family

ever changing

Make today your best day ever…
look for greatness at every turn.

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It’s never “safe to assume” that everything will go as planned anymore.   — while we do try to keep to a pretty established routine, there are days that just don’t stick with the “norm.”

We’re definitely becoming more spur of the moment… and reveling in the fact that this moment, “right now” is a good one, so let’s take advantage of it! Whether it’s noting the twinkle in her eye as she rediscovers something as if it’s brand new or the smile that lights up her face as we bring her lunch or dinner or listen to music or watch a movie for the hundredth time — Finding the greatness through the ever evolving change… and more importantly, reveling in the joy that Alzheimer’s hasn’t won yet.  The highlight this week: she called me by name.  My heart melted.

hang on and enjoy the “ride.”

 We all have those days, so…. Enjoy the delight (and smiles) your new swing can bring!

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Some days just aren’t easy.  Alzheimer’s brings lots of challenges for the whole family.  Looking for what is going right sure helps you get through those tough spots.  Hoping your “swing” today brings some delight and smiles your way!  Make it a #bestday sort of weekend!

seek the beauty

There’s beauty everywhere —

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The evening skies the last few days have been filled with amazing colors!  There are nights I wish I had a clear view of the full sunset, and last night was one of them.  However, we live in an area that makes it nearly impossible to see unless we take the time to walk or get in the car and ride for a little bit to get a clearer view.

I have discovered that sharing these brief glimpses of the color-filled skies with Mom brings her joy and delight, even if we only get a partial glimpse at the beauty each evening holds for us.

We’re making it a daily habit to share a few images of the skies with her, knowing that she sees the amazing colors and possibilities each day holds.  Every sunrise is a miracle as our eyes open and behold just as each sunset holds promise that that tomorrow will bring more beauty our way.

push through

Push through… the end results will definitely be worth it.

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Pushing through doesn’t always mean you’ll break through…however, if you choose to look at each “push through” as an accomplishment for the better, you’ll see more and more along your path.

Looking for the good isn’t Pollyanna-ish.  It does open our eyes, minds and most importantly our hearts.  Our journey may continue to have those rocky moments, however, with continued practice, we can certainly glean some knowledge that we can share with others come after us — or more importantly, share the highlights with those we are caring for in the moment.

Reflecting back what is going well and possibly lighten the heavy weights they are feeling with their confusion and frustration at not being able to accomplish, speak or share the depth of what they are experiencing.
“I see you are….”
“Thank you for being a part of our family, it’s so wonderful to spend a little one on one time with you.”
“I’m so happy to see that smile light up your being today.”
“I love having you help me fold the towels, or rinse the dishes.”

Even when the hour is late or the hour is early, look for that glimmer and push through until you meet it.  The journey is worth it.

you are seen…

You are being seen by many you are not aware of….
continue to shine in your greatness!

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I know.  There are days when we feel so alone…. but please, know that you are not.  You are seen.  You are appreciated.  You are loved.  Our extended families and friends may not be able to voice that in this very moment.  Sometimes, being recognized is enough to fill our cups….

Yet, as caregivers we sometimes may find ourselves in a situation of feeling that we are depleted.  We give our heart and soul for those we are caring for, but who cares for us if we don’t care for ourselves?

Be sure to build in some self-care time daily, weekly, monthly.  As a caregiver, you deserve it.  It’s difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible.  Create a space where you can find refuge from the worries and cares of the day.  Build time into the routine of the day and take a few minutes to pause, reflect and renew.  If you don’t have a hobby, maybe now is the time to find one.  OR…. Pick up a magazine, read a book, pack a bag for an overnight trip and go…  enjoy a night out, take in a dinner or a movie.  Take a walk, swing in a swing, pack a picnic lunch or just go sit on the porch and breathe in some fresh air.

We’re very grateful for those sometimes all too brief moments, but relish the opportunities that do present themselves even if for what seems like a mere nano-second of time.  And when those moments come to an end, we are more prepared for those next hours or days of caring and giving our all for the benefit of someone else who needs us more and knows unequivocally that she brings joy to our hearts every day.

 

with an open heart

As we express and share our gratitude with ourselves or others,
we become more aware of it…
#nurturedheart #GrowinGreatness #Greatitudes

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As we gathered around last evening at our monthly family dinner and shared some thoughts with each other, it was a wonderful moment to relish in the joy we all felt surrounded by our love for each other.  Those “moments” created what will always be a cherished memory for this year.  Hearts a little more tender since our last meeting, knowing time with family is so precious and should be cherished.  We are grateful that they give up their time — and join us for this monthly dinner.  Our hearts are filled when we see them and can spend time with them.

Mom didn’t join us… it was another day of  “I’m too tired” and she couldn’t get herself out of bed, let alone eat a delicious meal catered by the kids.

I’m sad she didn’t have the opportunity to share a meal or cuddle with the baby — I am grateful, however, she was with us in spirit and each of our children were grateful to know she was just in the other room and each bid her a beautiful farewell as they left for their homes across the valley at the end of the evening.

As I look at the monitor, she is awake, her light is on and I’m sure she’ll be making her way out here in a little bit wearing her beautiful smile, have a twinkle in her eye  — anxious to get a start on a day —

Enjoy your day — and week.  Surround yourself with those you care most deeply about and cherish the moment.

BYOS

There will be days when you need to Bring Your Own Sunshine.. have it at the ready! #nurturedheart #GrowinGreatness #Greatitudes (image credit: unknown)

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Some days are certainly easier than others, but most always have streams and beams of brilliant light to bring out the best and most precious moments of the day.  We’ve come to cherish them.

We got a VERY early start on the day since Mom wasn’t able to sleep overnight.  So she’s spent most of the last six hours sitting in her chair, lost in thought.  Not wanting to converse, nor expecting conversation.  Not wanting any other distractions (i.e. TV, music, radio or audio book).  Just quiet — and as I look over at her now, she’s got an amazing smile on her face as I’m sure there’s a fleeting memory being recalled.

Grateful for these moments.  The quiet, the smiles, the sunshine she brings into our home each and every day.

This is the perfect way to start the day.  Hoping you’ll find a few rays of sunshine today.