth reading. I am so glad I read it. I almost didn’t due to the title but was curious enough to read the summary and OMG, I’m glad I did.”
— Janalyn Prude, a NetGalley Reviewer
“In his own words, ‘Dedication is not my problem…’ Mark proves that beyond a doubt in this lovingly emotional dedication to (not only) his mother but his whole family and his life. Having a frighteningly similar experience with my own mother (albeit not as “hands on” as Mark) I couldn’t imagine the tale told better than here in this book.”
— Larry Thomas, The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld
“I always believe that the impact of a book is measured by the lingering thoughts and reflections that remain afterwards. And A Cup of Tea on The Commode scores highly in this respect.”
— Paul Jeremaes, Co-author of Enter Your Flow, an Interactive Journey Toward Fulfillment and Happiness in Your Work Life.
“This book, A Cup of Tea on The Commode, had me clutching it until done!”
— Nancy May, host of Doing It Best with Eldercare Success podcast
“Really detailed story about Porro. I appreciated how he crafted this memoir. I enjoyed his story-telling and felt like I was part of his family at times. Five stars!
— Kelly Pramberger, Goodreads
“I found A Cup of Tea on the Commode very moving. I like the writing style – the humour highlights Genevieve’s stoic sense of fun. It is an inspirational story that bravely tells it like it is. I must confess, it brought me to tears, but then it also made me laugh. Good combination.”
— Dr. Sharon Ager Wray, PhD in Sociology
In Other News
Nancy May of the Doing It Best with Eldercare Success podcast invited me to join her on today’s session. We had a lovely time sharing our experiences in caring for our loved ones. I’ll keep you posted on the air date. In the meantime, her podcast is terrific. Please check it out.
Doing It Best with Eldercare Success where we explore ways to relieve the stress, exhaustion and overwhelm that we all face in caring for an aging parent, frail spouse, or partner. Fear, frustration, emotional and financial strain do not have to be your MO!
My Book comes in Two Print Sizes
A Cup of Tea on the Commode, coming to bookstores everywhere on Mother’s Day
(May 14, 2023), will be available in paperback, Kindle, ebook, and also in a Large Print Edition. But why wait? Click here to Order now.
If you’re interested in wholesale buying or bulk sales, please contact our distributor, Independent Publishers Group.
The Story Behind the Cover
When I first embarked on this journey, my mother had many visions. Most were light, some dark, and others damn entertaining. But the one she saw most often and described in such detail was of a parade of well-dressed children who marched down Emmett Place and passed by her bedroom window. The girls held flowers, a single stem, or a bouquet, including her favorite, daisies. The boys held colorful balloons that bobbed in the wind. This parade also plays an integral role throughout A Cup of Tea on the Commode.
While editing the manuscript, my sister Caryl, out of the blue, sent me a batch of old black and white photos. One caught my attention. It captured Mom, eight years old, dressed in a frilly white dress, wearing patent leather shoes, sitting on a bench, with a flower in her hand. I don’t recall ever seeing that photo before, but I couldn’t help thinking that serendipity played a role in its timely arrival. This young Genevieve fit in perfectly with Mom’s parade, which left me no choice but to feature it on the cover.
The handwritten title adds a soft touch and hints at the intimacy of the stories within. A pattern of daisies, her favorite flower, fills the background and reinforces the warm invitation to join me on my multitasking adventures of caring for Mom.
The Story Behind the Title
Lots of people have asked why I named my memoir what I did. So, I’ll do my best to explain.
My mother cherished her weekly trips to the beauty parlor for a shampoo & set. Occasionally, she’d spice things up with a perm and frosting that required a reintroduction to her family—even the dog needed a second sniff. However, those salon sojourns were but a distant memory. So, I launched the “Day of Beauty” to recreate at home that pampering she so loved, and I’m sure, so sorely missed.
“Day of Beauty” soon evolved into its own multitasking operation. While Mom did her business on the commode, and depending on how long she took, I performed many of the chores on the DoB menu. These tasks included a full sponge bath, soaking her feet in Epsom salts, shampooing, conditioning, and blow drying her long, now silvery, hair.
One day, hoping to make her adventures on the commode a tad more pleasant, I offered Mom a cup of her favorite beverage: hot tea with skim milk, no sugar. It was a hit. And from that day forward, A Cup of Tea on the Commode became a staple on the menu, and the clear choice for the title of my memoir.
We Now Have a Podcast
Also, we added a podcast page. Check it out and listen to excerpts read by the author.