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Alzheimer’s Disease and Telling a Loved One About a Death

alzheimersflowerMy Mom recently lost her sister with whom she lived in a memory care facility.  It broke my heart to deliver the news to her, so I remained mum for a while and didn’t tell her.  She believed our Aunt was still alive in the hospital for longer than she was, as we contemplated how to tell her the sad news.

But God and the Universe had different plans.  For you see, her resident friends who knew Aunt Mable were also concerned about Aunt Mable and wondered when she would return home.  Mom was told that she was still in the hospital getting treatment, but in truth, she had passed away.  Little could any of us know that one little lady, who is wheelchair bound, blind and has hallucinations along with memory issues would be able to succeed in calling the hospital in hopes that Mom could talk with Aunt Mable and get more information.  A miracle unto itself that she accomplished this with her cell phone.  Sadly, she got the news that Mable had passed away and in a loving manner told Mom.  I know she thought she was helping, but her announcement wasn’t what we had planned.  We were trying to get to Mom to tell her ourselves in person.

Looking through the eyes of an observer, this little lady’s heart was in the right place.  She saw our Mom upset and wanted to help and when I see the situation with a loving heart, I am grateful.  But in that moment when Mom reached out to me, sobbing that she had heard that her sister had passed away and was frantic, I felt powerless.  I had wanted so much to shield Mom from the pain and be there when she found out in order to help her through her grief.  In the end though, life unfolded as it was meant to be.

It is hard for anyone with memory issues to remember, let alone to keep the information that a loved one has passed away, for their ability to remember fades and rallies, moment to moment.  The acceptance of what feels unacceptable (a death of a sister) is too much for the mind to handle and it fades, only to return after a bit and the grief begins again.  It’s a roller coaster for all involved as we try so desperately to soothe a broken heart as the knowledge comes and goes, along with the grief.

There’s no easy way and from my experiences, the only rule is to keep a loving heart, flow with the moment’s understanding and continue to offer love and support to Mom.  That’s all we can do in every situation quite honestly.  Be open, be kind and love.

May you find your Sunday to be filled with peace and love, this is my wish always.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye To A Loved One

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As I climbed into bed last night, laid my weary head and heart on the soft down pillow, I sighed deeply.  Such a day full of emotion and perseverance that frankly, I was exhausted.  I closed my eyes and began to pray for peace as I often do.  In that quiet moment of reverie, I surrendered.  I had done all that I could, pushed through the limits and swallowed and alternatively let go of many tears.  But as I prayed, it was in gratitude for all of the angels who attended this day.

When a loved one passes, it is never easy for those left behind.  After the initial shock, because even when we know they are sick, it is still a shock to know that they have passed, there was work to be done, papers to be signed, a funeral home to be called, family and friends to be notified and a personal life of responsibility to continue living, all at the same time.  It’s a day of moving through the grief in order to process the necessities that need to be done, all the while, alternatively stifling and letting out the grief of losing a loved one.  Tears poured from my eyes at times and quiet sobs escaped (probably not so quietly) as the reality hit me in waves.

Last night the epiphany which I knew already, hit me.  Why do we grieve when our loved one passes?  Some of us believe that their departed souls return home to God and I have to ask myself,  why aren’t I rejoicing that she is no longer in earthy life school, no longer suffering with a body which had grown old and desperately needed repair?  My answer was selfish – I wanted to be with her when she passed and hold her hand as she departed peacefully from this earth, onward and upward back home.  I wanted her to hear my voice telling her how much we loved her and although I tried to move mountains in plane travel plans, I was unable to get to her in time.  What brings my sad heart peace is that I know in my heart that she knew I loved her and she was not alone when she passed.  She had her pastor there, who by the grace of God, arrived only moments beforehand.  She had been visited by a dear friend of ours who had kissed her on the forehead and told her how much we all loved her.  At 88, she had lived a long life, on her own terms with lots of love in her heart and a dash of stubbornness which served her well.  She had brought much joy to the world by being a teacher who made a difference and who had received the joy and was gifted back by her students (especially Lisa).

This morning I awoke thinking of Aunt Mable and as tears poured down my face in the early dawn, house quiet, alone with my thoughts, I realized again, how short this life can be even when it lasts 88 years and how important making connections with others truly is.  Although I often write about connecting with others, I’m reminded yet again, how our legacy is in our connections and not in our earthly possessions.  I think it bears repeating.  Hearts connecting means more than material possessions as we flow to our next chapter.  The legacy of making a difference, accepting, helping, inspiring, encouraging and loving are pricelessly worth millions in spiritual wealth.

So this morning, I bow my head in honor of a life well-lived, an Aunt whom I loved and who loved me.  I know she is home again in Heaven, with her family and loved ones and she is remembered here by the loved ones and family she left behind.  Surely, her soul is leaping with joy to be pain-free, her brain free of the confines of dementia, and free of the bonds of life school.  Rest in peace, Aunt Mable.

Thank you dearest friends for allowing me to share this morning.  I needed to write.  May you have a lovely Saturday, making connections with all whom you meet and even if a simple smile passes between you and a stranger, let the love of humankind flow freely.

Shine On!

xo

When You Don’t Have A ‘Valentine’ To Love

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When you don’t have a ‘valentine’ to love on Valentine’s Day it can feel awkward, especially if in years past, you did have someone whom you loved, but for whatever reason, you are not together anymore.  Separations can be due to a variety of reasons which makes it hard when it seems like the whole world is celebrating a day of love with their sweetie.

But, I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for cherishing the relationships we have with others!  It doesn’t need to be only romantic love that we celebrate that day!  Not at all!  For me, since my circumstances have changed, I celebrate Valentine’s Day with gratitude for my children, my family, my soul family and my friends who have filled my life with love.  In fact, let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day together as you’re a part of my blogging family filled with love!  Thanks for being here with me.  I celebrate our connections today too!

So tomorrow, when the heart rises to meet the day, smile!  Greet the hearts and flowers day with gratitude for all of the love you have shared on your life’s journey!  Give thanks for the past loves, the present loves and look forward to the future loves!  But above all, enjoy the present love which envelopes your heart and soul today!  Enjoy the little kindnesses that are shown to you and smile to pass along those kindnesses as well.  We could have a lovefest here on Planet Earth if everyone, for just one day, loved all humankind.  Wouldn’t that be the very best Valentine’s Day ever?

So how about you?  How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Shine On!

xo

Gratitude

gratitude

There is a calmness

to a life lived in gratitude

– a quiet joy.

~Ralph H. Blum

Gratitude for what is, what was and what may be.  This is how I live my life.  I am grateful for all the experiences, even those which have been sad, devastating and hard, as well as those experiences where I have searched and found the ‘good’ in what initially I viewed with suffering in my heart.  We have all heard, ‘time heals all wounds.’  But is that really true?  I am undecided, but yet, I feel that there is a choice in how we view the wounds as time goes by.  We can choose to have the wounds define us or empower us.  We are free to choose and it is in our choice, we continue to find peace and calmness in our lives.

So today on Thanksgiving, may we look upon the day with gratitude, love, calmness and joy.  View our world with peace in our hearts and allow healing love to surround us.

As always, I am grateful to be here with  you, to connect with you and to find the joy in the moment with you.  Let’s share gratitude for The Presents of Presence together!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Unexpected Kindness…

unexpectedkindnessUnexpected kindness

is the most powerful,

least costly,

and most underrated agent

of human change.

~ Bob Kerrey

I recently had an old friend reach out to me.  She texted me, “I will take care of you,” in response to a concern of mine that we had been talking about that day.  In true text form, she added the emojis of pink double hearts and added, “love you.”

I don’t know why it hit me so hard that she replied out of the blue in that way, but it did.  To the core of my heartlight, her response, zinged me with a confetti of warmth, understanding, love and an overwhelming gratitude to her for her unexpected kindness.

Do you know what I mean?  Have you ever felt this way as well?

Sometimes, it’s the simplest offer of friendship and connection that helps us along the bumpy paths of life.  Knowing her, she simply reached out in kindness for that’s the type of person she is and she probably didn’t think twice about what she wrote to me as she is a kind-hearted loving human being and we have been friends for years, even though we don’t see each other too often.

I found the above image on Canva and just knew I had to share it today with you.  For you see, one small kindness delivered with a loving heart, can connect and raise up another’s heartlight.  My heart, even one day later, feels as if it is bursting with sunshine, hope, happiness, love and gratitude.

So today dear friends, I’m sharing her message with you, with the same loving heartlight…

I will take care of you…

Love you!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  Today’s post is dedicated to E.S. ♥  Love you too!

Counting Blessings

blessings

Christmas Blessings to You and Yours!

I’m up early.  All is quiet, not a creature is stirring except the 2 cats who are ever curious as to the ribbons and bows under the tree.  I love to spend the early morning sunrise writing.  There’s something magical about the hush of a peaceful house, white Christmas lights twinkling in the dark, a fresh cup of coffee and soft lit candles reminding us to count our blessings.

The magic of Christmas has always held me.  For me, there’s nothing like a great Christmas Eve mass with my sons singing all the old hymns which bring back memories.  Being with my children is special to me and it’s a gift that I never take for granted.

So this morning, I’m counting my blessings, shedding a few tears, sending up a few prayers, tip-toeing down memory lane and just feeling grateful to be alive, in this very moment for I still believe…

I believe in love.  I believe in gratitude.  I believe in faith.  I believe in kindness.  I believe in connecting with others.  I believe in truth.  I believe laughter and a good cry cleanse the soul.  I believe in forgiveness.  I believe in God.  I believe in my soul family.  I believe in you and I believe in me.

Shine On!

xo

A Truly Happy Person

detour

A truly happy person is one

who can enjoy the scenery

on a detour.

I visit with my two loved ones who have Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia every month.  We take a ride in the car each time and enjoy the scenery.  Within minutes of our getting into the car and buckling them up into seat belts, we begin our drive to wherever we are going and the same conversation always ensues.  One talks about the trees, the other one notices the clouds.  What makes such an impression on me is that the incessant repetitive conversations about these two beauties of nature never fails and is always welcomed by all in the car.  It is simply being present in that moment to remark on the beauty in nature.  Granted, the conversations about the trees and clouds continues in a loop, over and over while we are riding in the car, but I choose to see it as a blessing.

For being in the present moment and observing the beauty which surrounds us in a happy way is the key to life.  Being with my loved ones who live in a memory care facility gives me the powerful lesson of presence.  Sure, I can get bogged down by the repetitiveness of the conversation, feel badly that they only have clouds and trees to notice and feel sad for how their minds have changed.  And I do.  I won’t lie, because as a daughter/niece/carer it can break my heart to be so far away and to see the changes as their minds slowly succumb to the disease.  But there’s a lesson here that we can all share…there’s a Present of Presence ~ a peaceful, loving, nurturing moment that we can gratefully choose every single moment of our lives.

Because being happy in the moment is a gift that we don’t always give ourselves or others and I think it’s about time we did.  So on this Sunday, take a few minutes to look at the clouds/sky and the trees.  Breathe in the beautiful air that Mother Nature swirls around us.  Notice the gratitude of being alive.  Lay down your worries and fears for a few moments and shine your heartlight for all to see.

This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24.

Shine On!

xo