I’m sure Dr. Seuss would have written a sequel if he had just lived a few more years!
I’m sure Dr. Seuss would have written a sequel if he had just lived a few more years!
On Mom’s 90th birthday, we had a party for her at Southridge Village where she was living. Two of her three remaining sisters, Grace and Fay, were there. Grace and Mom both had Alzheimer’s, so getting a decent photo was a bit like trying to hold corks underwater. Finally, Fay moved to the middle of the group, and with characteristic good humor and calm, she took control and brought order to the chaos.
Paul said that God is a God of peace and not disorder. He was speaking of the confusing worship services that occurred in the church at Corinth when everyone wanted to preach or prophesy or speak in tongues all at the same time. However, I believe we can apply the same principle to our lives in general. When our lives are full of disorder and confusion, if we will make room of God in our midst, He will bring order to the chaos.
NOTE: If you would like to see the photo blog of Mom’s birthday party, CLICK HERE.
Caregivers are thankful for any small victories and blessings. Now I am thankful for the honor and privilege I had of caring for Mom and Dad for so many years–and for God’s grace when He helped me through the times when I was less than grateful.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,
Avoid the crowds! Shop at home in your PJs!
A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos by Linda Brendle
“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 he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we 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.
Winter In the Soul by Jennifer Novotney
In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.
When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.
Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?
Liberty Belle by Emily Ungar
On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends, Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag — about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who had the in with the school authorities.
Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon, she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the Vice President’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.
All is well, until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters, and fast! Will Savannah find herself, or lose her friends?
Runaway by Renee Donne
After Marianne discovers her bankrupt stepfather sold her into marriage to the highest bidder, she flees Philadelphia and heads west to start a new life. Unfortunately for her, danger follows.
First, a stage coach accident leaves her stranded in the middle of nowhere – with an injured driver. And henchmen hired by her spurned would-be husband are hot on her trail, threatening to return her to Philadelphia and the man who is determined to own her.
Just when things seem hopeless, Marianne is rescued by a handsome cowboy who offers temporary refuge. Knowing she can’t refuse, yet wary of his intentions, Marianne finds herself drawn to this quiet, enigmatic hero. But is he someone she can trust?
Pride by Rosie Somers
Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.
Gabby is the steward of PRIDE.
To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect the world from Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above by Robert Polk
Twelve-year-old Declan Parker was born with only one eye, but all he seems to have trouble seeing in proper perspective is himself. All he wants is for kids to see him as normal before he starts a new school in the fall. To that end, he sets out to make money helping with his dad’s tree care business.
Unfortunately, when his dad lands in the hospital after a climbing accident, Declan’s surgery hopes are wrecked. His only hope remains in a neighbor girl and her uncle, a wounded army veteran. Can they help him save his dad’s business, or will Declan’s once-courageous drive turn into total despair?
Bound by Blood by Scott Springer
|Julia has accepted the Lord and is busy returning her life to order. She is not ready for love, especially when the new site foreman at work stirs up forgotten feelings. She knows a playboy when she sees one, but to Rick Mercado the attraction between them is surprisingly real. Other girls no longer interest him, and if she wants to play hard to get that’s fine with him. Let the games begin!
What he doesn’t realize is that her dangerous secret is not a game.
Julia’s brother has returned from the street, strung out and in trouble with rival gangs. Loyalty to her brother draws Julia deeper into a world of drug deals and thugs. Rick doesn’t understand why Julia won’t simply go to the cops, especially once the bullets start flying. As Julia slips further into a world of violence, Rick realizes how easily his heart can be broken. His brain says to run, but his heart isn’t listening. It may already be too late.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!
On Sunday, Pastor Jason preached about being thankful–yours probably did, too. The sermon was enlightening and inspiring, but what really stuck with me was a comment he made in his introductory remarks: “I’ve always thought we should devote 364 days a year to being thankful and set aside only one day for grumbling and complaining.”
This time of year, a lot of people talk about cultivating an attitude of gratitude, but sometimes the resolve doesn’t last long. It takes time to develop a daily habit of being thankful. In keeping with that thought, I’d like to share a story about a lady who knew what it meant to be grateful. This true account of Anna, a woman who was born into slavery in Maryland, is used by many ministers this time of year, but it was originally told by Fulton Oursler. (more…)
This is a great description of a person who has Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. They see the world through a different window–a window that is flawed, fogged, cracked, or otherwise less than clear, but it is their reality nonetheless. As caregivers, we must try to understand their view rather than attempting the impossible task of making them understand ours. I am reminded of a favorite saying of a former employer: Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. You won’t succeed, and you will only irritate the pig.
I have exciting news. A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos will be available in print some time in early 2015. I will share more details as I get them.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “memoir” comes from the Anglo-French word memorie, the Old French word memoire, and the Latin word memoria. All of these have similar meanings–a written record of things or events to be kept in mind or remembered.
When I began to write my memoir about Mom and Dad, I didn’t know the derivation of the word. I’m not sure I even realized I was writing in a specific genre. All I knew was that there were events that shouldn’t be forgotten and memories I wanted the capture. The human memory is fragile and weakens with time, but the written records live on.
Do you have memories and life events that should not be forgotten? Take time now while they are still vivid in your mind and make your own written record, your own memoir.
To read Chapter 1 of A Long and Winding Road, CLICK HERE.
The TV series “Seinfeld” has often been described as “a show about nothing” because of the mundane subjects that were the focus of many of the episodes. The conversations at the Senior Center where David and I eat lunch most day could sometimes be described that way, too. One of those conversations happened a couple of weeks ago when Dirk pulled two small pieces of metal out of his pocket. (more…)
I can’t count the times that I was a less than perfect caregiver. Sometimes I snapped at Mom through no fault of hers. I frequently forgot to check Dad’s blood sugar at the proper time. The biggest failure in my mind was my inability to continue to care for her in my home. Fortunately, I have memories like this one that remind me of the many times I was a good caregiver.
When you are less than perfect, don’t beat yourself up. On the other hand, when you do something right, make a note in your journal or take a photo to remind yourself of the millions of ways in which you are a good caregiver.