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The Most Beautiful Song

Working with the elderly, you learn to appreciate the things we take for granted. You also discover the most beautiful things that can bring a warmth to your soul and become imprinted on your heart.

In my experience, the saddest and scariest thing about aging is Alzheimer’s Disease. Working with these beautiful souls is one of my greatest pleasures and saddest moments as well as it is where I have learned the most and experienced beautiful moments.

There is one beautiful moment that stands out for me and that is when music transformed a silent, withdrawn and confused woman into a singing and responsive individual. The lovely lady I am talking about has had a severe stroke and has dementia and is in a long term care facility. In her past, she danced ballet in Europe and sang Opera in England but has not sang since her stroke.

I had bought a Side Walk Prophets CD and played for her and she began to attempt to sing along with the music, even attempting to change notes and levels while singing. This was amazing to watch her do and it was a beautiful sound.

Another awe inspiring moment was hearing this wonderful woman attempt to practice Operatic singing with and without music playing, even though it was sadly off key and words made no logical sense it was the most beautiful song.

Every day since then, she will sing her song to me and share her love of music with me while listening and aiming to any music we hear. It is heart warming as you can see parts of the Opera singer coming out of her and watch a smile form on her face when you ask “are you singing?”

I encourage everyone to spend a day with an elderly person because it will change your life for the better and you will never be the same. Our elderly are the greatest teachers and bravest warriors as they have survived so many trials and tribulations in their lifetime.

Take a moment, share your time, open your mind and listen not just with your eyes but with your heart.

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The Divine Discovery

A week ago, I was out exploring with a friend in the Porcupine Mall (Porcupine,Ontario) and I discovered the greatest little store.

I felt compelled to enter this store and when I entered the greatest sense of peace came over me. I felt at home and at one with the Divine.

Harmony House Religious Book Store is filled with Christian books, music and inspirational and Divinity merchandise. The staff are the friendliest, most positive and sweetest people I have ever encountered.l

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Apology for Absence and Tardiness writing

I would like to take a quick moment to apologize for my absence and thank everyone for being patient with me!

I had to remove the app for WordPress on my phone as it was having problems syncing and just now re-added it and haven’t really been on my computer last few days to week.

So far this week has been a busy week, my client finally got into Golden Manor nursing home yesterday, so Monday was organization and packing day and yesterday she was moved in morning and the stuff that was hospital was brought there,labelled right away and put away in her room.
I have small stuff to bring over throughout week that i gathered Monday but other than that, she is settled nicely.

Today, i have interview at 10am that I am in process of getting ready for (so this will be a short blog) at Extendicare Timmins.

Wish me luck!! I will update later!!

Daily Photo Challenge – Fresh

Fresh – what does it mean to me?

When I think of fresh, especially this time of year I think of fresh flowers in fields and the fragrant aroma that is scattered in the air.

Some scents and flowers, brings me back to childhood and playing in my grandfather’s garden or when my father planted snapping dragon flowers for me in a potter when I was younger.. Image

Update of Short Story

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The old lady sat fidgeting in the seat at her old rickety kitchen table!! For some reason her nerves were more shot than usual and she couldn’t pinpoint why exactly. She kept clutching at her withered hands in anticipation as she wrestled with her anxious mind.
She woke this morning so abruptly that her tired legs were shaking uncontrollably when she tried to ease herself out of bed. Looking back at her sheets before she attempted the agony of trying to coax a weary and beat body out bed, she notices that they are soaked from sweat.

Her body was not at all cooperative this morning and her mind began to race the minute her eyes focused on the light from her window! Every bone in her body creaked as she fumbled to get in a position that would allow her to get up successful and her joints felt like they were un-oiled hinges.

Her senses were working in over drive and she had a distinct feeling that something bad was going to happen, but she could not determine what or why. As much as she tried to ignore her instincts, she knew that they could not be ignored.
Once she had steadied herself enough to trust her body to not collapse under her legs, she grabbed onto her cane and slowly made her way to kitchen to take what she referred to as her “daily dose of reality” with her favorite morning tea. She slowly and cautiously eased herself into her favorite old, second hand chair that faced out the window to a neglected back yard.

Once she was seated carefully she reached toward her cocktail of medications stored in her green medicine container, took a deep breath and started fumbling with the flip tops. Her arthritic fingers stumbling as her hands begin to shake and her heart starts to beat rapidly in her chest. After 10 long minutes, she is able to finally open lids and begins her routine of sorting out her tablets according to size – she always starts with the smallest ones first as it is easier to psych herself up to handle the larger tablets.

While the old woman sat taking her medication, she could hear the wind howling and shaking her old window panes. The wind seemed fiercer than usual tonight and she could swear there were cries being carried through the air.
All of a sudden a chill seemed to overtake her and she reached for her shawl.

After her daily ritual was complete she sat almost transfixed in her chair. It almost felt like something had bound her in place but no one else was around.

She knew the signs and what she had to do but it had been years and she was uncertain of her mind’s clarity and if her body could handle the fatigue afterwards.

Trying to ignore the nagging feeling she began to hum and fidgeted with her fingers and rings in hopes that it would distract herself from the pull.

The twitch grew stronger in her weary hands and she could feel her back muscles stiffen under her wrinkled, age spotted skin.

When she could no longer still what was stirring inside her, she steadied herself on the wobbly old table and cautiously pulled herself up. Once she was steady enough she made her way to her cupboard above the sink.

Her walk to the cupboard seemed to take years instead of the minutes it did actually take. Once she reached the cupboards, she took a deep breath and slowly began to open the door. The hinges creaked so loud that it seemed to echo in her empty kitchen.

Her eyes scanned the contents of the cupboard until they cane across the small black bag with a gold rope tie. Her hands began to shake as her hands reached the velvet black sachet. Once it was in her grasp the old woman grabbed it and took a deep breath.

She stood almost frozen in place with the bag in her hands. The feel of velvet in her hands were comforting to her but also awakened overwhelming tensions in her body.

Once her heart slowed down enough she slowly made her way back to the wooden table and cautiously lowered herself down to the chair. She sat staring at the velvet bag as she passed it back and forth between her hands.

It had been years since her eyes had peered at artifacts in velvet sachet but she knew that she would have to face the ghosts of the past!

Her heart started to race as her mind flashed back to when she last glimpsed what was hidden in the velvety soft packet!

It had been years since her eyes had peered at artifacts in velvet sachet but she knew that she would have to face the ghosts of the past!

Her heart started to race as her mind flashed back to when she last glimpsed what was hidden in the velvety soft packet!

It was just before her grandmother passed away when she last decided to use her skills and open the contents of the pouch. She was just in her late thirties when her grandmother passed away leaving her the contents of the velvet sachet.

What she saw then terrified her to the point that she swore that she would never again open herself up to Spirit.

As much as she tried, she could no longer ignore the nagging feeling that she had inside. It was time to put her fears aside and do what needed to be done.

She pulled out what was inside and took a deep breath and all of a sudden a strange wind blew through her kitchen.

“It is time”, she thought to herself as she laid out all contents of the pouch on her table. Before she continued, she fingered her antique gold cross and chain and said a silent prayer.

She began by lighting a small white candle that forever sat on her table. It had become a part of the table now and years of neglect covered it with dust. The wick lit with such ease that it surprised her as well as concerned her.

Watching the flame dance on the wick, she begins to shuffle the ancient cards that her grandmother passed down to her. The flame’s dance seems to hypnotize her and put her in a deep trance like state!!

As the old woman sat silently with the cards in her frail, slender hands she took a deep breath and said a silent prayer to the spirits and God.
She then flipped over the first card and gasped to herself. The card that was facing her was “The Tower”, which she knew meant disaster and misfortune.
As she stared shockingly at the card, she began seeing flashes of horrific images. At first, she was confused as to where the setting of the startling images originated from, but the more she focussed the clearer she saw what an exact replica of her small town was.
With a start she snapped back to the present and sat frozen in her seat as she began to sob uncontrollably. “It is own town I saw” she whispered to herself.

What should she do next, she asked herself. She was not the most popular person in her little town as many people thought of her as a strange, crazy lady. She has heard their snickers in the past as she would walk amongst the town folk. Their taunts and judgements became so hurtful that she decided that she would never venture out again and she stuck by that statement.
She has found ways to get groceries and supplies delivered to her daily and to avoid the people in town.

Now the old woman had to decide the biggest decision of her life and she was plagued with uncertainty.

Should she face the ridicule and tell people what she saw and ultimately save them? Would they even believe her?

Should she just leave and save herself? Or stay and face the fate that everyone
else would endure?

Afraid that her decision would be clouded by her emotions, past hurts and fear, she decided to sleep on it and hope that the angels and spirits would speak to her.

She said a silent prayer asking for guidance and sat in silence at her old wooden table. As she sat there and looked at her shaking frail hands and tried to will them to settle.

Unable to calm her nerves, she decided to take a sleeping pill and try to rest for the night. After finishing her glass of water, she sets the glass down and steadies herself to stand up and head to her bed.

It seemed to take her forever to walk from kitchen to the bedroom. She could hear her bones creak as she walked cautiously to her bedroom and positioned herself to be able to lower her body down to bed. Once she was certain that she could lower her body right on bed, she braced her tired hands on bed and began the process until her bottom hit the mattress.

She guided her legs onto mattress and stretched them out to get comfortable enough to relax her body. Laying her head upon a pillow, she pulled up her handmade quilt and closed her weary and tired eyes.

She knew it wouldn’t be a good night’s sleep but at this moment a few hours would be better than no sleep at all.

The night air was thick and heavy and the old woman tossed uncontrollably during the night.
Her mind was running wild with images, her heart beating rapidly and her body aching more than normal.

When the early daylight came through the cracked bedroom window, she decided that she would start the process of getting out of bed. Her morning routine would be a lengthy process that took her 25 minutes every morning, as long as it was a good day.

Today did not feel like a food day as her nerves were rattled, her body felt weak and heavier than normal and her muscles felt like they had dissolved.

Every time she moved about her body ached and her heart raced so rapidly it felt like it would pound out of her chest.

Once she was steady enough to stand, she began to slowly get dressed for the day and then shuffled herself to medicine shelf in her kitchen.

“This is going to be one on those days when I will need more pain meds than normal”, she said to herself. She reached for her pill jar and began to fumble with the lid.

“Damn lids why do they make them so hard to open”, she mumbled to herself. After several minutes of attempting to open lid, her frail, arthritic hands successfully completed task. She shook two pills onto her hand and swallowed them without water.

She placed the lid back on the amber coloured jar and slid it carefully into her skirt pocket. She reached for her cane and shawl and stumbled through the doorway.

At first, she did not know what direction to head and began walking aimlessly. As she began walking, her mind began to race and the visions began to return.

She decided to walk toward the graveyard where her late husband was buried. She wasn’t sure why she was guided toward that spot as she hadn’t gone to his grave in years because it was too much for her to bare. All she knew for certain was that she was being drawn back to the very spot she had avoided for years.

Once she reached the entrance to the dimly lit gateway, she leaned against the old oak tree that stood guard beside the wrought iron gate.
She could feel her heart pounding in her chest and it seemed to echo in her ears.

She struggled to catch her breath and her body ached from the walk. Closing her eyes for a few minutes, she attempts to calm her breathing down and settle her nerves.

She asks herself out loud, “Is this the right thing for me to do?” Uncertainty and fear fill her mind as she looks into the abandoned cemetery.

Determined to continue along her path, she pushes open the old gate and takes a long, slow deep breath. She shuffled into the graveyard and follows the stone path that has now become overgrown with weeds.

It had been so many years since she had been to his grave and her memory was not as good as she thought. She could not remember where the headstone was and she felt lost in cemetery.

As she was looking around, she began to feel weak and shaky so she sat down on a patch of grass near an old oak tree to rest.

 

 

 

As she leaned against the tree, she closed her weary eyes for a few minutes to ease the dryness.

Hours later, the old woman woke startled and disorientated as she was not sure what had happened.
When she looked around, she realized that she had fallen asleep at the cemetery.

She began to pat around the grass and felt a solid mass in the ground. Clearing the grass away and dusting off area she discovered that she had fallen asleep at her husband’s grave.

Amazed at what she called a “divine coincidence “, she smiled and then rubbed the headstone in affection.

“I know I haven’t been to visit in a long time but you know you are always in my heart”, the old woman whispered. “Besides, I feel you most when I sit in your old chair in the living room”,’ she says as if to justify her absence.

“I am at a loss now and I need your strength and guidance,” she begins her conversation. As if he was standing beside her, she started conversing with his spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lessons Of Life Through Elder’s Eyes

i thought today I would share some insight about what I have learned and gained from working with the elderly.

I am compelled to share as I find so many people discount what they can offer to anyone.

This is kind of a hard topic to broach for me because trying to pinpoint the most important aspects and lessons is like pulling apart a crystal to see what parts are more valuable. To me, the whole experience is a valuable and precious gem.

But for the sake of not being overbearing and boring. I will choose the lessons and tidbits that stand out to me.

Lessons On Life From Elders Eyes

1. Life can change in an instant – live everyday like its your last
(My client used to dance ballet in Europe and sing Opera in England before she moved to Canada)
2. Hold onto memories or record them in a book too quickly they can be forgotten
(Alzheimer’s and dementia robs you off your precious memories)
3. Cherish where you rest your head no matter how big or small your home
(One day your surroundings will be so foreign and strange to you – the room you took pride replaced with hospital and nursing home rooms)
4. Keep a box of special trinkets
(They can travel with you when you can no longer stay home)
5. Write letters to those you love and tuck away
(One day your voice will be lost to what you need to say)
6. Sometimes listening with your heart to what cannot be said is more important
7. Little things we take for granted will one day seem so huge when lost
8. A simple hello can cheer up a scared and feeling alone seniors day
9. Listen to the stories that they tell – wisdom and experience is hidden in the lines
10. Human touch is sometimes more important than words – its universal and can reach the farthest corners of the heart