On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for December, 2012

Wishing You a Messy New Year – Again | by Linda Brendle

Happy New YearWhen you’re visiting family around the holidays, it’s sometimes hard to find time to blog regularly. But the good thing about having been a blogger for over a year is that you can recycle. Here’s a post I wrote last year, and as I re-read it, and in spite of my earlier decision not to make any resolutions this year, I may renew this one. Happy New Year!


The Christmas Eve service was beautiful last night. Lights were twinkling, carols were playing, candles were burning, people were singing and smiling and laughing and hugging and wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Excited children crowded to the front when the pastor told the children’s story. The service ended with Communion and the traditional singing of “Silent Night” as candlelight passed from person to person until the whole sanctuary was alight with it. But something was missing. (more…)

Recycled Gifts | by Linda Brendle

3856888-recycling-symbol-on-a-cardboard-box-textureI got several recycled gifts this year – not the “re-gifted” kind that someone didn’t want and decided to pass on, but some very special gifts from some very special people. First, there was the phone I told you about last week. David has been looking for ways to expand our limited connections to satisfy my ever-expanding demands. When a good friend upgraded to the latest and greatest, he made David an offer he couldn’t refuse on his existing phone. The friend works for one of the major telecom giants, so rather than being a shop worn hand-me-down, the phone is like new in the original box and has all the accessories and the latest software updates. That’s recycling at its best. But I also got two other very special recycled gifts, items that were something else in a different life and were reincarnated into something different. (more…)

Smart Phones and Smart Decisions | by Linda Brendle

Older woman with cell phoneMy smart phone is still smarter than I am, but I’m gaining on it. I’ve downloaded a couple of apps, taken and sent pictures, Tweeted and mastered lots of the other essentials of staying in touch in the modern world. Mom would be fascinated. (more…)

My 12 Days of Christmas | by Linda Brendle

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

It’s not technically twelve days, but it’s twelve of the many things that have made this Christmas season special:

  1. Brilliant smiles, warm hugs and loving kisses.
  2. Parties with unhealthy, delicious food and ridiculous, hilarious gifts. (more…)

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Afternoon | by Linda Brendle

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m spending the afternoon listening to traditional Christmas carols in a non-traditional way – via DISH satellite. I’m also trying to duplicate Mom’s recipe for Millionaires, caramel and pecans covered in chocolate. The songs are just what I remembered, but I don’t remember Mom’s candy being this flat and “puddly.” Oh well, it will be good, and making it brings back happy memories. Whatever you’re doing in preparation for and celebration of Christmas, I hope you have many happy memories and that you make many more. (more…)

Am I Smart Enough for a Smart Phone? | by Linda Brendle

English: icon for smartphone (smart phone) rel...

English: icon for smartphone (smart phone) related content (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa came early to our house this year. I am now the proud owner of a 3GS iPhone. The question now is, am I smart enough to use it?

I got it early because David, in getting the phone ready to use, inadvertently turned off my old phone. I don’t mind the early gift. It gives me more time to play, and by the time we join my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas next week, maybe I’ll know my way around it well enough to use both thumbs on the keyboard. (more…)

Feeling the Holiday Spirit | by Linda Brendle

The Ghost of Christmas PresentSome days the words just aren’t there. Since my writing muse passed me by today, I decided to air out an old post from last November.


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? (more…)

Favorite Photos and Favorite Memories | by Linda Brendle

Young Lovers

Young Lovers

One of the hardest things about being a caregiver is grieving a loss that is ongoing. We had a grief counselor speak at one of our caregiver support meetings, and she suggested that we consider personal and or group rituals to help us to let go of the relationship as we knew it and to move into acceptance of the present reality. The tributes I wrote about on Wednesday were part of that process. Another was our “Favorite Photos and Memories” night. The idea was simple. Each caregiver brought a favorite photo of their loved one and shared the memory behind the photo with the group. It was one of my favorite meetings. (more…)

Caregivers’ Tributes to Those We Love | by Linda Brendle

MomandDadSeveral years ago I co-facilitated a caregiver support group with David and another couple who cared for her mother in their home. When we started the group, we planned programs and invited speakers, but we soon learned that what the caregivers needed most was a safe place to talk. Even so, each week I began with a short devotional or reading to focus the discussion and avoid the chaos that can result when all the hurts and resentments bubble up at once. One of our more successful evenings was when we talked about tributes. (more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 12 | by Linda Brendle

seniors laughing 2 041712As you read today’s blog, you will notice a recurrent theme – but I forget what it is.

“How was your golf game, Jack?” said his wife.

“I was hitting pretty well, but my eyesight’s gotten so bad I couldn’t see where the ball went.”

“Well, you are 75. Why don’t you take my brother Scott along?”

“He’s 85 and doesn’t even play golf anymore.”

“But he’s got perfect eyesight. He could watch your ball.”

The next day Jack took Scott along. While Scott sat in the cart, Jack teed off, and the ball disappeared down the middle of the fairway.

“Did you see where it went it?” (more…)

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