Helping Hearts to Smile

I held a lady’s hand to calm her.  She grasped it tightly until she fell asleep and her grip loosened.   I sat with a man and let him talk, it didn’t matter if I understood the things he said,   he was glad to have someone to talk to.  I held a lady’s hand as she cried because she longed to go home.  She had to get back to her children.  Could I please take her home?  Her eyes pleaded with me as my eyes tried not to cry.

Yesterday was my first day of working with residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s and it went well.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I know there will be challenging days ahead.  I pray I have the strength to get through and that I can make at least a small difference in the lives of these special people.

There is a  dog that roams the halls every day, bringing smiles.  He will sit on the laps and be petted and spread his love around.  Oh the wonderful power that animals have to lift spirits!  The gift they have of knowing just who needs their attention.

The day started by me being greeted so affectionately by one woman.  She told me over and over again about how pretty I was.  How sweet I was.  She hugged me and gave my cheek a kiss.  When my day  was over and I told her goodbye, she looked at me with a serious face,  who was I?  Why was I telling her goodbye?

That’s the reality of Alzheimer’s, they are very much in the moment.  The next moment everything can change.  Will I be greeted affectionately again tomorrow or treated like a stranger?  I don’t know, but I do know one thing.  I know that I will warmly greet her and all the others.  I know that I will try to take one moment at a time and that I will be grateful for the chance I have to make a difference in someone’s life.

 

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Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Good Morning!  What is on your mind today?  I am thinking about how I will start my new job bright and early tomorrow.   Will hopefully be bright eyed and bushy tailed!  I am not exactly known to be a morning person, but I have been slowly making progress.  That is a good thing since I will need to leave the house around 5:30 am!

I am excited to be starting my job and look forward to getting to know the residents.  I am sure that it will have its challenging times, but looking forward to this new adventure.  In time I will get used to the early mornings.  I won’t be working full time, so I will have days that I can sleep in.  For now here are some quotes to perhaps help you wake up or to just bring a smile to your face.  Have a wonderful day.  Remember to slow down and enjoy this time of year!  There is so much beauty in it, if we let ourselves not be consumed by all the busyness!

 

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  10. c104cbe8bf3937d2d44bb0d88f8b5327We watch this movie every year! 🙂

1000x and counting!

What have you done at least 1000x?   Things besides waking up every day,  driving,  going to the grocery store, or going to work.

I have written in my journals over 1000x, have sent out over 1000 emails, texts and things by snail mail.   Have given/received 1000 plus hugs,  had way over 1000 chats with friends and shared well over 1000 meals with friends and family.  Have listened to over 1000 songs and the list goes on.

Last week I was notified by WordPress that I have shared 1000 posts!  I know many of you have passed that number and for the ones that haven’t, keep going, you will get there!  I really wasn’t keeping track of my number of posts, so it did shock me some when the little notification came up for me.

When I started blogging I didn’t even know if I would do more than 2 posts!  Didn’t know how it would go, but day by day, week by week, month by month the posts added up and here I am!  1000 posts and smiling!

I started blogging on an impulse to be honest.  I really didn’t think about it much, just thought hey, this could be fun, why not give it a try.   As a lot of my friends and my family know, I can be an impulsive person.  Sometimes the results of my impulsiveness aren’t always in my favor.  Okay maybe a little more than sometimes.  They may result in me “smacking my head”!  Is there anyone out there that can relate?

Fortunately my impulsive decision to start blogging has had wonderful results!! The pushing of buttons has resulted in over 1000 posts.  Posts that have hopefully brought  joy, hope, and laughter to your hearts.  As well as times of serious thoughts and perhaps even some tears.

The 1000 posts have helped to result in “The Odessa Chronicles” coming out in 2018!  A book of stories for all ages, that Colin and I have written.  A book that all started because of one impulsive post about a clever, mischievous  cat named Dewey.   Oh how the stories went on to grow from there,  with Colin working his magic with the characters.

Thank you all for helping my impulsive decision to blog turn out to be a very good thing!  For if it wasn’t for your faithful reading and your comments, I  wouldn’t have made it anywhere close to 1000 posts.  Its been a great adventure that I plan on continuing!  If only all my impulsive decisions could turn out this well!

 

Snow Animals

Happy Sunday everyone!  Time for some smiles. Who wants some snow?  I am ready for it!  I love snow in the month of December.  It adds the perfect touch to the Christmas season!

In thinking about snow and in remembering last night I thought of  my post from a couple days ago.  Once Upon a Snowy Night

Last night I was curled up on the couch reading late at night.  I love reading on my Kindle with just the lights of the Christmas Tree on. I was reading a new story and I came across a statement in it that made me say “Awww”….

Why?  A lady was remembering her husband who had died.  Now like I said I had never read this story before…all I knew is that it was a Christmas story.  Anyway she is remembering her husband,  thinking back to their early days.  Back to when she had her first date with him. Does it sound a little similar to my post?  Well there is more.  What flowers do you think he gave her on their first date?  Poppies!!  Sometimes you just have to smile!

Here are some more Smiles for you!  Some more animal pictures to put captions too and this time they are in the snow! Tell me, what are they thinking?  Have fun! 🙂

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Once Upon a Snowy Night

 

This past summer I wrote a post called, The Glorious Field of Red  with the help of my creative friend, Colin.  I never intended to write a follow up to it, but then I felt inspired today to continue the story.  I  turned once again to Colin, since he had added his magic touch before.  I knew I had done the right thing when I read his ending!  The magic worked again.  Thanks Colin!

I hope you all enjoy this Winter Tale.

Isabelle was looking out her window and her thoughts were taking her back in time.  She was remembering her husband and how they had danced in the glorious field of red;  the one that was now covered in snow.

Back when they first met they quickly learned that they made wonderful dance partners.  Oh how they would glide in such sweet harmony on the dance floor.  They would often be found dancing all night long.  People would say how watching them was like watching magic take place on the dance floor. Many times others would stop dancing just to watch them.  Isabelle and her dear husband’s eyes were always intently on each other as they danced to the rhythm of their love.  Often they would forget that their were others in the room.

In their later years of live they decided to  move  to the countryside. They had found the perfect place to reside.  It wasn’t the house that had caught their eye. It was the glorious field of red poppies that made their eyes shine, as tears glistened.  Red poppies were everywhere, as far as their eyes could see.  Her husband said how their names were written into the Field of Red,  how could they not choose this as their home.

Red poppies had always held special meaning for them.   Red poppies is what he had held behind his back when he nervously knocked on her door for their first date.  Red poppies and baby’s breath is what Isabelle had carried in her simple wedding bouquet.  Red poppies were the flowers that he had given her after she had announced with a beaming face that she was pregnant with their first child.  Red poppies were what they had laid ever so gently in their little one’s casket.  Red poppies were there in the times of joy and times of sorrow.  Red poppies followed them throughout their life.

Isabelle still recalled the first time he took her hand and led her out to the Poppy field where they danced by the light of the moon.  The night was like a fairy tale and it  quickly became a favorite thing of theirs to do.  Dancing in the field of poppies.  Dancing to the music of their love.  A song that kept on going even after he died.  She continued meeting him out in their poppy field every year on his birthday.  It was their special place.

She wiped a tear as she gazed through the window at the snow covered ground.  No poppies could be seen, but she knew they would bloom again.  Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean that its not there.

 The sun was going down and the sorrow from missing her husband felt stronger today.  One more night that she would be alone.  He had been gone for so very long.  Oh how she missed him so.  She wanted to sit together by their fireplace once more.  To feel his arm around her shoulders pulling her closer as they watched the embers glow.

She took a sip of her tea, raising her cup in a toast to him, wishing to hear the sound of his voice once more.

She suddenly felt compelled to get up and go over to the window. Looking through the panes, she noticed that it had started snowing and through the swirling mist she saw two dancers. She was mesmerized by their grace as they waltzed their way across the field to some mystical sound; turned and moved closer to her house.The wind was gently driving the snow , but she could still see them as they criss-crossed her field of vision, and each time they would be a little closer.

Isabelle could not help herself. Se felt compelled to go outside and meet the dancers. As she stood outside in the blowing snow, the two dancers moved ever closer until she recognized them. She was confronted with the husband who she sadly missed, and a young girl who she just knew was her child. The young girl stepped back from her husband,and, with a gesture of her left hand, invited Isabelle to take her place. Isabelle stepped forward and took her husband’s hand in hers. She felt his hand on her waist, and then she heard the music.

Daily Prompt: Sparkle

via Daily Prompt: Sparkle

The Birthday Celebration continues!  Went out for lunch with my parents today.  They were out of town yesterday.  I am blessed to have them live close to me.  They always know how to make my heart Sparkle with a hug and good conversation.

Earlier this week my husband and I were driving to the grocery store and had Christmas music on the radio.  An old song came on.  I think it is called “Home for the Holidays”. They name different states throughout the song and when Pennsylvania was named, I turned to Brad and  said, ” Yes, Pennsylvania is the place to be!”  His reply was, ” That is where I found my best Christmas Gift!”    My heart Sparkled with the warmth of his love.

I love the Sparkle of the first snowfall.  The way it glitters when the sun shines down on it.  Watching the first snowfall of the season is always magical.  I love the cozy feel of my  new Snowflake flannel sheets.  They don’t Sparkle, but they remind me of the Sparkle of snow.

I love the Sparkle in a child’s eyes as they gaze at Christmas lights.  The Sparkle in a parent’s eyes as they watch their child with eyes of love.  The Sparkle in a parent’s eyes and perhaps a tear as they look down at their precious baby.  A baby that was not given much chance to live and still has a fight ahead of him, but one that has been amazing his Doctor’s ever since the day that he was born.

A baby that has amazed them enough that he was discharged from the hospital and able to go home for Christmas much to his parent’s unspeakable joy!

A baby that all of you wonderful readers have sent up positive thoughts and prayers for!  Yes, there was definitely a Sparkle in the eyes of my friend’s  and I believe a Sparkle in little Billy’s eyes as well.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers!  Christmas is a time for Miracles! 🙂

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Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  It’s Quote day again and it is my birthday, how much better can today get?  The years really do seem to fly by quicker each year.  I remember as a child it felt like my birthday would never arrive! It was at the end of the year and felt like forever that I had to wait for it.  Now it is more like, “Wait a minute, didn’t I just celebrate a birthday not that long ago!”  But I am always up for a celebration. 🙂

Looking forward to today and hearing wishes from my friends and family that make me smile.  I woke up to such a very sweet birthday text from a dear friend.  Started the morning off with my heart smiling.  The gifts of love and friendship are priceless!  The right words can at times make your smile broader than any gift ever could.

My birthday actually started early for I received a very unique “birthday cake” last week! Friendship is precious.   It makes you smile, laugh and at times it makes you really shake your head.  Shaking your head when you can’t exactly find the words to say.  But it can also make your heart feel glittery!  Spread smiles, love and laughter around today like twinkly, glittery confetti and have a wonderful day!

 

 

  1.  3a79b6976864b8a775881ec0cd4205f1  Now this  is a great way to look at growing older! 🙂

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What is Forgiveness?

I thought I knew what forgiveness was.  There have been times in my life that I have been hurt, who hasn’t?  Times where I have had to let go of the hurtful words or actions that had been done.  I had to realize that having peace in my heart was more important than holding onto my pain.

In my journey through life I have found that not too hard to do.  I am not saying it has been easy.   There have definitely been harder times than others,  but overall I didn’t feel like I had much of a problem with it.

I have always been one that strives to look at the bright side of life, that wants to live in the joy of the moment.  I can’t do that if burdened with holding a grudge against someone.  It’s not worth the loss of inner joy.

A little over 2 years ago that all changed.  I was deeply hurt.  My family and I had been betrayed and the pain in my heart was overwhelming.  The depths of it almost drowned me.

Suddenly I was lost in the sea of unforgiveness.  I felt more anger than I have ever felt before.  I felt sickened by the cold feeling that I had welling up inside my heart.  The intensity of it was a new feeling to me and I didn’t like it at all.  It was then that I wondered if I would ever be able to truly forgive the person for what they had done.

I knew the importance of forgiving.  I had been taught it, I had encouraged others to do it.  I knew that I didn’t want to become a bitter person.  Having the knowledge of what I should do though is different from actually taking the steps to do it.  It is hard!  It was something I thought I had a grip on for one moment, but in the next moment would feel like I didn’t.

There is a saying that gets flung around all the time.  “Forgive and Forget!”  Forget??  I forget times of appointments and forget where I put my car keys, etc.  Forgetting something major that happened to my family and I?  Forgetting the pain that was caused to those I love the most?  How could I?  The answer was simple.  I couldn’t.

I don’t believe you can forget and I don’t think you have to.  There is more to that saying I believe.  I believe that its not in forgetting what happened but more in what happens to us when we remember.  I feel over time that as we learn to let go and forgive, that when the painful memory comes back , its not quite as sharp as it was the very first time.  I believe that its the realization that  even though the memory may stay with us,  we no longer need to let it rule us.

It doesn’t mean that there won’t be times where the pain of the memory might hit harder than other times.  Its a process.  This isn’t something that happens overnight and all is well the next morning.  It is about finding the strength to be able to keep making the choice to let go.

It is not about denying the pain but in accepting the peace.

Pain hit me unexpectedly this morning.  A memory flashed in my mind and the tears quickly came.  I thought what is happening?  What is this feeling?  For the memory that had flashed into my mind wasn’t of the betrayal.  No, it was a memory of happier times.  A memory of a friendship that had been shared for over 20 years.

The tears came because I missed the friendship of the very individual that had caused so much pain.  I truly missed it.  I missed the person that I thought I had known.  I missed the person that I believed had cared about my family and I.  I missed the good times we had shared.   It was while I was thinking about those things that I realized something.   I realized that I cared.

There was a warmth that had crept into my heart unexpectedly.  A warmth where coldness had been before.  A warmth that was poking up through the shards of a broken heart.  The warmth of a forgiving heart.  That realization brought more tears.

I still don’t want to see him. I don’t believe you need to see someone in order to forgive them.  I don’t believe that you need to hear a “I’m sorry!” in order to forgive.  In this case I still haven’t heard those words and I don’t know if I ever will.  Forgiveness is not about the other person.   Its not about whether they deserve it or not.  How many times have I been forgiven when I didn’t deserve it?

Forgiveness isn’t about measuring the level of offense that was done. Forgiveness is about extending grace.  Forgiveness is for us.  Forgiveness is in the release of the coldness of bitterness and letting warmth fill our heart.  It is in the releasing of the tears that roll down our cheeks.

I am not saying that I am fully there, for I am not. I am not saying that I don’t still have questions, for I do.  I also still have moments of anger; but  in cases like this morning I have felt the warmth of caring.  The warmth that causes more tears to flow,  but flowing tears is something that I will take over a cold heart any day!

Forgiveness is a Warm Heart.