On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

BettyBetty Brendle, David’s mother, was born 86 years ago today. Yes, she was born on Halloween, and I’m sure she heard every witch joke ever written and received lots of pumpkin-covered birthday cards during her lifetime. Her children swore that her love of sweeping had something to do with the connection between her birth date and brooms.

Betty passed away in August, but we’re thinking of her today. In fact, we’ve been thinking of her a lot this week. David and I drove over to Louisiana on Sunday, and we’ve spent the week with his sisters, going through the “stuff” that a person accumulates during eight decades of life. Betty was a very organized person, so there’s not a lot of junk to deal with, but there are lots of memories. Read the rest of this entry »

3strandcord Ecc 4 12

Of the many unity rituals that are included in wedding ceremonies, one of my favorites is the cord of three strands. Based on Ecclesiastes 4:12, it is an outward indication that the couples intends to include God in their marriage–that by intertwining their two lives with His, their union will be strong and not easily broken.

This same principle can be applied to caregiving. When the needs of a loved one require our involvement, too many of us try to be super heroes and go it alone. When God created the human race, He created us to live in community with each other, to lift each other up in times of hardship and trouble. Adam had Eve, Moses had Aaron, and Paul had Timothy. Even Jesus needed His earthly companions to help Him carry out His mission.

As a caregiver, you have an extremely difficult task ahead of you, but the disease or disability will not prevail if you enlist a team to help you. Above all, include God as your team leader, but then reach out to friends, family, organizations, and professionals for help. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available for $6.99 at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

Caregiving is messy

Life doesn’t always look like the beautiful pictures in the home and garden magazines, especially when you’re caring for your elderly parents in a 400-square-foot box on wheels with one tiny bathroom.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available for $6.99 at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

Getting out of the way

In another time and place, I sold insurance for a while. My sales manager frequently sent motivational pictures and sayings through the inter-office mail–he would have loved the Internet. One of most memorable notes he sent was about happiness. It said happiness is a decision. Don’t say I’ll be happen when…I get a married, I get that promotion, I get a bigger house, or I win the lottery. Just be happy.

The same principle applies to being a writer. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger, but I allowed  my priorities and my fears to get in the way. Once I stopped telling myself that I didn’t have time to write, and once I stopped  telling myself why I couldn’t be a writer, I started putting words on paper, and I became a writer.

What about you? What is keeping you from becoming the writer you want to be?

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available for $6.99 at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

About the book:

Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

 

I wrote this late Sunday night or very early Monday morning according to the clock. It had been a long day, but a good one. My church held its Third Annual Chili Cook-Off Sunday after the morning service. It was lots of fun, and it was a lot like the family reunions I attended as a child.

Planning for the event began several weeks–or even months–in advance. People who don’t normally consider themselves cooks pulled out their recipe folders, and if they didn’t have recipe folders of their own, they consulted Mom or Grandma or Uncle Joe who always made the best chili in the world. Discussions were heard in the hallways and parking lot about which cut of meat was best, which secret ingredient was sure to capture the taste buds of the judges, and of course, whether real chili should have beans or not. There was also a little bit of friendly trash talk going on, but it was all in fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Grace

 

Caregiving can be a messy business, requiring the caregiver to deal with situations that can be at least uncomfortable if not totally humiliating for our loved ones. I wrote a lot about my Aunt Fay in my memoir, not only because she is a very interesting woman but also because she has many years of caregiving experience from which to draw. In one of our many conversations on the subject, she said that caregivers must also be grace givers. She explained that, as caregivers, we should extend grace in the way we handle uncomfortable situations, handling them in a way that avoids embarrassing our loved ones.

I’ve heard poise described as grace under pressure, and that is a great explanation of what she was talking about. Giving grace means washing the bed linens as often as necessary without calling attention to the stains. It means offering a smile and a reassuring hug before cleaning up the broken bowl from the kitchen floor. It means patiently explaining again, and again, and again. When giving grace becomes a way of life, the lives of both the one needing care and the one giving it are nourished.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available for $6.99 at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

About the book:

Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

 

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

 

Warning! This is a little “racier” than what I usually post — but if they can still move like this at their age, they deserve an audience. I hope I am aging with half their pizzazz.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available Now At:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

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