Hot Airl Balloon

Needing Validation: Setting Others Free

hot-air-balloon-586693_1280-232x300As a caregiver, do you ever feel as though you are not good enough or what you do doesn’t feel significant enough or recognized? When you seek validation of your worthiness from others, it puts a pressure on them to fulfill that need. Of course, as humans we all have needs. Being loved, liked, and accepted are some of those core needs. However, when we cross the threshold between basic human needs into dependence on others for those needs, we may interrupt the ebb and flow of another human need– that of freedom. Read More

Healed by the Harmonica

It was September 2012 when I had this experience. For some reason I will never be able to explain to myself, I was having one of my down days. No matter what I did, it always felt that everyone did it better, more importantly, and with such ease. That is until visiting Mr. D.R.

I had been working with elders for my local town and while visiting one of my clients, Mr. D.R. this day, he began telling me of his achievements in his 86 years on this planet we call earth. He knew how to sing, play musical instruments, and paint beautiful paintings. Upon sharing my newfound desire to learn how to play the harmonica (it is supposed to be good for asthma sufferers like me) and confessing that I had actually bought a small one, Mr. D.R. confessed that he was quite good at playing the harmonica himself.

Now the only thing left to do was to promise him that not only would I learn how to play, but also once having done so, I would return to play him a song. He one-upped me though. He went to his car, grabbed his harmonica, and played a beautiful Mexican song for me.


He was smiling; however, my smile was bigger. He brought joy to my dreary soul by reminding me that no matter who does what, we all bring something different to the table and, at the end of the day, it does not matter what we do as long as it brings a smile to someone else’s face!angel-565543_1280

Returning to the office this day to hand in my paperwork, I recanted this story to my director. She jumped for joy and she, too, had a smile on her face – only not because of the story, but because she had been trying to get Mr. D.R. to come into the center for social time. He was still so saddened by his wife’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and was lost without her. The center has a harmonica club, of all things, and the director never knew that Mr. D.R. played. She called him up and invited him to join!

Music and smiles all around!


It’s not about Me: The Most Beneficial Mantra You Can Use


affirmationsYou may have a daily mantra for abundance, love, luck or success. You may even practice affirmations such as I am loved and wholly supported on a daily basis. If you really want to turn your world and the world of others inside out and upside down, try this one on for size – It’s not about me.

When you are caring for an aging parent or any aging person, for that matter, it is important to remember not to take things personally. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with siblings, the medical community, and an elder’s family members. Read More

Living with My Mother: The Venn Diagram

Living with my mother is like a human Venn diagram. I get to see the parts and pieces of myself, my mother, and the similarities and differences in between.venn-diagram-41217_1280

Now, the question is posed – should one change the similar parts and pieces in themselves that are viewed as detrimental in their parents or would that be like going against the grain, like cutting a roast in the wrong direction?

I see the caregiver my mother has always been, and see the caregiver I’ve become. The similarities in personality and in life choices are so carbon copied, it’s almost dauntingly scary. It’s almost like being a stalker to my mother’s life in having modeled her life; action by action. Read More

Reaching Out: The Benefits to Both the Giver and the Receiver

hand-534867_1280If you are a caregiver, especially to an aging parent or elder, you will appreciate the value you offer when reaching out for help. Yes, that’s right – when “reaching out” for help.

Many times, we fall under the misguided belief that part of being a true Christian means always being strong in our lives. If we are strong in all things at all times, then we would not need Christ in our lives, nor would we need others. Read More

Living with Aging Parents: Being in the Present while Living Amongst Your Past

Living with Aging Parents (1)Being in the Present while Living amongst Your Past: Living with Aging Parents


For any of you who have aging parents, whether you share living space or not, what I am about to share is deeply personal. My hope is that it somehow makes a difference to you.elderly hands

My mom lives with me – downstairs in my home. One evening after returning home from a dinner out, I walked down my back steps to my patio to let my dog outside. I waited on the landing for him to finish his business with the intention of drying him off quickly (it was raining out).

I had been taking on the practice of learning what it truly meant to be present and was watching the rain – how it came down clear and then just disappeared on the floor of the deck somehow. In that space, my mom was muttering something, as she often did these days. She made a statement that would surprise me, and could have cut me to the core. Read More

Dad’s Passing and a Blessing

me and dad

I’m not very good at making choices, at all…seriously….ever. The term “hemming and hawing” was made especially for me. This night was different though. I thought about heading over to the hospital, January 2, 2012 and I was on my way. It was about 5:30 and then I heard a voice that said – no, you will wear yourself out; don’t go. You stay home and cook for everyone and you can take another turn tomorrow. Read More