David and I spent Thanksgiving week in Louisiana with his family. We have a friend there who does estate sales. He goes into the homes of people who have died or who are seriously down-sizing and organizes and sells their stuff. When we were there, he was working on the largest sale of his career, and we were invited for a private preview.
The “estate” wasn’t what I expected. It was a rather small two-story house on a tiny lot. It was old and shabby and didn’t look like it would contain much of interest. Inside there were cracks in the wall and holes in the ceiling, and even though our friend had put over 100 man hours into cleaning and organizing, the air was still musty and the dust threatened to throw us all into a sneezing fit. Read the rest of this entry »
In the past I haven’t taken part in the many contests available for writers, but earlier this week I received an e-mail from an Internet friend about a “Fearless Caregiver” contest. Winning entries will be printed in Today’s Caregiver, and my interest was piqued. I checked out the website, and decided to enter. Following is my entry:
During my 15 years as a family caregiver for Mom and Dad, both of whom had Alzheimer’s, I faced doctors, insurance companies, and government bureaucrats without fear. But when it came time to say no to my parents, I became a trembling child again. Two of the hardest confrontations arose over medication and the car keys. Read the rest of this entry »
A beautiful place to relax and reflect.
David and I spent Thanksgiving Day with his family at his younger sister’s home. She and her husband have a beautiful place outside of town, away from the noise and chaos of civilization – the perfect place to pause and reflect on our many blessings. I made a quick sweep with my camera while last minute preparations were being made for lunch. As we joined hands to offer thanks, I put down my camera and recorded the meal and the naps and the football and the love in my heart. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week at AWANA we did something different during lesson time. Instead of hearing a Bible story, the kids were given a chance to express their gratitude in creative ways.
The older ones – 3rd through 6th grades – were given pens, paper, and scissors and told to finish this sentence: I am thankful for… Here are a few examples. Many are very serious; others, not so much. And you can tell by the last two that we’re in Texas. Read the rest of this entry »
In addition to being the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, November is National Family Caregiver Month. Caregivers are the unsung heroes who work quietly in the background, seeing that Dad’s bank account is in order, making sure Mom’s house is cleaned, being sure a loved one has a hot meal on the table. This special month shines a spotlight on those who give up so much and receive so little in return. If you’re a caregiver, take a few minutes to visit aarp.org/caregiving to see what resources are available to make your job a little easier. If you know a caregiver, take minute to say thank you. Read the rest of this entry »
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Thursday afternoon I posted a “Bah Humbug” Facebook comment about a local radio station that has changed its format to all Christmas music for the duration. To say that my brother loves Christmas would be a huge understatement. In fact, he makes the Ghost of Christmas Present look like Scrooge, and he took exception to my comment and those of some of my friends. This was his last entry: Can anybody explain to my simple mind the abject travesty of playing Christmas music and putting up lights in the first half of November? I’m really having a hard time with all this negativity!
I started to respond, but realized it was going to involve more typing than I wanted to do on my phone, so I shifted into blogger mode and started thinking in terms of a post. After mulling through a few thoughts that seemed familiar, I realized that I wrote how I feel about the holidays in 2011. It was well received, so I posted it again last year. Now, for what is becoming a Life After Caregiving tradition, here’s the 3rd annual posting of “Feeling the Holiday Spirit.”
Yesterday one of my Facebook friends posted this question: Am I the only one not feeling the holiday spirit? I left a witty, social network kind of reply, but I’ve been thinking about it since then. Am I feeing the holiday spirit? My first question is which holiday are we talking about? My next question is what does the holiday spirit feel like? Read the rest of this entry »