Tag Archive | sunset photo

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

 

 

 

Self-Love Lesson From A Buck

patience

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender;
it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
– Stephen Covey

In the rush to live our lives, we sometimes force ourselves to go, go, go and we miss out on the lessons that we can learn when we are patient with ourselves and others.  It is in truly embracing all of our qualities, both good and bad, when we invest in ourselves to empower our lives and to improve ourselves.  Taking the time needed to hold our pain and to look within our whole selves to tenderly embrace what is here right now makes all the difference.  To embrace another person’s spirit even when we are not in agreement is to ignite self-awareness in ourselves.

It has been written that ‘time heals all wounds’ and that what we criticize in another person is what we ourselves criticize in ourselves.  To become forgiving of what we dislike in another is to forgive ourselves for the same.  We are whole.  Our soul selves encompass all traits that we recognize in another person and it is what we do with those traits is what matters.  We can choose to forgive them and ourselves for what we deem faults.  We can choose to recognize examples of kindness, patience and love or we can choose to concentrate on pain, suffering and wrongdoing.  It is our choice in how we view ourselves and the world around us.

But to be patient with ourselves, grows our souls, our minds and our hearts in a way like no other.  Sure, I am equally guilty of rushing myself to ‘get over’ painful situations and to drudge on with life trying to find the mercy of kindness without giving myself time to mourn what could be and what truly is in my life.  I’ve tried to ‘get over’ situations that were or were not within my control quickly so that I could feel better.  However, I am finding that to patiently experience what is here and now is the key I forgot I possessed; the key that I didn’t realize opened my heart, mind and soul to a deeper place of understanding and self-growth.

I love this quote and thought perhaps it was meant for others as well as me today.  I was blessed to greet the morning with a visitor with whom I locked eyes for quite awhile.  A six point buck stood majestically across the street from my house and we stood 20 feet apart gazing at each other while the world stood quietly in the morning light.  It was breath-taking for me to see his powerful build and to feel his eyes lock with mine in a few moments of pure energy.  He and I connected ~ it was as if we were meant to meet.  I watched him as he slowly turned and walked away, regally in his own time, across the yard and disappeared behind the trees.  It was a beautiful moment for me.  I looked up buck totem animal and found:

‘The buck is deeply aware of the seasons and adapts to all of them.  He will teach you to keep going through the storms of winter, filled with the joy of being who you are, until the green blades of grass again poke through the melting snow.  When the world seems cold, fill yourself with his sure knowledge that spring will always come again.    He will also teach you how to renew your energy and power, just as he regrows his antlers each season.  If you feel weakened by the challenges of life, breathe in his energy and feel the velvety antlers sprouting as your power returns in full.  Then lift up your chin and show the world who you are, the beautiful and majestic buck.’  here

So please, take time each and everyday to be like the buck as in time, your power returns in full ~ lift up your chin and show the world who you are, a powerful, beautiful and majestic soul who is loved.

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  My heartfelt gratitude to BAngel for the photo.

Love and Light

lovelight

I wish you…Love & Light.

I have missed you dear friends.  I apologize for writing so sporadically these past few weeks and for not having visited you much either.  A friend signed a note to me recently with the above “I wish you Love and Light” and I just thought I would pass it along.  For to me, it is a sentiment close to my heart and one that I wish for all of us.

Our life journeys are not always easy and they don’t always go as planned.  To let go of expectations, of desires and of wants is a difficult lesson to learn and one I am now learning.  To let go and enjoy the wonder of the present moment is what I remind myself through blogging and one that I hope always shines through to you.

Each day, we have a choice.  Each moment, we can choose happiness, gratitude and love.  Those are the important parts of life I think.  The rest is all fluff, necessary fluff as we need to have shelter, food and clothing, but fluff nonetheless.  For our legacy here is love.  How we made others feel by being our real selves and how we made a difference in someone else’s life.  It’s being present with ourselves and with others.  Finding time to connect, to love, to be grateful and to fill the world with our shining love.

Perhaps I am a dreamer.  I’ve been known to wear rose-colored glasses and not see reality as such.  Certainly, I’ve learned quite a few lessons in my life from my experiences with enduring breast cancer, grief and many other things that I don’t wish to recall at this time.  But I’ve always been able to find the sunny side of the journey.

It’s a choice to find the sunshine, the moon and the stars.  It’s a choice to be happy and to go on when life throws us curve balls that we just didn’t want to see coming.  It’s a time of growth when we have to change course.  But I am here to tell you that you can do it.  Sometimes we need to step outside ourselves to find our footing again on this path of life.  It’s rocky at times as many of you already know.  Smooth sailing is not always good as it doesn’t give us a chance to spread our wings and learn to fly.

“When you come to the edge of all that you know,

you must believe one of two things:

either there will be ground to stand on,

or you will be given wings to fly.”

– O.R. Melling, The Summer King

May you remember the above quote this week as you journey into the month of October.  May love and light surround you every step of the way.

Shine On!
xo

Look Up! An Angelic Cloud

2014-07-25 20.11.24

We took a drive last night and got caught by a small bridge opening up ~ so I hopped out of the car to stand on the bridge while we waited for 3 boats to go through and took this photo.  What an amazing sky we experienced and this iPhone 5 photo doesn’t begin to do justice to the rainbow colors in the sky.  But you get the peaceful beauty of the moment, don’t you?

Shine On!

xo

Intense Sunset

boatsunset

The sun has set on the life of a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since I was 14.  My heart grieves, huge heaping tears which wrack my body from my core, erupting in gasps, tears and a very snotty nose.  I am so very sad although I am very grateful that he is finally at peace.  For you see, he had terminal cancer and he just wasn’t ever going to get better.  I hadn’t seen him in a few years, but we’d kept in touch via his family.  I knew bits and pieces from his Mom and his family and although he never answered any of the cards I sent him, I knew he got them and I hoped that they made him smile.

For the one thing I’ve learned since my own Dad’s death is that we are all human.  We have foibles.  We’ve made choices that perhaps in hindsight, we regret.  But there are always those things that shine in our lives as well.  For those whom we leave behind, we leave moments of grandeur, of beauty, of brilliance.  Perhaps it is a hug when truly needed, perhaps it was a connection when we felt alone.  Perhaps it was simply being a friend when friendship was needed.  These sometimes fleeting gestures are what our memories hold onto when the sun has set for them and all that is left for us here on Earth are the memories.

CAngel and I had a long history.  He helped me through some tough times and had soft spot in his heart even though he could appear blustery.  Perhaps that’s what happens as we age.  There were shared memories that we held and his kindness to me has never been forgotten.  He was there for me when no one else could reach me.  He dared to brave my stubbornness at a time when I had fooled all the others.  He cared as a friend, reached out to hold my hand and walk with me when I didn’t want to walk.

I loved his sweet soul even though his human self got lost.  The layers of time didn’t help him.  The demons that he faced at times were too much.  I hope that his children will be reminded of that sweet side of their Dad for it was there ~ he had a way of being goofy when he wanted to get you to laugh ~ Beaker from the Muppets always reminds me of him as his rendition was a guaranteed giggle from me.  We went to the Prom together many moons ago and his protectiveness still lingers when I recall that time in my life.  He watched out for me.  He wasn’t afraid to be silly in order to get a smile ~ he was carefree and easy back then.  He laughed, he smiled, he loved life.

I used to babysit for his sisters whom I always felt close to even though they were younger than me.  CAngel taught me that when you throw magazines into the fireplace that they make the fire change into beautiful colors.  We once used all of magazines in the house, watching the fire burn blues, greens and golds for hours.  I’m certain his parents had a lot of ash to clean out of the fireplace after we were through.  I remember laughing with him often.  Thinking of him now brings a smile to my face for I am grateful for having known him.  The move Ferris Bueller reminds me of him.  He would have been a perfect Ferris.

He came into my life at the perfect time.  We always remained friends even though I hadn’t seen him in years.  If he had called and asked me for a favor, I would have helped him.  Considering we both endured cancer although different kinds, I wanted him to find the lessons that I learned and to be able to walk away from it with grace, dignity and the ability to find the presents in being present.  I cannot say if he found those gifts since he wasn’t able to speak anymore.  I can only say that I wish I’d done more, sent more cards, pushed to chat with him even though he hadn’t wanted to talk.  Selfish of me, I know.

He leaves behind a loving family ~ a caring ex-wife and 3 beautiful children.  They now have a Daddy in Heaven which breaks my heart.  His parents, his sisters and their families all feel the burden of this sadness.  His Mom in particular who battled cancer herself and has been my rock for years, will have to find peace now in knowing that her only son resides in the Heavens.

Tears continue to plop onto my keyboard as I write this post.  Big, fat drops of sadness.  I knew it would make me sad when I learned he had passed away, but I wasn’t ready for the intensity of my feelings.  Does it make me feel my own mortality?  Does it make me realize the pricelessness of my family’s love, my sons’ hugs and my husband’s kisses?  Does it make a difference in my daily life?  Does it remind me how fleeting these moments and days and years can be?  Does it allow me the space in my heart to weather any storms that may come my way because I am still here?  Does it erase the excuses that I put up in front of myself everyday ~ too busy to reach out, too busy to exercise, too busy to fill in the blank?  Yes. Yes. Yes.

I send out love to CAngel ~ may you find peace ~ “You Are Worth It” as you once told me. 

Rest in Peace dear friend.  You are loved by many.

Shine On!

xo

Daily Prompt: Intense!

Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us INTENSE.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/daily-prompt-intense/

Shine On!

76342556_If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand. – Unknown

Is there someone you could say this to?  Do you know someone who would say it to you?  I saw this quote and had to make it a card today because I loved it so much.  It’s Friday ~ isn’t today the perfect day to say this to your loved one?  Come on, you know it would totally make their day!

In the meantime, just know this one’s for you ~ from me!

Because YOU make me smile!

My hands are full of stars!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  Do you like this quote?  Want to make your own card?  Click here and be my guest!