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Rabbit Rabbit August First

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I can’t believe the date!  August 1st already?!  Time has flown by this summer.  I remember my Mom’s family always saying that time speeds up as we get older.  But here we are again dear friends!  The first of the month and you know what that means, don’t you?

Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit!

So say it with me and enjoy all the blessings the month ahead brings to you and yours!

Shine On!

xo

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Take A Lesson From Alzheimer’s And Dementia

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I’m a big proponent of passing along what I’ve learned through my various experiences.  Not to preach, but to connect with others who are enduring similar situations.  My blog is called The Presents of Presence which is all about being in the moment.  But as we all can attest, not every moment feels like a gift.  Sometimes we feel like we’ve been kicked instead.

With Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the lesson for me is clearly meant for my blog.  It’s in being in the present and finding the good in the now.  Finding the gift in connecting with others, no matter how brief it is, no matter how small it feels.

In my experience with my loved ones, I’ve learned that we can relax and just be and that this is, for the most part, how they now live their lives.  There’s almost like an amnesia from the dark past experiences that evaporates.  It is almost with childish simplicity that they live with the disease.  There’s not a lot of wondering what’s next or what happened before this very moment, except when sundowners hits.  It’s a focus on what’s right here that counts.  They live most fully in the now without reservation.

Think about that for a moment.  Can you wrap your mind around that?

What that means is no holding onto grudges, no revisiting conversations, no worrying about the future, no obsessing over the past, no self-criticism, no blaming someone else, I could go on and on.

It’s about, acceptance for the here and now in whatever form it takes.

I admire the people I know who have the disease for the courage to accept and be with the present at all times as I think that would be a hardship for many of us.  Yet, by their freedom, they are role models for us all.  Yes, I understand that they didn’t choose this disease.  Yes, I understand how heartbreaking it is when our loved ones have it.  But there’s a choice to mourn the loss by the disease or to find the positive in accepting what we deem unacceptable with the disease.

For me, I’ve got to find the positive and if that means, I have to change my way of thinking to expand it to gratitude for learning how to really find The Presents of Presence in every part of life’s journey and not just give it lip service, then so be it.

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

My Friend Lost Her Mom

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A friend of mine’s Mom recently passed away.  Today is the funeral.  It will be hard to say goodbye to a sweet, kind woman who lovingly raised her  family and whom I knew well.

When we lose a parent, no matter the relationship, it’s hard.  On many levels, it’s complicated and the tears that fall are mixed with so many emotions.  Even though we may know that the end is coming, it is still seemingly a shock to us when it happens and we’re left broken.  Even when one can say, She lived a good life and it was time for her to go home to God, it doesn’t change the fact that she has passed away and is no longer here on earth.  I don’t like to hear that saying.  I can’t help myself.  I know people mean well when they say it, but it still just feels wrong to me for some sensitive reason that I don’t think I can actually name.

I’ve lost a parent so I understand and now at this age, other friends have lost parents as well.  So we have formed a group of parentless adult children who are helping each other to endure the sadness.  We support each other.  We hug with the understanding of how it feels.  We help each other through the hard times.

Isn’t that what life is about?

Hug your loved ones today please…

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