Thanksgiving has come and gone… and we had a very quiet one. Grateful for each and every moment we get to spend with Mom. It could have been so much different if the stroke had been any worse.
November 17th just as we were prepping to get Mom ready for bed, she collapsed. We are very fortunate that EMS arrived within 5 minutes of our 911 call. Mom was on her way to the hospital within 10 minutes -and by the time we arrived, she was having a CT done and her room was ready in the ER. Mom was responsive and alert when we saw her about 20 minutes later. She recognized my brother and said, “That’s my son, Pete.” Such joy for my brother! And I was just thrilled that she’d gotten a full sentence out and her words were clear as a bell.
We spent the next couple of hours at the hospital. Mom was doing well enough to come home. We all got to catch up on a bit of sleep and decompress a bit.
She’s doing remarkably well since that episode. We’ve completed the follow-ups with her primary and her neuro. Neither see any residual effects and were even surprised that she answered some questions for them that she hadn’t been able to do in previous visits!
Fast forward to yesterday. We had our traditional family gathering with the family. Most everyone was able to be there. We’re all grateful for the privilege we have of spending one more Season of Giving and Loving with Mom. Lots of precious memories were shared and I’m pretty sure that most everyone spent more time doing the same on their trips home. More time was spent sharing stories than taking pictures. We’ll take those pictures with Mom today and add them to the growing “library” of memories in our family’s dropbox folder.
Wishing you all joy-filled moments and memories to treasure today and throughout the days to come. Happy Holidays!
Our thoughts shape who we are.
Allow your words to “lift” all you meet today.
Regardless of our ages, it is truly a blessing to be able to share words that lift rather than beat down others. It’s my belief, as well, that those with advancing dementia/Alzheimer’s deserve even more words that “lift” them up as they deal with uncertainty, loss of the familiar and more importantly feel more isolated as time moves on.
We are truly blessed that this comes so easy with Mom and her gentle spirit. Her smile and the twinkle in her eye are still an every day gift she presents to us even on the worst of days. Every night we are gifted in sharing an exchange of ‘Thank you’s” and a sweet gentle reminder of how precious our relationship is. Love, joy and good outweigh any negative the day has held and I’m ever grateful that we have more good days than bad every week, and that the bad are just specks in the whole of the day.
Sure, we do have bad days, but who doesn’t? Upon reflection, even during a day filled with transitions into another phase or stage of living, those are truly nano-seconds of time when we see that there was far more time spent enjoying each other’s company and experiencing new life lessons and how to navigate those waters in better ways positively.
I hope today will be a gift and blessing for you. It already is for us.
Make today your best day ever…
look for greatness at every turn.
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.
Give yourself a most precious gift…
believe in YOU!
(image credit: Oh So Shabby by Debbie Reynolds)
Yesterday, I was met with a wall of frustration — my inability to get something that should have been so easy to finish, DONE! I had to walk away from it. Leaving it cluttering my work space overnight – I woke up this morning, looked over at the the mess on the table and decided it wasn’t worth more frustration and disappointment in knowing and seeing that the face of the project was still warped despite the weight I’d placed on it hoping I would have a workable surface today, isn’t usable at all for this project.
Seeing what I see now, this small segment of the larger project just wasn’t meant to work — and guess what? This morning, I’m okay with that — and that’s the GIFT! It actually opens more possibilities AND I can take this project in a new direction — make it “more” than the original project idea was meant to be.
Today the gift is seeing beyond the original idea — envisioning more potential and growing in the process.
From small and tender acts
come mighty testaments
of your strengths and character.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that bring the greatest rewards. Heart to heart. Acknowledging the frustrations; declaring the characteristics that demonstrate strength, persistence, willingness to keep trying, determination to complete the task at hand and so much more. The smile at the end makes it all so very worthwhile.
Recently, we celebrated the birth of our 10th grandchild into the family. We waited with great anticipation to meet him for the first time — what happened during that first visit was what I would call an awakening.
What is it about babies that make such a difference? Mom held, rocked, cooed with and loved on H for over an hour. She held him after his feeding and rocked him back to sleep. Earlier, I watched as Mom counted his fingers and toes and rubbed his head to feel the peach fuzz he has for hair. She held him as if she was a brand new mother — close and cuddled. She was very disappointed when it came time for H to go home. She didn’t want him to leave — and she let us all know with a few words about that.
During our bedtime routine a little later that evening — as Mom was finishing things up, we reviewed the day. In most instances, any review would bring a blank stare, but that evening, no. She remembered cuddling with the baby, his name and was pleased as punch at remembering the other 4 great grandchildren who had visited as well that afternoon and evening. The satisfaction and love on her face filled my heart with joy and a question as to what had happened to bring this lucidity to light?
Later that night, we awoke to Mom having a conversation in her bedroom. The “chat” lasted more than an hour. There would be a pause as if she was listening to her invisible friend or friends for that matter and then a flurry of words and laughter as she shared the day’s events. She was sharing her version of spending time with her newest great grandchild and she was looking forward to the promise of his return later that week.
Fast forward to Friday. Dinner held no interest. She wanted to hold the baby. She did and for an extended period of time. While she didn’t vocalize as much this visit, you could see the tenderness and love in every touch and gentle rocking as she held him.
We look forward to our next visit with H and the awakenings it will bring — even if it’s just a brief pause.
A little gratitude changes your whole outlook, like lighting a single
match in a dark room. You see things that were there all along and
realize how amazing your life already is. Soulseeds
Now is the time to take a look at where you are on your pathway — light the match, see those hidden things and change your outlook if needed or ramp it up a bit more. Be grateful for what you do have in your corner.
This past week has brought so much to light for us. There could be so much more going wrong — but there isn’t. I’m grateful for what we have going right and trusting that the what and where will lead us to answers we have been seeking. We are being blessed in so many ways, there are the temporal things: health, a home, food on the table, a job that is still paying bills, friends, the freedoms to say these things in a forum such as this, and so much more. There are also the spiritual things as well – these are very private and personal feelings at the moment yet intertwined in every aspect of who I am.
Another blessing to lighting your pathway, is that you are also lighting the way for others to follow — who are you reaching out to help today?
“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a
little flower.” Hans Christian Anderson
I’ve always marveled at the beautify of a sunrise or sunset. The colors and formations of the clouds and how magnificent and amazing each is and none equals another. Do you remember the days as a teen when you used to “bake” to get the perfect tan every summer? And now you cover up but still love to feel the “heat” of the rays of the sun on your face even if it’s just for a few gentle seconds – turning just so to get that perfect “zap” because it feels so good!
Or do you pause in your garden and marvel at the miracle of a budding flower as it gently unfolds noting each petal, curling outward in magnificent color and beauty and uniqueness?
Behold you! Grow in your own greatness, look towards the greatness that is you!
“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of — moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.” Fred Rogers
These are the exquisite moments that exist every day. Hundreds of moments, maybe thousands of moments often overlooked because we’re too busy, hurried, harried or occupied. These are our “teaching” moments with our children. A “loving or sharing” moment with our spouse.
Sharing a Recognition of Greatness with a family member or even a stranger can often make the difference in their day for good or bad. Often these statements only take a mere five to ten seconds of your time and if you really want to get wordy, 30 seconds of your time by adding on values and traits you want to see that person exhibiting or admire in that person. For an example of this, see this blog. Wouldn’t you have loved to be on the receiving end of Howard’s recognition?
Next time you’re out and about, take a few seconds to say thanks for a job well done in a very specific way. Not just “thank you” or “good job.”
Don’t miss an opportunity for a “twinkling” today – share one with your loved ones
“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.” Mark Twain
It’s not always easy on a gloomy day to find a lot to be cheery about. But I love to remember the scene in Singing in the Rain where Gene Kelly is dancing in the rain. And it reminds me of the many walks I have taken in the rain and the joy I found walking and jumping in puddles — maybe not the ones I brought home with sopping wet clothes… but I thought about things I could do and worked through things and often felt a whole lot better by the time my “walk” was done — and then a plan was usually hatched as well. I know was usually smiling by the time I walked through the door at home again.
I have learned over the years if you choose to lose yourself in the service in others and you can’t help but find a smile on your face and the faces of those you serve. Your heart will definitely grow in the process. Remember it doesn’t have to be something big — or even cost a lot of money if you’re strapped for cash. Often, it’s those “gifts” from your heart that make the greatest difference.
Take a few minutes to watch the clip. Be sure to notice the last few seconds of the video clip – what do you notice? Did you see it? As many times as I’ve watched this movie before, how many times has that act of kindness escaped my view? It won’t again! There was a new rainbow born in the movie for me this week. How about you?