Tag Archive | family

May Your Easter Be Filled With JOY!

mayyoureasterbefilledwithjoy

May Your Easter Be Filled With JOY!

Easter is a natural time of rebirth.  As Spring begins its season of growth, so do we!  Gratitude for blessings and delighting in the wondrous emergence of flowers and trees budding in the Spring flows joy to our hearts!  How lovely for the change of seasons!

May you enjoy a few moments of quiet today to fill your heart with love and gratitude.  Pray, meditate and just enjoy this moment in time.  Fill your day with love, reach out to family and friends in kindness and be gently reminded of the great gift that is today.

May joy be yours dear friends!

Shine On!

xo

Sundowning and Alzheimer’s Disease

sundowning

Confusion, extreme confusion, often comes during late afternoon or at night for those with Alzheimer’s and so that’s why it’s called sundowning.  Lately, we’ve seen it come and go at all times of day, with no predictable time frame.

Watching a loved one fret and worry is exhausting for the loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia and for those of us who care for them.  As the mind whirls into a vortex of unpredictability, thoughts firing at random, words tumbling out nonsensically, a helplessness sinks in and an urgency to help in any way possible to allow for peace and tranquility.

When sleep can be encouraged, it seems to dilute the chaos in their minds, allowing our loved one a little peace.  Changing the subject to one of love and beauty helps as well, but sometimes that button cannot be unpushed, the channel cannot be changed and we all whirl in the frenzy for a bit.

Have you ever experienced this as a caregiver of a loved one?

It’s not easy to remain untouched by the emotionality of the situation, let alone what is unknowingly coming out of their mouth.  Thoughts flicker, reality surges and fades and my heart breaks wide open with sadness for I cannot even begin to fathom how hard this is for her, let alone for me.

This disease is just so hard and old age, as the adage goes, ‘ain’t for sissies.’

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

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

sayinggoodbyetoalovedone

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

Loving Someone With Alzheimer’s

 

alzheimersI have two close family members with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  Although we have been walking this path for over two years, the decline is beginning to show the ravages of the disease.  It’s a normal process I’m told that there are declines, progression of the disease and plateaus.  As with many diseases, its course is unpredictable and unfortunately, non-reversible.

I have made many friends through this journey.  Today I was speaking with another daughter of a Mom with Alzheimer’s.  Commiserating about our loved ones’ situations, we found solace in sharing our feelings about the disease without a cure.  A disease which is documented to be exponentially growing in the coming years, with the ability to even touch our own lives since many times, it is genetically carried.

How mind-blowing is that?  Yes, pun intended.

I read other bloggers who are touched by these diseases.  Caretakers, patients as well as doctors who are dedicated to finding a cure and making life better for those afflicted by this disease and their loved ones who wrestle heart-breakingly with the changes that come as the diseases progress.

Of course, I have much empathy and compassion for those who endure this disease, including my loved ones.  How could I not when I see as they move along this path?  I’m not saying it isn’t confusing or frustrating for those who have the diseases because I know that it is and frankly, I fear that it may strike me one day as well.  So I find myself always trying to go with the flow, to assure my loved ones that they are safe, all is well and to make sure that their lives are as lovely as I can make them.  And that sometimes, in itself, is a full time job.

But every once in awhile, there comes a time when it feels unbearable.  To watch a loved one’s mind slip away is heart-wrenching and I feel so incompetent and powerless to make things better for them.  When there come personality changes which may or may not last for long, but still sting because my loved ones perseverate over something or get angry because of something they believe (which may or may not be true), it’s hard to handle.  It’s difficult to manage and to let go of what is being said because in my heart, I know she doesn’t really mean what she is saying as she just doesn’t know because she has this disease.  But the words and the feelings, sting and pierce my heart anyway.  Probably because I still want her to be who I remember fondly and not the grouchy person who is so angry.

It has been said that when the full moon comes, our minds often are affected and surely, with this disease, I have found that theory to be true.  The coming full moon and eclipse may even be a double whammy in memory care facilities world-wide.  Who knows?

In any case, thank you for reading as the road through aging, isn’t for sissies, no matter how old you are!

Shine On!

xo

 

The Last Time

thelasttime

We never know when the last time will be.  There.  I said it or better, I wrote it.  It’s a fact that most of the time, we never know that this may be the last time for fill in the blank.

Look back on your life and you may find endings and beginnings that at precise time, you might have been unaware were endings and beginnings in the making.

For example, the last time you fed your baby a bottle or changed the diaper (because they started using a sippy cup or going ‘potty’ like a big kid).  Did you know that it would be last time for sure?  Perhaps you are relieved at this point, but maybe in the future, you will look longingly back at their childhood wondering where the time has flittered away?

We can say the same for all types of situations, circumstances and people.  There are a myriad of events that in hindsight we can deem ‘the last time’ which at the time, we didn’t know.

My point is simple:  be present in all of your experiences.  Enjoy this special moment even if it doesn’t feel special, but instead feels routine.  Not to fear ‘the last time’ but to know in your heart, peacefully in your soul, that if this distinct last time were really the last time, you have peace.

So kiss your loved ones hello and goodbye.  Make the extra effort to connect with people, places and animals.  Find that quiet loving presence in your heart and allow it to expand throughout your day.  Don’t allow an opportunity for kindness and connection to pass you by.  Sure, it takes effort to be present, but The Presents of Presence is most definitely worth it!

I’m a living example…and I know you are too!

Feel free to share your experiences with the last time.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Letting Go of Expectations

expectations

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Truthfully, it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to do it myself.  But I’d love to know if you do make resolutions and if you stick with them?  And if you are successful, would you let us all in on your secret?  Pretty please?

Because this year, I’m not making any resolutions in the traditional sense.  Instead, I plan to build on lessons I’ve learned and to expand them.  Does that sound confusing?  Well, let me try to explain.

For example, I have a hard time with expectations.  Perhaps it is unrealistic, but somehow I expect people to be kind and to communicate because that’s what I try to do.  However, my unmet expectations gave me so much unrest in 2016, that I am finally letting them go.  Just because communication is important to me, I realize that it may not be so important to others.  So I’m releasing that give and take expectation and just accepting the reality of the current situation.  I think it’s healthier for me and in 2017, that’s my goal!

Do you have certain expectations which fall short in your life?  How do you handle them?  If you have any advice, I’m open to reading any suggestions you may want to share.

May 2017 bring you peace, joy, health, wealth and love!

Shine On!

xo