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!
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!
With the uncertainty of life, we let go when we have exhausted all means of control. Sometimes it takes us longer to finally come to the conclusion that there are simply parts of life that we must allow for we cannot stop them. For a planner like me, it’s always felt unacceptable. Searching my brain, I would try to come up with endless ways to make whatever situation better for me, my family, my friends ~ relentlessly trying to improve a situation that I found unacceptable because it was causing someone else or me pain.
But there are times now, after sleepless nights of fret, worry and planning, that I am learning, albeit slowly, to let go and to allow God and the Universe to proceed. What I’ve learned in the wee hours of the morning is to go with the flow, release, let the river take its course and have faith that as long as I can put my head on the pillow in peace, knowing I have done all with a loving heart, there is nothing more I can do.
However, it’s hard ~ this letting go. So I am learning to let go and let God ~ and let Him in.
I think it’s human nature to believe we’ve got this, we can figure it out and make it work. But we forget that there is God, the Universe and the Laws of Attraction who also carry us when we allow them to work their ‘magic’ as well.
Being in the present moment is a life lesson worth learning for me. I am watching my Mom struggle with Alzheimer’s and being in the present moment with her. Sometimes her present moment isn’t ‘reality’ but wherever her brain is at the time. So to honor her, we gather in her present moment and support her, enjoying whatever gifts we can.
It’s a shift of thinking that has taken me a long time to accept and to process in my own brain. However, love is accepting and above all, I love my Mom. So I accept where she is at any given moment. I’ve come a long way baby, but I still have much to learn.
Isn’t that the way life school is anyway? Learn, practice and love?
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.
Fifteen years ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At times, it seems as if it were yesterday. At others, it seems a lifetime ago. But as any cancer survivor knows, we never forget the diagnosis which begins this journey.
So today, I celebrate with gratitude the triumph of still being here to enjoy my life with my children. Even though I celebrate this milestone alone today, I have many angels in my life to whom I look with loving gratitude for all that they have done for me throughout the years. I hold dearly those memories of loving support and kindness which were gifted to me. Indeed, sometimes it takes a village.
My life has changed by leaps and bounds since that fateful day. I’ve overcome 10 + surgeries, chemotherapy, baldness, radiation and countless scares that the cancer had returned. I’ve loved and lost and let go. But what remains is my faith, my courage and my choice to stay here and fight for my life.
I’ve learned so many lessons by enduring cancer, ones that perhaps I wish I’d never learned, but yet I am grateful all the same.
So on this New Year’s Eve Day, please celebrate with me as I celebrate with you. Cheers with gratitude to the lessons learned in the past 15 years and cheers to another year filled with light, love, health, prosperity and happiness for all!
There is a calmness
to a life lived in gratitude
– a quiet joy.
~Ralph H. Blum
Gratitude for what is, what was and what may be. This is how I live my life. I am grateful for all the experiences, even those which have been sad, devastating and hard, as well as those experiences where I have searched and found the ‘good’ in what initially I viewed with suffering in my heart. We have all heard, ‘time heals all wounds.’ But is that really true? I am undecided, but yet, I feel that there is a choice in how we view the wounds as time goes by. We can choose to have the wounds define us or empower us. We are free to choose and it is in our choice, we continue to find peace and calmness in our lives.
So today on Thanksgiving, may we look upon the day with gratitude, love, calmness and joy. View our world with peace in our hearts and allow healing love to surround us.
As always, I am grateful to be here with you, to connect with you and to find the joy in the moment with you. Let’s share gratitude for The Presents of Presence together!