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The Tough Part of Being Present With Dementia

thetoughpartofbeingpresentwithdementia

I’ve told you before that I have had loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  If you’re a caregiver or relative of a loved one with the disease, you probably understand more than most people.  Because it’s hard when they get confused.  It’s unsettling when they live in the past.  It’s sad when they don’t remember.  It’s a gift you give to yourself and to them when you just stay present in their world, however it is, in that moment.  But the part that hurts the most is when they admit that they know that they’re confused.

To me, that’s the toughest part.  To witness their fear, their grief, their feeling of being lost when they blip into the present with that knowing.  I’ve written about it before here.  As many times as we’ve had these moments of realization that they vocalize, it’s still just as heartbreaking to me as it was the first time we talked about the disease.

I can fool myself into thinking that they are just in their own world, safe and sound, knowing that they are loved.  For the most part, that’s how they live.  But for the blessed few times that they are able to articulate that for this moment in time, they know that they are confused, that the words that they want to say are fleeting through their minds at rapid speeds and don’t always make it to be spoken, well, it just haunts me.

I visit a memory care facility often and have become friendly with many of the sweet residents.  We interact during every one of my visits and I have come to enjoy their company as well.  Each with her own distinct personality.  Each with her own level of understanding.  Each and every one simply wanting to be noticed, to enjoy human interaction and to be shown love.

Some are like the forgotten souls who simply exist and are cared for by strangers who love them.  Some of them don’t get many visitors which makes me sad.  Some have daily visitations from family who they don’t always remember.  Some have bonded with the other ‘golden girls’ with whom they share meals and others are simply existing separately.

The levels of understanding and interaction are as varied as the people themselves and with memory care illnesses, they are changeable at a moment’s notice.  One must continue to flow with the present state of mind and ability in order to connect with them.  Being a caregiver requires incredible patience and caring.  It’s an exhausting job, but one that is so gratifying.

I’m sorry I’ve gone off topic again. The words simply flow out of me when I write about the disease.  For it’s not just my loved ones who have it, but an increasing number of people in my life now.  There’s a bond among those who have loved ones with the disease.  We understand what we’re enduring and we share the ups and downs of the journey as it unfolds.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia keeps us on our toes with its ever changing fluidity.  One piece that remains constant is The Presents of Presence and the peace that comes with our choice to embrace this precious moment in time, every time.

Shine On!

xo

Horse Therapy With Peyo

Above is a moving video of a special horse who brings healing to those in France.  Take a moment and feel the peace within spreading the smile on your face – especially when the patient and horse touch their heads together.

This is how I feel when I ride – an incredible peace and healing washes over me – especially when after riding, my horse and I snuggle similarly.  It’s a precious shared moment of connection!  It ignites my heartlight!

Shine On!

xo

A New Year Rabbit Rabbit Welcome 2019

Rabbit NYDay

Welcome 2019 and let’s start this fine new year with our Rabbit Rabbit!

I want to thank you all for your kindness in the past and I look forward to making memories with all of you in 2019!  May you embrace the year ahead and write your twelve new chapters any way you wish!

Keep shining your heartlights to light up our world with love!  I believe in you!  We are all connected!  I wish you a year filled with abundant blessings!

Shine On!

xo

Christmas Is About Presence, Not Presents

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As we get older, our Christmas list becomes less about store bought gifts and more about those priceless feelings of togetherness.  I’ve found it’s the simplicity of spending quality time with family and friends that means more to me than anything else.  As the title above reads, it’s about PRESENCE and not PRESENTS.

Being present during the holidays helps to encourage and grow feelings of joy, peace and good cheer.  It’s sharing time and connecting with people.  It’s the simple joys of goodwill that we foster when we get out of the commercialism of Christmas and into the basic feeling of love to all.

Enjoy the simplicity of Christmas presence this year.  Open your hearts with gratitude for this moment in time.  Be thankful for each and every blessing and share your heartlights with all whom you encounter.  Life is good, even when it’s difficult and a loving presence is all we truly have.

Much love and Christmas Blessings to All!

Shine On!

xo

Dad’s Christmas Legacy To Me

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My Dad loved Christmas and his love for the holidays colored my childhood and has stayed with me.  He would put up the Christmas tree complete with twinkling white lights and play Christmas music throughout the holiday season and beyond.  Many times the artificial tree would stay up past little Christmas (January 6th) simply because it brought him peace and joy.

Our childhood home was full of nostalgia – precious ornaments from his childhood that he’d inherited from his parents.  Our stockings were hung by the fireplace of his childhood home where we also grew up, filled with many of his family heirlooms.  The manger we had was his parents’ and the old train which circled the tree was his childhood treasure.

I remember him sitting quietly in the living room with the only lights on being those on the tree and Christmas music playing on the stereo.  In that serenity he would relax into a calm that was enticing and I find myself often during the Christmas season doing exactly the same.  There’s something about Christmas that brings gratitude to the surface, brings magic to the air and healing to those who seek peace.

I remember his father’s favorite song was Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas which as a child, I learned to play on the piano.  My Dad would pass by as I was practicing sometimes and request it and of course, I would play it for him.  While I didn’t understand why he wanted me to play his father’s favorite carol and not his own, as an adult and a parent and missing my deceased Dad, I understand.

Christmas can be full of hustle and bustle and sometimes fraught with family plans that keep us busier than we’d like.  My remedy is simply to carve out some special quiet time to feed your soul with the goodness of love.  Hold your loved ones close.  Remember those who have passed.  Be grateful for all that you have.  Enjoy the magic of little ones and Santa, but remember the blessings that His birth has given to us.  Lift your voice to sing those carols and hymns.  Find your childhood nostalgia and feel the blessings.  Look around at those whom you encounter and smile.  Share the kindness in your heart.  Embrace those that may not have family nearby.  Open your homes and hearts.  Love finds a way to heal us all when we allow it.  Angels are everywhere – just keep looking!

May you find peace, healing, joy and hope during the Christmas season this year.  May you take the needed time to relax and to sit quietly watching the twinkling lights with a heart full of the magic of this special season.  May you find comfort in nostalgia and strolling down memory lane.  May you find the stars shine brighter for you in the night sky, twinkling their messages of love to you and yours.

May you keep your heartlights shining for all to see!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

A Book To Read: Courage

couragebykarenlang

I met Karen Lang through the blogosphere many moons ago.  What stood out for me was her immense compassion, kindness and her ability to connect through blogging.  As I got to know her story through her blog, I realized that she had lived through experiences that I never had and that her healing being was powerful.

Recently, I picked up her book finally after many years of thinking I should read it because even though it is sadly about the passing of her son Nathan and the grief which followed, I felt drawn to read her story.  What ensued was my determination to write a post about her incredible book and her journey through grief after the death of her son.

Because what I found was that her book is a universal healing experience, even though my life journey is different.  I found myself reading and learning so much that I was unable to put her book down until I finished it.  I cuddled on my couch, her book in my lap and allowed the day to unfold as I read and I am so grateful that I did.

Karen’s ability to write as if we were friends, sitting together on a warm summer’s day as she shared her story drew me in right from the start and kept me with her throughout the book as she allowed the layers of her journey to unfold.  Karen offers healing to those who read her book and shares her experiences with honesty, vulnerability and presence.

There’s a beauty within all of us that we can embrace or disconnect from as life’s experiences change us.  It takes great courage to walk our life’s path and to accept and forgive what we cannot understand…and it takes healing to find the peace and love within again.  Karen has done all that and more as you will find when you read her inspirational book of Courage.

You will love her blog Living In This Moment.

Here is her author page as well Karen Lang author page.

I highly recommend her book even if you have not suffered the death of a child (and if you have, this is your time to be supported on the road to healing).  Her book doesn’t need to be read in one sitting either as she offers help after every chapter which also truly aided me.  It’s just that I couldn’t put her book down, but I am keeping it in my library to reread again for when I need grief support.  Yes, it’s truly that lovely of a book!

It’s Sunday, a day of family in our home.  I believe we’re going to get the Christmas tree today since the weather is chilly but not wet out.  May you wrap your hearts around your loved ones.  May you remember those who have passed and may you find gratitude in being here in this very moment – The Presents of Presence.

Shine On!

xo

December 1st Rabbit Rabbit

december1strabbitrabbit

The holidays are coming as December 1st heralds the way!  Please take the opportunity to spread peace and love this month, beginning today.  Notice how the rabbits are touching and lighting the way for connections.  You can do this too – shine your heartlights!  Take the time to be with family and friends.  Give of yourself with infinite kindness.  You matter.  You make a difference.  You are extraordinary!

I hope you remembered to say Rabbit Rabbit yesterday without my reminder!  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to post this on time, but I do pray you have the most abundant month full of love, light, caring, health, wealth, holiday spirit and joy!

Shine On!

xo