Sunday, February 2, 2014

Memories of Miss Garden

I had the nagging feeling I should volunteer on Wednesday at the nursing facility I volunteer at.  I really didn't have the time, but my instinct told me I should.  I arrived to  find out the elderly woman I adopted as a mother last Mother's day is dying.  She was placed on hospice and shortly after stopped eating and drinking.  She's been sleeping everyday I go in. I had to wipe my eyes once or twice while there and and I truly felt like I was losing a friend.  They told me she has no kids, family, siblings, etc, but that she was in the care of an appointed guardian.

I know we all must pass at some point or another, yet I feel a loss for her as I'm sure she has felt many times in the fact that she has no posterity to pass her legacy on to. I question what her story is and wonder how she will be remembered and to whom.

This much I know,  I testify she was a part of a real life and that I will remember her.  I was privileged to be a small part of her life.  Little did she know how much joy it gave me to see her light up when someone came in to see HER.

 She enjoyed getting her hair done.  She enjoyed eating chocolate, whether it was from the hair dresser or a small bag of kisses I'd brought in for her. She'd have eaten the whole bag in one setting if I'd let her.   She enjoyed listening to the music when live musicians would come.  I even convinced her that falling asleep during bingo was much more fun than falling asleep in the alcove near her room and she'd sit there because she knew someone wanted her there. She worried she didn't look dressed appropriate to attend activities,or if her hair was combed.  She loved to be wrapped in a blanket while walking down the halls of the residence.  She was excited to receive an African violet for Mother's day even though she couldn't care for it. She had a heart. She never had anything unkind to say, To me or to any other  staff. She had no worldly possessions to speak of.  She enjoyed eating.  She was tickled I brought my daughter and son in to meet her. She thought they were most handsome.  She loved to be touched.  (hugged)

 Her name was Garden and she will forever be remembered to me as just that :
A place where beauty is cultivated. 

So here is to the memories, miss Garden!  I shall forever love you!


The Rose Beyond The Wall

A rose once grew where all could see,
sheltered beside a garden wall,
And as the days passed swiftly by,
it spread its branches, straight and tall...
One day, a beam of light shone through
a crevice that had opened wide
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
then passed beyond to the other side
Now, you who deeply feel its loss,
be comforted - the rose blooms there-
its beauty even greater now, nurtured by
God's own loving care.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Focusing on the present brings temporary relief from burdens that otherwise might knock us down.

Training your hands to do simple tasks absentmindedly, helps to get these tasks out of the way with minimal effort. However, if your whole life is on auto-pilot, while your mind is preoccupied with worries, maybe you need to re-think your priorities. Maybe your life has been turned upside down by cancer, the loss of a job, or of a loved one. Your world seems to be spinning out of control. However, you can regain your sense of balance, reduce anxiety and instill more purpose and happiness in your life by redirecting your attention away from everything in the past, in the future, or simply “out there”, by focusing on what is happening right in front of you right now, without judgment or evaluation.

MINDFULNESS can be used to enrich your life, calm your mind and even improve your health. Mindfulness is rooted in ancient traditions and can ease suffering and cultivate compassion. Generally it is a conscious effort to be completely present -- to set aside worries, expectations, and other thoughts and emotions to be fully aware of the present moment. Often the present is less worrisome than regrets of the past or uncertainties of the future. From Mayo Clinic newsletter

Quoted from - Chers tous 19Jan2014 

Good advice posted by a cousin of mine.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lovestone on Mother's Day

One day while serving, I asked one of the residents if they had any children.  I knew Mother's Day was coming up and wanted to know whose children would be stopping by.  This lady's eyes started tearing up and drops fell down her wrinkly cheeks.  Her lips quivered and she mumbled that she didn't have any.  I told her not to cry that I was just making conversation.  She continued to cry and I told her she could adopt me.  She seemed to be okay with that and I wiped her eyes with her blanket. 

I thought about her all that week.  It was Mother's day on Sunday so I thought what I might take her.  I went to home depot looking for a small potted plant and came home with some African violets.  When I got there that Sunday, I found her in the dining hall just sitting there.  I went up and gave her a hug.  She hugged back.  I told her I wanted to give her something for Mothers' Day.  I gave her the pot and she was so proud.  She tried to smell it but to no avail.  I did have some chocolates for her gave them to her.  You would have thought she hadn't had chocolate in years.  (she probably hadn't especially if she didn't have children) 

I got to wish my own Mother a Happy Mother's day and so grateful for giving me life and contributing in such a profound way to mine, but I also got to gladden the heart of one elder sister that may have not ever had the opportunity to  be thanked for her motherly contributions to the world.

I wish all women would understand that it's not bearing children that make you a mom, but the nurturing footprints on the heart of others that make you truly blessed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

About Miss K

I can't believe I haven't posted in a couple of months.  I have been very busy with school though and am barely taking care of my family.. and ME.   

The class of Anatomy and Physiology has been very intersesting.  I'm learning about different muscles in the body and how various muscles around the mouth are used for swallowing.  It's amazing to me the complexity of the human body and how anyone can even question the creation and life of humans.   There is in fact a God. 

The classes on Aging focus on the primary and secondary aspects of aging.  We all age.  Let's face it.  Some of us do so better than others and I for one hope I get to "age" as well as my grandparents.  They are in their 90's.  Grandpa turns 97 this Saturday!  For the most part, the difficulties they face are aspects of Primary aging.  That means that it's normal aging for folks their age.  you know... wrinkles, blurriness of vision, Presbycusis (age related hearing loss), and gray hair.  They have had  very little secondary aging affects,  although they have had a few: heart attack, cancer, and stroke.  They've pretty much come through with flying colors. 

In these classes on aging, we are assigned to work (volunteer) in a skilled nursing facility and communicated with elderly. We are to observe and learn objectives that will help determine how we deal with the elderly in our professions. 

In the nursing facility I work with, there are many elderly that I have begun to love.  I will tell you about a couple of them but only if I change the names of the individuals and don't mention the facility I work with. 

Miss K and Miss L are two lovely ladies.  They are best friends.  Miss K is bigger than petite Miss L, but she takes care of Miss L and doesn't leave her side.  I often find Miss K has saved a piece of candy in her pocket for miss L and will pull it out at random times for her and even keep kleenex on hand in case Miss L might need it.  Miss K is so loyal, she took a very used snotty kleenex and took it from her and put it in her own pocket. 
One day, Miss K was sitting in the hall watching a film and I wheeled another lady, Miss B up right beside her.  Miss B wasn't responding to Miss K's efforts to say hello.  Why?  She has dementia.  Miss K just patted her hand and said, "Put a smile on your face. You're just a spring chick. It's gonna be okay". ~

I love this job... even if I'm not getting paid. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Having courage

Heading back to school in a few days.  
Supposedly John Wayne made a quote about courage.  Not sure he said it, but still sums up my current thoughts: 

"Courage is being scared to death ... and saddling up anyway."