Tag Archive | love

The Gift In Ordinary Moments

thegiftinordinarymoments

The other day, I shared that a friend’s Mama recently passed.  Although we hadn’t known each other for more than a few years, what we packed into those few years was a lifetime of friendship.  You know, when you bond instantly and there’s no rhyme or reason to it.  It just happens effortlessly?

I can’t seem to stop the tears when I think about the good times we had and I just realized why…Because I am grateful for the ordinary moments we shared that ended up being extraordinary.  Let me repeat that…

Ordinary moments we shared, ended up being extraordinary

There’s a preciousness to ordinary life that we forget in our haste to be special.  There’s a gift in being present without fanfare, the gift of just sitting around talking or sharing a meal that when we look back, it wasn’t special, it wasn’t a hoopla holiday.  It was the ordinary mealtime, but because we were all together, it was special.

Am I making sense?

It’s the simple things, the ordinary meals that are like home to us.  The caring, the camaraderie, the joy in just being together in the routine setting makes for a precious memory.  We don’t need the hoopla all the time.  Yes, hoopla holidays are special.  I have no doubts about that!  But the preciousness of being outweighs them in my book.

Perhaps I’m feeling melancholy today, noticing the simple pleasures that surround us in everyday life that we sometimes overlook.  Being in that moment of presence is just so important.  Don’t you think?

Shine On!

xo

 

 

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Sundowners and Alzheimer’s Disease

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One of the challenges with having a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease is sundowners.  Sundowners is a symptom of Alzheimer’s and Dementia whereby your loved one becomes more confused mentally towards the end of the day (hence the name).  There are wide variations of sundowners including utter confusion, wandering, aggression, shadowing (meaning they follow you around), repeatedly asking questions that they do not remember that they’ve asked and rapid mood changes which can range from crying (depression) to fear to stubbornness to restlessness and even to rocking back and forth in an effort to self-soothe.  Not all of the symptoms of sundowners occur every night, nor are they the same for every person.  I’ve written about it before here in case you are interested.

My Aunt suffered from sundowners which was hard on her and on her caregivers.  It always seemed to increase in intensity when the moon was full, when we changed to/from daylight savings time and when the seasons changed.  I think there’s more to outside forces than we may think!

My Mom has occasional bouts of sundowners as well, but confusion is her main symptom.  We were having a conversation recently after 6pm which was lovely when suddenly, her knowledge base fell completely out of her head.  We had been discussing my children, her grandchildren, whom she knew by name, by age and was interactively talking about them when suddenly she interrupted me,

I have to ask you.  Do you have children?

Yes, Mom.  I have children.  You have grandchildren!

Oh my, I didn’t know you were old enough to have children.  How many do you have?  Do they live with you?

I have to say that years ago, I would have been utterly distraught to hear her ask me that question right in the middle of talking about my children when she was fully cognizant of their presence, knowing who they are and having seen them recently.  But I have learned that Alzheimer’s is sneaky and can interrupt a loved one’s knowledge base in a split second, rendering them unaware.  So I simply continued the conversation with her, telling her about my children and reminding her gently of their names.

Suddenly, it was like she was back in her mind and she began reminiscing about them with memories of their childhood that she knew.  We laughed together and enjoyed the connection.  This went on for a bit when suddenly the blip happened again and we had to begin all over.  Then at one point, she was thinking that I was her sister and was asking me if I remembered certain things about her childhood.  But all along the conversation, one part was perfectly clear – my Mom loves me, trusts me and knows my name for which I am ever grateful!  That is the piece of peace that stays with me long after confusing conversations and even throughout them.  My Mom loves me and knows how much I love her – what more can you ask for?

I have to remind myself that it’s just part of the disease.  As I’ve written before, when we stay calm, we can flow with whatever comes up.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this place of peace and acceptance.  I had to get the belief that this isn’t how it should be out of my head and simply accept and be with what is.

I keep her sense of calm foremost in my head.  I keep conversations light and happy.  I do answer her questions with truth when she asks, if I think that they will not hurt her.  But as you have seen, Swinging With Mom sometimes we have to repeat the truth which is hard.  It takes patience, love and a sense of humor to love everyone and Mom is here to remind me to strengthen the bonds of love and acceptance for all who are in my life.  Thank you Mommy!

Shine On!

xo

 

Honeybee Spirit Totem Animal Message

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I thought that yesterday’s post about my 3 encounters with the honeybee might interest you as to what I found the message to be for me.  Perhaps you’ve had a visit from a honeybee as well, so I thought I’d share what I found from here.

When the honey-bee spirit animal appears to you, it’s calling your attention to your everyday miracles. Just look at your honey-bee totem which is so small yet able to achieve so much.

The honey-bee symbolism is also of community and teamwork. Use your talents to help humanity and make your personal contributions to change the world for the better.

Add your voice to the collective consciousness. Raise the vibrations of the world you live in.

Wow!  Who knew the honeybee was such a powerful totem?  And as I begin my next chapter into uncharted territory, I am grateful to that sweet little honeybee’s message.  I love our community of bloggers and the friendships we have made.  I am hoping now that we are transitioning into our new home, I can begin again to write, to read, to comment and to grow our community.

Please join me in raising the vibrations of the beautiful world we live in!  It’s time to spread our wings, band together and fly like the darling honeybee!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

A Honeybee Came To Me

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Recently my life has changed dramatically.  Divorce is final, we’ve closed on our home and we have moved to a new place.  So much upheaval physically, emotionally and mentally, but as I joke when people ask how we are faring, I say we are still upright which to me means we are still here, still walking on our paths and still getting up every morning to greet the dawn with gratitude.  Of course, that’s my description of what upright means!

I’ve continued my tradition of quiet prayer over coffee outside in the mornings before anyone else is up in my house.  Luckily for me, we have a small yard where I can sit and think among Mother Nature’s gifts.  While watching the birds, the small chipmunk who lives nearby who wanders around the patio and listening to the gentle awakenings of nature, I say my prayers and talk with God.

Friday morning began as usual, quietly sipping my coffee and feeling the gentle breeze blow the weeping willow nearby when suddenly a honeybee alighted on my shirt.  She didn’t scare me as she walked on my sleeve.  I looked at her and realized she was a honeybee with no stinger to injure me.  When was the last time I’d seen a honeybee so close up and why had she alighted on me?  Immediately, I thought that she was a spirit totem animal as I’ve had many instances when animals deliver messages to me.  So I looked it up and read what I could find.

Saturday morning began my quiet routine and again, the honeybee came to visit.  This time she landed on the cell phone in my hand.  I watched as she gingerly walked on my phone for about 5 minutes, just walking across it in circles, looking like she was sniffing it as if she were a dog.  Again, she made me smile and as quickly as she had appeared, she flew away.

Saturday night, I was outside again, enjoying the night sky, talking on the phone with a dear friend and who do you think came to visit again?  Yup!  My friendly honeybee alighted directly on my arm.  Her feet tickled my skin, but I remained still as she walked down my upper arm to my elbow and then flew away.

However, this morning, there was no visit, which I have to admit made me sad, as I was enjoying our little morning routine.  With spirit totem animals, there are messages to deliver via Mother Nature’s children and certainly, when we are aware and notice, the messages are delivered.

Have you ever been visited by an animal?  Do you know anything about totem spirit animals?  When was the last time you saw a honeybee?

Please share!

Shine On!

xo

Desiderata

desiderata

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

May Your Easter Be Filled With JOY!

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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

Lying and Alzheimers Disease

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If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, you’ve probably told a fib or two, or perhaps better said, you’ve stretched the truth in order to spare them pain.  I know I have.  I was recently talking with a friend whose Momma is dear to my heart and we were discussing how we’ve stretched the truth at times in order to keep our loved ones’ minds at peace.  My friend was sharing how she worries about the tall tales we have used to cover up the truth when faced with uneasy questions.  The subject of the Good Book and Judgement Day came up.

Do you think we’d be forgiven for the lies, even though they were said with a loving heart and in the hopes of calming the confused minds of our loved ones?

What do you think?

Please don’t misunderstand my intentions.  I’m not advocating lying.  I’m simply putting it out there for discussion among those who are in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia community.  I want to know if you have fibbed and what you think about it.  Let me clarify, I didn’t just decide to fib on a whim.  My intentions were to soothe their confused minds and to give them peace and let them be happy in the present moment.  They have grieved enough in this lifetime.

For me, I have fibbed when I felt it necessary to not cause my loved ones repeated emotional pain.  I have measured and taken my cues from my loved ones’ emotional status when they’ve asked me hard questions repeatedly about someone – for example, “Where is he/she?”  Instead of telling the truth outright, “They passed away,” (and you’ve known that, but you can’t remember it), I’ve learned to ask them, “Where do you think he/she is?”  Many times, I have gone along with whatever they are thinking which has brought them peace.  I’ve also been known to answer in vague terms, such as, “I know if she/he could be here, they would be.  They are looking out for you still.  Yes, they are at home,” (but I’m meaning their spiritual home and the confused mind is thinking the physical home).

I’ve found that being in the moment with loved ones with memory problems is hard when we know the reality, but easier, when we put their hearts first.  There are times when they know their loved ones have passed away and the tears of sadness that ensue are heart-wrenching for us all.  They remember that they died and the sadness is all-encompassing even though they had forgotten that they knew.  There are times when they ask for validation and I am careful to make sure I check to see what they are remembering before I answer.  For if they remember that so and so passed away, it is nothing but an insult to lie at that point.  Truth given with love soothes the confused mind many times.  And yet, at others, there is no soothing truth.  It is simply a moment filled with anguish and peace is nowhere to be found.

I have learned that changing the subject often helps in some situations.  Repeatedly going down that sad path of loss can be detoured when we change the subject drastically.  Heaven knows, I’ve interrupted that path often with the offer of a cookie or a Hershey’s kiss or just by telling them, “I love you so much!” and following up with a hug.  Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t.  But it’s worth a try.

I know there are different degrees of memory loss as it is a progressive disease.  Even moment to moment, I have seen clarity, then confusion, changing in a few minutes span of time.  It’s a roller coaster ride sometimes and hard to manage for all of us.  I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for them when thoughts can be fleeting, words elusive and memory blurred or simply out of reach.

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you fib sometimes?  Do you have any tips for redirecting conversations?  What works for you and your loved ones?  What doesn’t work?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo