— to acknowledge that you see and are present.
If nothing else, the last 10 months have taught us that hugs, a pat or rub on the back, a kiss on the forehead or cheek, or a gentle touch on the hand connect and ground at a cellular level.
Something we learned early on with Mom, was that when left alone, the confusion and “alone-ness” grew and fear set in. Lesson learned: We never leave the room or enter without acknowledging our presence and hers. “Mom, I need to go to the other room. I’ll be right back…” touching a hand, knee or a shoulder, establishing connection and repeating the same when entering the room and saying, “I’m here, Mom.” and if needed, “What can I do for you? Do you need anything?” Giving space for their voice to be heard as well despite any limitations that day/moment holds for them — the frustrations are there, but, the gentle touch lessens the fear and anxiety in that moment.
Every day brings a few challenges… the adamant “no” in response to a question. The reframe a minute later that gives us a different answer and accomplishment. Gentle touches, hugs, an affirmation that we are in this together … and that our love for each other is boundless.
Our days are never dull. The connections are many and Mom’s face brightens with each connection and frankly, so does mine.
I think that after 10 months of being “home” I can finally say that we are “settled.” It’s been amazing to be back in the west and have the mountains in view every morning as the sun rises. There’s beauty in the sunrise and beauty in the sunset. I love the colors and the mountain as it transitions from season to season.
The leaves are changing color – and every time the wind blows, there’s a flurry of fluttering leaves that fall to the ground in every yard.
Alzheimer’s reminds me of the changing seasons. While Mom’s memory and physical being continue to fade, her smile and gentle spirit hasn’t faded. She enjoys conversation, but rarely joins in as the language that she once had command of becomes less available some days.
There are days, however, where she is outspoken, in command and can throw a few zingers out that are right there with the best of them. She laughs, smiles and even requests to watch certain old shows from days gone by with stars she remembers from long ago…
She gives me oodles of opportunities to serve and honor the mother/daughter relationship that continues to grow every day. We are continuing to find ways to communicate using language based on love and honoring the gifts she presented to us in our youth and we can now shower that same love and the treasured gifts on her in her aging.
Mom is settled — she is happy and thriving as best you can be at 84 and having Alzheimer’s. She no longer asks who sleeps in this room (hers) or is this my bed? She has her good days and thankfully, they are more numerous than the bad days. She enjoys our monthly family gathering time and marvels at how our extended family has grown – expanded beyond the grands into great grands.
Enjoy all the “settled” moments you can.
Nearly a year has passed since my last post here. Life certainly presented lots of challenges and change in 2015. We’re finally settling in our new home in a different state closer to family for a multitude of reasons.
Grateful for nudgings to move forward.
- a husband and daughter willing to pick and up move across the country
- new beginnings
- becoming 24/7/365 caregivers of an aging parent.
- gifts in disguise, both large and small.
- for humor and laughter that continues to resonate and bring smiles to each and every face!
- for contents in boxes that still need to find new homes
- for family near and far who have open hearts
- compassion, support and services rendered
- the more that is always available and there if we look for it
- understanding, flexibility, resilience
Change is difficult — regardless of whether the changes are small or large. We’ve made so many since August, all of them worth it giving us the opportunity to reflect, refresh and renew in 2016.
Just a quick note:
You won’t want to miss our podcasts that offer ideas and ways to infuse the Nurtured Heart Approach® in your daily life at home, work or play! Join our listening audience! BEST PART – is they are absolutely FREE!
Check out all of our archived podcasts at BlogTalkRadio/NurturedHeartApproach
Today’s podcast at 12pm noon ET features Dorothy Derapelian, Certified NHA Advanced Trainer. Our topic for today is NHA and Core Attachment Theory. Sarah How, Certified NHA Advanced Trainer will be our guest host this month.
This post first appeared in 2012 — but worthy of a repeat:
“Remember that there is no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams
I think it would be fun to follow a smile some day and see just how far around the world it might travel. Don’t you? You wouldn’t have to be in a major metropolitan area in these tech connected times — just a few clicks of a mouse and around the world we go! How different the world might be if just one smile went round the world a a “few” times and touched everyone’s lips just once …. hmmmm, I wonder……….. (click)
Enjoy a wonder-filled week of kindness!
Do you have a difficult time finding a quiet moment or feeling un-pressured by the course of your daily routines? How often do we clutter up our space with the noise of the world or succumb to the overall busyness and fill with anxiety and let the pressure overtake us? Then what happens when something stops – and your world is suddenly quiet? Are you at a loss not knowing how to handle it?
I certainly hope not. As frustrated as we can get when the internet goes down, or you lose cell service, a project is stalled or something else may ‘gum up the works” … maybe it’s a hint to stop and take a deep breath and look around us for those moments we’ll never experience again. When did you last take the opportunity to watch the sun rise? The sun set or the stars flicker to life in the nighttime sky? See a flower turn to the sun? Watch the clouds roll across the sky? Enjoy a good book or a conversation with a good friend? Sewing, knitting, crafting or another favorite hobby?
There are a multitude of ways to reconnect — hear, feel, experience calm and peace more deeply. Find yours and make it a part of your daily routine. Let the calm invade your day fully. You’ll be smiling more and the influence will ripple out to other areas of your life and may also impact others you come in contact with.
Find the calm in you today….
My word for the next few weeks is “aspire.” My old Webster’s dictionary gives this definition:
1. to be ambitious (to get or do something lofty or grand); yearn or seek after. 2. (Archaic) to rise high; tower.
We all have aspirations and dreams. Yet, there are circumstances that may put us in a place where some of our dreams, goals and aspirations have to be put on hold for a time. The reasons are too numerous to even name. I’ve been there.
There’s a part of me right now that is so excited… you see, today, I’m opening some of those old dusty boxes that have housed so many things for a good number of years; and I’m boldly stepping forward and dusting off a few of the old dreams and goals. I’m looking them over and re-evaluating them. Will they bring me happiness? Will they allow me to be authentic? Ah, a few can be trashed, while others revisited, revised and renewed.
I’m feeling blessed to know that I have the opportunity to reach again for dreams I thought would never present themselves again. I felt I might have outgrown them. Today, I learned that no, I haven’t outgrown them at all. I’ve grown into them.
Is today your day to dust off your dreams and aspire?