Category : Videos from the Heart

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Thanksgiving, the gift of kindness.

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November is here and in just several short weeks many of us will be celebrating a day of ‘Thanksgiving’ for all of the people that touch our lives each and every day. Here at Care4You, we are very grateful to our clients and their families and friends who allow us to give our best during their loved one’s time of need.

Care4You wishes to extend to all of you a very safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Setting the Example!

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Looking back over the years of my life, I’ve come to realize how many good examples my parents have set for me. I take those memories with me wherever I go and every so often they surface and I can’t help but smile and yes, sometimes I even cry, when I think of them.
 
I find myself looking up to Heaven and saying, “Thank you Mom” or “I get it now, Dad!!”
Do you do that, too?
 
Of all the examples that they have set for me, there is one that really stands out.
I saw Dad’s love for Mom throughout the years but it was never more evident to me than when Mom had Post Infarct Dementia.
 
Here was this dear independant woman who, through the years following her diagnosis, had become more and more dependant on the people who loved her. And we were there for her! Each of us contributing in the best way that we could to help Mom through this time in her life.
 
And there of course was Dad, continuing to love, care and be so devoted to his ‘one and only’ and putting the ‘exclammation mark’ on the vows that he took when they were married…
 
“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
 
Yes, through my eyes, that was Dad! He set the example and I hold that memory along with so many others both he and Mom set, very close to my heart.
 
Working with our clients at Care4You, we meet couples who are walking in that same devotion! And when there is only one spouse left to carry on, we hear stories from them and their family and friends who tell of years of loving, caring and staying the course, through it all.
 
Just like this dear man George with his beloved Adriana, told through the eyes of their loving son, Marco.
 
Thank you George and Adriana, for setting such a wonderful example for all of us!
And thank you Marco, for sharing your Mom and Dad’s beautiful story…
 
 
 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: The Heart of the Drummer Boy

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The Holidays are upon us. Can you feel it? The stores are filled with shoppers making sure that everyone on their list is covered. There is music in the air and people are planning their travels and events that will take them straight through to the new year. There are Christmas parties joining people together in fun and good cheer.

Love is personified as we remember all the blessings that we have in our lives. We reach out to those in need and we give of ourselves personally and financially and hearts are touched in the process.

I remember when I was a caregiver for my Mom and Dad. Mom’s brother, Uncle Tommy was her only remaining sibling and he loved my Mom so very much! He expressed such appreciation to me for caring for his sister. But he didn’t stop there. He stepped right up to the plate and became a part of the caregiver team.

Uncle Tommy would call on the phone. He would come to our home and visit. He would also encourage me in everything I was doing to care for my Mom. He would even take Dad to the barbershop for a haircut every month.

And even when he was suffering with Mesothelioma (Asbestos Lung Disease) and had to use portable oxygen every day, his involvement in Mom and Dad’s care was a constant and for us, priceless!

Uncle Tommy loved music and as a little boy, Mom would see him pull the pots and pans out from under the sink as he sat on the kitchen floor beating those pots like a full set of drums.

She often spoke of buying Uncle Tommy a little Hummel Drummer Boy figurine as a reminder to him of those wonderful times when in his own way, he poured out his little heart into his gift as he played his very best for her.

The Drummer Boy! The young one who in honor of the King, played ‘his’ very best. How appropriate those words apply to my dear uncle and to all those who give their best to their families, friends and yes the caregivers, who are walking a road that at times can be very difficult.

This is something that Care4You recognizes in our clients’ family and friends who also become a part of the team in caregiving for their loved ones. We really appreciate, admire and respect those who work alongside us as caregivers, giving us all the support that they can while trying to manage their own lives on a day to day basis.

So in my appreciation to my Uncle Tommy for his faithfulness and devotion to my Mom and to all those who show their love and dedication in giving their best in honoring their loved ones…this is for you, for this very special Season and beyond!

 

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Forever Love

 
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What a beautiful thought but is it a reality? Well from what I have observed through the years especially with our seniors, it sure is!!
 
Now what’s that I hear some saying?
 
“We squabble a lot!” “She’s too picky!” “His idea of a good time is laying on the couch, remote in hand and channel surfing between four…count them 4 football games on at the same time.” And where does he want me? Right there rooting beside him!
Sis Boom Bah Humbug!! 
 
She says, “This relationship will never work unless HE makes some changes!!”  He says, “Oh man, if SHE doesn’t change, we are not going to see 10 years together, let alone 50!”
 
Ok, let’s take a deep breath and think about those who have come before us. From what I’ve seen, marriage for most couples then, was a complete dedication to the vows said to one another and people weren’t up and running out on the first argument, heading for the courts claiming ‘Irreconcilable Differences.’
 
Most of the senior couples I’ve talked with didn’t even have a clue as to what ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ were during their years together.
 
They said that they stuck it out, through good times and difficult times, through the squabbles and the down right foot stomping arguments.
How did they do that? How does any couple do that and cross the finish line with 50, 60, 70 years together under their belts?
 
From what I see, they commit to loving one another through it all. They laugh together, they cry together, they hold each other even closer during times of great stress and when it’s all said and done, they take the gold!!
 
Are there really couples like that out there? Yes indeed and I have met them in my years of nursing.
 
Take a look at this couple. I couldn’t help but giggle as I watch them walking down the street conversing or should I say, “squabbling” with one another. And then I found myself shaking my head and saying, “Cool” when I saw the ending and it made me smile even more.
 
 
 
Now not all couples go through life having ‘conversations’ like that but even those who do seem to really love one another. Just in the time I have been with Care4You, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting senior couples who not only showed ‘Forever Love’ to one another when I first met them but that love was sustained the whole time I was ever in their presence. They walked the talk and what a beautiful example they were and are!
 
Did they disagree? Certainly! Did they roll their eyes when one said something that made the other one scoff? Sure!! But there was never a time when either one showed the other any disrespect and as caregivers, once our clients become very comfortable with us being there, true colors come shining through and I can honestly say that it’s so refreshing to see couples being themselves….laughing, fussing, discussing the children, just normal home life.
 
To me, it’s an encouraging sight and I take a deep breath and close my eyes and remember one beautiful evening, when caregiving for my parents was done for the moment and I walked into our living room to see my husband, yes, channel surfing the television.
 
I was tired….very tired and as I sat down on the sofa, with him in his recliner, he came across a program where a young woman appeared on stage to sing one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, ‘Because You Loved Me!’
 
As I sat there mesmerized not only with her gorgeous voice, the words, oh those words just filled my soul!
 
When she was done, I turned towards my husband to remark how beautifully she sounded and there he was….my dear 6 foot 4 inch, football linebacker built man had major tears streaming down his cheeks and as I looked at him, I said, “What?”
 
He pointed at me and exclaimed in a very strong voice through those tears, “That’s what I think about you…those words Deb, that’s what I feel about you!!!”
 
Oh my…he took my breath away!!
 
I never had anyone in my life declare a song for me and mean it with such love!!
 
And then within a very short time from that joyful moment, my dear sweet husband’s own breath was suddenly taken away one evening when massive blood clots filled his lungs and as I held him in my arms trying my best to help him while waiting for rescue to arrive, my very best friend in this world was gone.
 
Did we squabble through the years…oh yes! Did we have deep personal talks about everything from the meaning of life, the news in the world, our families, our faith, our caregiving? You betcha!!
 
We were living ‘life!’
 
We had our ups and our downs, our laughter and our tears, we celebrated weddings of friends and family, we suffered in the losses of those we loved and all in all, even in the most difficult times….leaving each other was never on our minds.
 
We had dreams going into our marriage and while sometimes that road we were on took a surprise turn and those dreams were not met, new ones took over and we forged ahead.
 
And every time I hear Celine Dion sing that beautiful song, ‘Because You Loved Me,’ my heart just swells with the knowledge that we might not have made the golden 50 together…gee, we didn’t even make 30 years together but like so many of those before us and those after us, we were truly in love!
 
What kind of love? 
 
The kind of love that we see in our clients at Care4You.The kind of love that makes us as caregivers smile in appreciation of the reality of two who are or have walked together through all kinds of circumstances. The kind of love that transcends even death…
 
A ‘Forever Love.’
 
 
 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Special People ~ Special Pets

 
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Do you have a pet? Maybe a dog, a cat, a parakeet or maybe even a rabbit? Many people do and many have fond memories of growing up with a favorite pet. I know I do and I remember her with a smile and definitely a giggle or two!
 
She was my beautiful Irish Setter and we called her Brandy. I recall the day that I went with my parents to choose that special puppy from a litter of at least 8. I was told to pick the most active one and was given all kinds of instructions from friends and family on what I should look for in a dog.
 
I had it all memorized until I walked into the barn on this beautiful multi-acre estate in Bluebell, Pennsylvania. I looked at all those cute little puppies, seven weeks old and they were romping all over the place. 
 
All except for one.
 
There she was…this sweet little Irish Setter, walking around the others with such a calm demeanor. She looked over at me and then strolled over to the corner of the barn, laid down, crossed her paws, let out a big yawn as if she was bored with all of the actions of her brothers and sisters and down she went, resting her little head on her legs.
 
Pointing at her, I immediately said to my Mom and Dad, “She’s the one!!” “Are you sure,” they asked? Oh yes, I was sure. I could relate to this little ‘loner’ puppy!
 
And so we brought Brandy home and she became a member of our family for 15 memorable years!
 
The times that we spent together was a mixture of joy, laughter, of learning and yes, of tears as we one day had to say goodbye to this trusted friend.
 
She taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade those times for anything anyone has to offer in this world.
 
One of the biggest benefits that I have seen regarding pets is how our oldest and our youngest citizens relate to them and vice versa. It’s amazing to watch!! It’s heartwarming when a beloved pet comes to visit or to stay with the most vulnerable.
 
What a beautiful connection and one when made, will never be forgotten.
 
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Some dear souls who are alone and have no hand to hold and no one to hug, find by just stroking the fur of their favorite pet brings a special feeling between them. A delightful joy, a wonderful calm, an incredible peace and an amazing move in the healing process, according to some.
 
To our seniors and those special little ones for whom we at Care4You are helping….to the families, friends and neighbors who surround those we care for with love and concern and in honor of all those wonderful pets who embrace the hearts of our elderly and the children we serve, I share with you below, two very touching moments in time.
 
Yes, our pets are truly a gift! And what they give to each one of us can never really be measured, as this dear senior relates in a news interview after a tornado destroyed homes in her area and she is then faced with the possibility that her beloved pet is gone…
 
 
 And this next one?
Oh what a lovely message about the patience of a dog with this beautiful little child
 
 
 
I believe that pets definitely make a difference in the lives of all of us and especially in the lives of our elderly and our children.
 
So ‘BIG HUGS’ to all of our pets who help to fill our days on this earth with such wonderful blessings and help to make those moments in time seem so much easier to bear!
 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Tell Me

 
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Sometimes when I am out and about, especially in restaurants, I find myself observing our seniors and I wonder what life was like for them throughout their many years on this earth.
 
I was having supper the other night at one of my favorite restaurants where many of their patrons are elderly. I love to ‘people watch’ anyway but as I sat there eating my salad, I saw a couple come in that dine there often. She walks with a cane and sometimes a walker. The need for either one was due to hip surgery she had several months ago.
 
He walks slowly, bent over and in my humble opinion he could also use a walker or at least, a cane. But he strides on behind her, keeping a watchful eye on his beloved. He sometimes stops and waits and then walks on.
 
When they come into the restaurant, they find their table, usually a booth. She sits down first and like clockwork, he takes her walker, folds it up and places it against the wall near them. While he does this, he is forever considerate of others as he sees to it that the walker is out of the way of other patrons and staff.
 
He sits down at the end of the booth and she slides herself near him. They eat well. An appetizer first, followed by a full plate of good home cooked food and then always dessert! I smile at the visual. You gotta love those two! I know that I do. I know them by name and they always wave when they arrive and they sometimes come over at the end of their meal to talk with me.
 
But all I know about them is the here and now, so I wonder….
 
I wonder what they were like as young children, then as young adults. How they met and what they did for a living. I wonder if they have any children and then I look at these two loving people, so devoted to one another even when he has trouble hearing her and she may let out a little ‘sigh.’ I again wonder, “Who are they?”
 
I marvel at the fact that they are out and about, even with their infirmities and their obviously painful struggles just to walk. And I can’t help but admire them and very much respect them for their drive, their togetherness and their love for one another.
 
Priceless!
 
And then last night when I again was having supper at this same restaurant, I noticed another couple who frequents this place. He is in a wheelchair and she is his devoted wife who helps him if he needs her but allows him to do as much as he can himself.
 
She sometimes looks very tired. Caregivers know that feeling and can easily identify that look in another active caregiver. I watched them as I ate and saw her smile as he looked up at her while she tipped his glass of water towards his lips. He looked back down at his food as he tried to place a piece of his meat on his fork and bring it to his mouth. She sat back in her chair and sighed but immediately regrouped as she leaned forward to once more give him another sip of water.
 
He glanced around the room with staring eyes that sometimes appeared distant and again I wondered. What were their lives like over the years? What all have they been through? The good, the not so easy and the very heartbreaks that many of us have gone through at one time or another.
 
I have often talked with them, acknowledging their presence when they come in or are already seated when I arrive. She smiles and waves. He looks over and smiles as he wiggles his fingers to say hello. He seems like a gentleman who enjoys having fun. At Christmas when we were both there at the same time, he had a Santa hat on and I couldn’t help but watch him giggle at all the attention he received from the rest of the patrons in this restaurant.
 
And when they are finished eating, his wife meticulously gathers her bag of ‘helps’ that all caregivers carry with them, she pays the bill and then she wheels him out to their van. I was leaving also and when I went out to my car, and as I sat there ready to assist, I watched to see how she got him into the van. She pulled open the door, pulled out the ramp and up he went into the van. She turned him towards the passenger area and secured him in. She had it down! She was organized!
 
And so the reason for this video, ‘Crabby Old Woman,’ is that it’s a wonderful reminder to me and maybe to all of us, that our beautiful elderly, who at times may appear distant, even angry or sad…could be looking back and remembering all of those joyful moments in their lives, those dreams of new beginnings and the laughter they experienced with those they loved and realizing that those days are gone and the ones who are caring for them now have no real clue who they are, how they lived and what they have been through. 
 
Even though the words to this poem often is seen as written by ‘Anonymous,’ it was supposedly penned in 1966 by a woman named Phyllis McCormack and according to her son, she was a nurse working in a hospital.

The poem is written to express the words of an old woman in a nursing home who is reflecting upon her life. Sometimes the word, ‘Crabbit’ is used with this poem and the word is supposed to be “Scots” for ‘bad tempered’ or grumpy.

This ‘Video from the Heart,’ touched mine as it strengthens the thoughts that I sometimes have as I observe our wonderful senior population and wonder, even when they seem grumpy or in a bad mood or look at me with sadness in their eyes…
 
What were their lives like throughout their years here on this earth and as we go about the day to day tasks of helping them in their need, what are they thinking?
 
As I ponder these questions in my mind, I find my heart softening even more, and just getting that ‘visual’ of who they are and what they have been through helps me to be a better person and more importantly to our clients here at Care4You, an even better caregiver.
 
Tell me…
 
 
 
 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: The Wooden Bowl

 
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This is a story that just touches my heart when it comes to the love and respect that Care4You feels we all need to extend to the elderly in our lives.
 
Personally this video may bring tears to my eyes but it also makes me smile at the heart of a child’s innocent and wise observation.
 
We so cherish families from the very young to the very old who surround each other in adoration and appreciation, in loyalty and steadfastness, because we feel that so much is gained in that loving contact between the family as a whole.
 
Whether in our homes, in our places of worship or anywhere that connection is needed, we are reminded through this one video that the precious and amazing gifts all of us receive from our seniors, the history that they have lived through and the wise and memorable advice that they can pass down to all of us, are just too valuable to miss out on and too important to deny them of sharing.
 
The message here seems so clear.This journey that we are all walking together? We need our seniors and they need us. There is so much that they have to give…to us as adults and to the children, grands and great grands alike and never do we ever want our older loved ones to feel invisible in a world where it sometimes gets too busy to even think straight.
 
And what can we give them?
 
Our love and respect, our attention, our patience when they can’t move as fast or as steadily, or talk and think as quickly as they once did.
 
And as this video shows, the children in our lives are watching and they’re listening to how we treat our seniors and how will they respond? 
 
I think of those same children who will grow up and when it’s our time and we are the ones who are elderly, maybe they will be caring for us, maybe they will be voting in legislation that pertains to us and to the quality of our care and will we feel safe and will we feel loved?
    
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We applaud everyone who reaches out with kindness to all the beautiful ‘Golden-Agers’ who are in our lives right now.
 
And to those who treat them like we all want to be treated, especially when life can sometimes get a little too difficult for them…Care4You personally thanks you!!
 
I call this kind of story, “Videos from the Heart” and I hope this touches your heart as much as it did mine.
 
We can never forget those dear senior souls who are here right now and who deserve to receive all the love and respect that we can give to them.
 
Helping them to feel very much a part of our families will allow them to know that no matter what happens, we will be there for them….forever and a day.