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Friendship Lifts Us

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“The circles of women around us

weave invisible nets of love

that carry us when we’re weak

and sing with us when we are strong.”

A long time friend’s Mom passed away recently.  As the text went out to all the girls, letting us know, we rallied as we often do in the face of sadness.  Exactly one month later, we received the news that her Dad passed away.  Both parents in such a short period of time is devastating to me.  I can’t even imagine her pain and sadness.

We all feel her pain for we have parents too.  Some of us still have parents living and others have mourned the loss of our parents’ demises in all different forms.  But what keeps us together is the bond of friendship we share.

I find it interesting that the group who surrounds my friend is a mixture of girls from high school, but not all of us were close in high school.  But the willingness to be there for someone else in their time of need supersedes whatever our relationships once were (and there is even someone in the group who didn’t really know her, but yet is a staunch supporter of her in this time of need because she understands how it feels).

How much of a blessing is that?

So today I ask that you reach out, gather around, bond and connect with people.  Shine your heartlights.  Hold hands in friendship.  Be still.  Be kind.  Listen with an open heart.  Be the loving souls you are please.  I think our world could use a bit more of that everyday.

Shine On!

xo

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Broken And Fixed

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I wish I could remember where I found this posted on Facebook, but the story touched me in such a way that I had to share it with you.  Read on…

I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow sticks and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said “I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it.” I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you too show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.” That little baby was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow sticks around in the air because he didn’t understand what it was created to do which was “glow.” There are some people who will be content just “being” but some of us that God has chosen, we have to be “broken.” We have to get sick. We have to lose a job. We have to find our own path. We go through divorce. We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created. Trust me, I do not look like what I have been through.
You are loved, you are valuable, and you have a purpose.

Dear friends, when you’re asking that eternal question of Why?, perhaps you can find some relief in the story above and feel more at peace.  We see your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

Rest in Peace – Molly’s Movement

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My heartfelt sadness goes out to Joey Daley as his mom Molly passed away recently.  If you are a caregiver or have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, please take a few moments to watch the video below and listen to Joey.  Molly had Lewy Body Dementia for ten years and through Joey’s chronicles, he has shown us Molly’s true courage and his as well.

There are so many inspiring people in our world.  Thank you Joey and Molly for being you!  A mother’s love and support never die and they stay with us forever.

Shine On!

xo

When Our Parents Get Older

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I guess I’m on a theme considering yesterday’s post.  But as I told my friends, when you have chances to visit with your elderly parents and loved ones, stop and take photos and videos of them.  Having my father pass away years ago and not having a lot of videos of him nor voice recordings, it’s one of my regrets.  Sure, I have photos, but not many as we were all in the moment most of the time and didn’t take pictures.  Having learned this lesson the hard way, I now take more photos and videos and with the cell phones, it’s so easy to do!  I just thought I’d suggest this to you.  Honestly, this goes for all family members though as we have no guarantees for tomorrow!

Calling more often is a great way to stay in touch and to know that they are ok.  If you haven’t started this already, I suggest you begin slowly to make your calls more frequently so as not to surprise them with vigilant calling (unless it’s necessary).  You don’t want to make them think you are hounding them!  LOL  But it’s nice to reach out more often to your parents and other elderly relatives, isn’t it?  Getting older can be a lonely time for them.  Put some silly stories or anecdotes on a card by the phone so that when you call, you can keep the conversation flowing if you find that it gets quiet.

Sometimes parents or elderly loved ones don’t want to be a burden to their children/next generation so they hide the ugly parts so as not to worry you.  Be aware of the whole scenario at home.  Notice the relationship between your parents as frustration levels can surge as they get older.  Check the refrigerator to make sure that they are eating properly and look around to see if bills are piling up, if the place is clean, the heat is on, the water working etc.  Be attentive and be kind.  Old age ain’t for sissies and it’s hard to get older and begin to decline.  Nobody looks forward to this stage so please, be patient, be understanding and be careful with your words/actions.  Don’t criticize.  Help them if needed.

Not losing our patience with loved ones, especially our parents can be challenging, especially if they are living with us.  But that’s a subject for a different post.

Whatever you do, shine your heartlight and be aware of the love you give out and receive.  It’s there.  Sometimes you just have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to experience it.

Shine On!

xo

As Our Loved Ones Age

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Maybe it begins when you realize they are forgetting silly things that you know they well-know.  Maybe you notice when they aren’t as spry as they once were.  Maybe you sense that they aren’t following the conversations or involved in them as they once were.  Maybe you notice that the rituals (daily bed making for example) aren’t completed.  As time goes on, you realize that there’s a little hitch in your loved one’s routine, conversation,  eating habits, sleeping habits and such.

Many times we brush those moments off with the thought that hey, they are getting older.  But how many signs does one need in order to shake up our thinking and begin the growing alarm that our loved ones may need more help?

That is a personal issue for many people as we can easily explain away when we aren’t ready to deal with the issue at hand which is:  our loved ones are aging and need our help.  For some people, it’s a mind-blowing thought (especially if we are their children) when our loved ones have been people we looked up to, respected, revered and who took care of us.  To see them slide even a little can cause us to feel that tinge of panic or to altogether dismiss it because we can’t even begin to go there in our minds.

But let’s been honest – aging happens to us all, so we need to help when we can!  Because someday, it will be our turn.  So what do we do when we begin to notice more frequently, aging signs in our loved ones?

Tread lightly is my advice.  Know your loved one and approach the subject accordingly.  Some people welcome a little help.  Others vehemently oppose it.  Nobody likes someone else to point out that we are functioning at less than our normal ability so be kind as you broach the subject.  Be respectful.  Offer help in a non-judgemental way and allow the conversation to flow in a peaceful way.

Caveat:  unless you see imminent danger, then be proactive and respectful.

It’s not easy for your loved ones to admit that they are weakening or finding their normal routines more difficult.  Getting confused, losing objects and forgetting to eat are tell-tale signs that you need to step up your communication with them.  But do it in a non-threatening way.  Take more time with them when possible.  Encourage them to share with you how they are feeling and what they are noticing if anything.  Do it the way you would like ti done for you.

I have some friends who are noticing their loved ones showing signs of aging that are concerning to the well-being of their loved ones.  It’s not an easy task to flow into the parenting role of a loved one who is older than you.  It’s not always met with gratitude, but instead sometimes it is met with distrust.  It’s scary for your aging loved one to feel that they are not as strong as they once were.  Some fight it and others simply allow the aging process to flow easily.

My advice is to keep your eyes and ears open and to broach the subject with compassion.  Listen to your intuition too as many times we know, we just don’t want to see because it’s hard to think of our loved ones in that way.

I wish you well on this next chapter of your journey.  I’m here if you need a hand to hold as we’ve experienced this as well.  You are not alone.

Shine On!

xo

Returning The Favor

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Click here to see the episode about Carol Stark!

Today while on Facebook, I came across a post from Mike Rowe in my newsfeed for his new show called Returning the Favor.  I sat mesmerized and enthralled in this new show and in the concept of highlighting those who make connections, help others and do it all with love and understanding.

Click on Carol’s name above and take a look for yourself.  You are sure to be inspired!  We all have the ability to change lives and to help others.  When we shine our heartlights, we connect with love.  Take heart, there are lots of us out there like Carol!  Follow along with Mike’s new show!  I know I am going to be doing it!  What a feel good way to enjoy a tv show!

Shine On!

xo

The Present

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Today’s Daily Prompt of PRESENT was a no-brainer for me to write about because hello! it’s the name of my blog!  The Presents of Presence.

It’s been a HUGE PRESENT to write to you, to make connections with you and to get to know all of you!  I love our friendships and I feel grateful and honored to know you all!

Because if we look around, precious moments are presents and they are everywhere.  But they can be fleeting when we are not paying attention.  You know what I mean?  When you turn around and wonder, what in the world did I do yesterday?  Or how did this past week fly by?

We have a limited time on this earth dear friends.  Connections can be fleeting or lifelong.  Either way, we must take each and every special opportunity to savor them.

May you have a blessed day and continue to shine your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo