Who knows…they may be closer than you think.They may be right around the corner!
by Henry Van Dyke
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the
morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and
watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”
Gone from my sight – that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was
when she left my side and just as able to bear her load
of living freight to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
“There she goes!”
There are other eyes watching her coming,
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
“Here she comes!”
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!
Ahhhh…here it is again. The Holidays are upon us! The older I get the faster the days go by. Do you find that too? I have to tell you that I love this time of year! I am an Autumn girl and having grown up in Pennsylvania, I find myself really enjoying this time of year!
The colors of the trees, football games every week, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, the crisp Fall air, homey meals cooking on the stove and in the oven. Oh my, I am closing my eyes as I take a deep breath and allow my mind to wander!
Speaking of all of those wonderful things about Autumn, I will tell you that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There is so much to be thankful for in my life. My faith, the blessings that I have found working for Donna and Bill Hoover at Care4You, good family and friends, a country that I love and being able to give to those in need. Those are just a few of the reasons that I have to be thankful for and I truly am!
I received an email one day that touched my heart with an understanding of what it means to give thanks. It read something like this;
Things to Be Thankful For:
Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.
Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you’re employed.
Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.
Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.
Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.
Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.
Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.
Yes, I can be thankful for all of these things and more. Yet I know that for many this time of year, it can be difficult to feel that thankfulness, that joy.
We at Care4You believe that this can be especially true for our seniors who because of loved ones gone on and memories that fill their hearts and minds, they can respond to the holidays with what is commonly called, the ‘Holiday Blues.’
So what do we do? How do we support our seniors when they may be feeling so sad? Feelings of depression can be something that may need the attention of the family doctor so I think we should be discerning and recommend that a visit to their primary doctor just may be necessary.
For us as caregivers, validating their feelings is up there at the top of the list. Would we want anyone telling us that something we’re feeling is not legitimate? Another thing I personally try to do is lead with short and simple questions that enable our clients to talk about their thoughts and their feelings, if they so choose.
They may show all kinds of emotion and it’s ok to cry and even be angry at the unfairness of loved ones gone on or the good old days not being there anymore. They may be upset at children, grandchildren and friends who don’t keep in touch anymore.
After validating and talking with those who are feeling the blues, I think the next thing is to find a way to help our seniors focus outward. Maybe inviting them to your celebration of the holidays as Care4You does each year or maybe spending part of your holiday with them should they be unable to leave their home.
How about including them in the ‘giving?’
I am a big fan of this because it can make our seniors feel like they are doing something good for someone else in need and making someone else’s holiday better, therefore they both can feel blessed by the ‘give.’
Like what, you may ask?
Well, we need to find out what they are capable of doing. Some of our seniors may not be able to contribute money or they may not be able to address envelopes for the cards because their handwriting is not as good as it used to be but they can put stamps and address labels on all those envelopes. Simple? Sure, but oh that wonderful feeling of being a team player! You just can’t beat it!
What else can our seniors do to feel good about being a part of this holiday season?
Helping to make a batch of cookies. Stuffing envelopes with the cards or newsletter updates. Taking them to the mall for Christmas shopping. Helping to decorate your tree. Helping them to decorate their tree and their home if they want to. Wrapping presents for special charities. Finding out the seniors favorite recipes and asking them to supervise or even help you make them and then at your dinner, acknowledge them in their contribution. With their permission, take them to the Senior Centers during the holidays where they may find some new friends.
What else can we do?
Please share with us your suggestions and let us all do what we can to care for our seniors, right through the holidays and beyond! Let’s ‘give’ the boot to the Holiday Blues!