Alzheimer's is such a devastating disease for everyone involved. The other day my father was evicted from Benton House Assisted Living in Clermont because he was violent with staff. He twisted a caretaker's arms twice and punched a caretaker in the ear after a diaper change. It happened with a night nurse that I never met before so I don't really know what happened other than word of mouth. I have never witnessed any of this violence in any way from him but more than one person has told me and it is a known side affect of the disease so I believe it. When I see him, he seems so unstable and weak getting up and down that it seems hard for me to see him having the strength to hurt someone. I'm sure he was being sedated at Evergreen Manor in Safety Harbor, FL to help make his behavior more manageable. It's tough to know he is healthier not being sedated but I also understand that he can't be hurting staff. There has to be a balance with the medication so that he is only getting the minimum amount to keep him manageable. After what happened, I understand that his medication will need to be increased. I spent the night looking up Alzheimer's and violence. It is usually caused by fear. The best way to handle it is to try to alleviate their fear. The fear could have been from past traumas, the current situation or fear from a change in surroundings because Alzheimer's affects the short term memory where the long term memory is still available. A person with Alzheimer's can get confused, disoriented and scared in a new place because they can't remember the new place or why they are there or who the new people are that they are surrounded by. I wonder how much staff is trained on Alzheimer's and violence to help alleviate the patients fear to prevent violent outbursts. If a staff member is short or impatient during a diaper change then yes, this could create a fearful situation especially for my father as he is so unstable with standing. He is afraid to fall.
We were able to move him to Crain's Lodge in Clermont thankfully and they have the possibility of converting over to medicaid after 18 months where Benton House didn't have that option. It's really an emotional roller coaster with worry that I have over the situation. I worry that he will get kicked out of his new home. I worry about the cost. I worry about the medication being too much or too little. I worry about my mother's illness with Parkinson's. I worry about raising my children in a way where they don't have to worry or feel the worry that I'm feeling. I normally write everyday but I was frozen with anxiety. I couldn't sleep well at night and then I was exhausted during the day. I had to ask my neighbor to help me move my father's furniture out of Benton House and into Crain's Lodge. He forgot his tools so I'm asking staff to see if maintenance has a power drill and a wrench. I quickly move as I also have my 4 year old with me. I ask him to follow me back and forth to the car. Thankfully it's only a few trips. I load up my mother's car with all of his personal belongings and I drive to Crain's Lodge. We unload everything and I keep accidentally trying to leave the facility without the nurse buzzing me out and I set off the alarm. The facility is on lockdown with memory care because patients are escape risks. I move everything into Crain's Lodge with my son following me back and forth having to ring the doorbell each time and scanned out each time. I'm so lucky that my son is such a sweet boy and listened the whole time. The staff also helped me and they were great too. They run to their maintenance department and get a drill and a wrench for me. I put together the bed with the maintenance man and on my way out my son screams some of his full out soprano screams. "What is the matter?" I say. "He says he's mad at me because that's his bed and he says that he doesn't love me anymore." He's only 4 and I know he doesn't know what he's saying so I pick him up and talk sweet to him and tell him that we will buy him a better bed. I hold him but he refuses my hugs. I feel frustration with trying to help and keeping everyone happy. My mother has Parkinson's which is a form of dementia as well and she is on the verge of needing care. The cost of these facilities is outrageous. I drop off my son at his dad's house and go to work.
I teach my advanced yoga class. I have to admit, it wasn't my best class. It also wasn't the worst. My students are the best and even though I'm the teacher in the class, I'm learning from them. They work so hard and are always such good sports about trying something new. I'm glad I could push through teaching the class as I always feel so much better afterwards. I love connecting with my students. After I help to teach the high school class yoga. I could have gone home but I feel less stress at the yoga studio. We finish up at 8:30pm and I go home.
When I walk into the door I smell feces. I don't have any pets. My house is under construction with new flooring, kitchen and bath with handicap bars for my mom. She is sleeping in my daughter's room. I know she was exhausted as the day was hectic for her too. I tell her something smells and she hurries up and goes to the bathroom. Her stoma bag exploded. She had her colon removed due to Crohn's disease a few years ago and there is a lot of special care needed for a stoma. First of all, it has to be changed regularly and if there is gas then it needs to be released or the bag fills with gas. If you don't change it regularly then it explodes everywhere. My mom is in the bathroom cleaning up. She is half asleep. I run into the bedroom and change the sheets. Why did I keep all my father's stuffed animals? I have like 30 on the bed! Ahhhhh! I take everything off and rinse the spots before putting it in the washer. I rinse my mom's cloths and wash everything. I make the bed and leave the stuffed animals in the closet. My mom wants me to organize them but I'm exhausted. I have to help her change her stoma bag. She showers. Then, she holds paper towels over her small intestine that sticks out of her belly to prevent anything else from coming out. We have to put this putty around the stoma ring so that it seals the bag closed. Then we have to powder her intestine so it doesn't stick. It's hard for her to powder the bottom. Then we peel the back of the sticker off to stick the bag onto her belly. We go to bed exhausted. I'm glad my dad is moved and everything is taken care of, for now.
If you have it in you to say some prayers for my parents then please do so. Send them love, warmth, peace and anything else that can alleviate fear. I really believe that energetically we all can help in some way. My parents are just two people suffering with these awful diseases. Memory care is full at the assisted care facilities and there is a whole population of Alzheimer's patients and caretakers that also need some energetic love. From my perspective, the more you take care of yourself, the more you won't need help from your loved ones. My parents diet was what I call the SAD diet or Standard American Diet with processed foods, heavy animal products, dairy, fried foods, soda, sweets, alcohol, etc. There are many theories on the cause of this disease, round up, diet, clean water, etc. The one aspect that we do have control over is our diets. Nutrition plays a huge roll, no doubt in my mind. This is a newer disease in the era of fast, processed, genetically modified, drug & hormone induced food. I teach plant based nutrition because I know how much it helps to increase the autoimmune system to avoid autoimmune diseases. Everything I do is because of the love that I have for my parents and so that I can help prevent others from suffering.
I was trying to get my dad to look up in this photo but he wouldn't. People who know my dad in this picture would immediately see that he has lost a lot of weight. His checks are sunken in and typically my dad was chubby. He didn't start to gray for the longest time and it seems only within the past couple years that his hair has gotten more gray. He is starting to roll his lips under his teeth and I never saw him do that before. He will listen to me more than he will a caretaker. Today a caretaker tried to change his diaper and he got upset. I told him "it's ok dad, she is going to help you" and he calmed down. I walked into the bathroom with him to put him at ease and the caretaker expertly took off his depends and put a new one on with his pants around his ankles the whole time while he was standing. That was pretty good. She slipped it around his shoe and then up the pant legs and then did the pant leg first and then looped it around the shoe and then pulled them up. We try to go quickly to make it as easy on him as possible.
Today was my parents wedding anniversary but I didn't get a good photo of them. My mom took him to Target with her and then Benton House put flowers on the table and made a nice lunch for their wedding anniversary. My mom is hilarious. When you walk into this place, people are quiet and looking around a lot. There is some conversation but I'm sure that runs dry after you see the same people day on end. My mom makes announcements offering Italian Icee's for everyone. She bought two boxes at the store. She starts passing them out and the caretaker has to help her as some patients are diabetic and can't have it. River my son was all giggles in the home. Everyone is watching him and I think he enjoys the attention. He was sitting on bouncy balls and throwing them back and forth to me. We were laughing and playing. He comes by me and I kiss him everywhere and say "Why are you so yummy?" He has this crazy soprano scream so I have to be careful that he's not too loud. One of the caretakers says she just loves his laugh.
My dad walks and walks and walks circles around the place. He is restless and it is almost impossible to get him to sit down. He tries to open all the doors to the place and goes in other people's rooms. What is he looking for and why can't he sit down? Why does he like to move so much? Alzheimer's Disease is the worst if you ask me. The level of care that he needs is a lot. He's still in there and looks semi-healthy but his brain is gone. My mom and I both know that moves into a new facility are difficult so we visit everyday to help put him at ease. My mom took two trips today, all morning and the evening to help my dad adjust.
She really loves him and I can only imagine how hard it is for her to lose her best friend and husband. One of the things that she says is the most difficult is sleeping alone. Up until 5 months ago she slept next to him for 48 years. That's a big change. Last night my 2 kids slept with her but she said River somehow ended up with his feet in her face. I just laugh because I've been there. I co-slept with my babies. My mom loves the babies but they are getting big and they like to sleep horizontal, upside down, diagonal, like a star and any other position that somehow wakes you up. Bottom line, I can't sleep next to them as cute as they are. My little girl begs me to sleep with her and sometimes I will lay with them and as soon as they fall asleep, I stealth like slither off the bed and into my own room. My mom enjoys sleeping with them and kept saying how happy she was that they were sleeping with her. The day before yesterday my mom slept a full 5 hours and woke for a bit and then slept 5 more hours. She was totally relaxed and hasn't slept like that since she moved in with me in January. She is awake in the middle of the night often. I think she was relaxed to know my dad is in good hands. Overall the decision to move my dad to Clermont just feels right. I hope it goes well. Peace out my friends. Much love to you all.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of assisting a room full of high school sport teams experiencing their first yoga class. The room was still warm from teaching my advanced power vinyasa even though we opened the doors. It's getting hot in the Florida summers. I was wet with sweat from the previous class and I dry mop the sweat off the floor. The kids walked into the room and immediately started moaning and groaning about the heat. I was laughing because this was after we cooled the room off. It's still warm. Eventually these kids will grow to love the heat in a yoga room.
They place their mats on the floor and I don't know what to expect. For some reason I assume that because they are athletes that yoga will be easy for them. We ask the students to tell us their experience with yoga and many of them have never done it before. We start them in a standing position and the first thing that I notice is that their posture needs help. Many of them roll their feet into their arches which will affect their knees and hips later in life. We go over the basics of every position so that they know proper alignment when they start flowing. This prevents injury. When they do a forward fold, I'm surprised how inflexible they are. Bend your knees in a forward fold in the beginning to protect your spine. They come down to all fours and we teach them cat and cow pose. There is a simple lack of body awareness with isolating movements like your pelvis or widening your scapula. I teach them the difference between pronate and supinating the shoulders. They eagerly learn, grown and say how it's already helping. One kid says, "I can touch my toes. I have never been able to do this before." I am humbled as a teacher as I watch my teacher Gina Keefe expertly guide beginner beginners how to do the basics of yoga. Rebecca, the other assistant and I say to each other, "I'm so happy Gina is teaching the first one." I learn that I have to go way back to the beginning and teach the basics of every pose. I learn from the students how I can better serve. I also see how badly yoga is needed for our youth. These kids deserve to have healthy bodies. Yoga can do that for them. The need is urgent in my opinion.
The students were great and as I watch them I wonder, "Why isn't yoga taught in school"? These kids need it! They are developing their bodies, growing into their bones and yoga can help set them up for proper body alignment for the rest of their lives. Many of these athletes are so tight that I'm surprised that they haven't already gotten injured. I imagine how these problems grow as people age into adults. Yoga can save them from so many injuries, give them a better range of motion and create a body awareness that I think everyone needs. We live in our skin. The more that we know and understand how our parts work then the less pain that we have. We can live a life of joy, pain free if we are properly guided. Most importantly for these athletes, yoga can help them take off in their sports. As a former triathlete and marathon runner myself, I wish I had yoga. I was taking off in my sports but injuries slowed me down. I know this could have been prevented with proper training and yoga.
I am inspired by the willingness of these kids to get out of their comfort zone and try. They worked hard and many of them are soaking wet with sweat after class. They are gracious after they leave and I mentally think what I can teach these students so that they can be successful. I hope this program continues. I can thank their coach Paul for bringing them to the studio for these kids to experience their first class. For me, yoga has changed my life but that is for another post. For now, I'm just happy to learn and help. I'm excited to foster the excitement and curiosity of yoga for these students. Let the healing begin.
My dad's name is Wayne Charles Hendricks. My mother's name is Irene Marganelli Hendricks. Marganelli is her maiden name since she doesn't have a middle name. My maiden name is Amy Lynn Hendricks. Now, it's Amy Lynn Hager. I never changed it after my divorce so that my last name is the same as my kids. I have four brothers and I am the only girl. 3 of my brothers still live in Chicago, Brent, Eric and Kirt Wayne Hendricks. My oldest brother Keith lives in Safety Harbor, Florida. My dad moved into Benton House Assisted Living facility in Clermont, Florida last night. I saw him this morning and he looks good! I asked him if he feels better than he did at the other place and he said "Oh God, yes". He is alert, I can ask him questions and he responds. Overall he looks A LOT better. He went to the bathroom on his own too! I'm so happy. He likes to walk so we walked outside around the courtyard and sat outside on the rocking chairs where my son River ran to the door and back to mommy's finger that tickles his armpits. He giggles and laughs and my dad says that he likes him. Everyone at the home loves seeing a child in the home and River plays with everything. He throws a beach ball at me and I throw it back and he just keeps on laughing and playing. I stayed for an hour and then went back to my house. I'm exhausted.
Overall the past few days have been very emotionally draining. All I want to do is sleep. My mom came to see him after me and had lunch with Wayne. It's $7 for her to have lunch at the facility and I think she will do this from now on so that she can eat with my dad and not have to shop, cook and clean. It just feels right to have him here. He has a much nicer bed and we added pictures to remind him of home. He said that "it's nice". Then he said "Let's get out of here". I told him yes, that once my house is finished with construction then he can come home to visit. My mom likes it there and the whole staff came to introduce themselves. Everyone's energy was very light and upbeat which makes me happy. Tomorrow is my parent's 48th anniversary. I'm happy they get to spend it together. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! I love you! Peace Love & Light.
Hooray my dad is moved into Benton House! He is now about 15 minutes from me and I can visit him!!! Yay!!!!! I am happy and hopeful that this home works out for him. They have a beautiful facility and it is significantly nicer than his old home. There are more activities and the place has a happier vibration to it. He is close enough to come home for visits and I have some time to spend with him. He is a lot weaker but I'm going to try to take him on walks, his favorite activity with me. I didn't see it but the hospital in Safety Harbor, FL said that he walks well with a walker. I think this will save me a fall and he will be able to get out. Clermont has a beautiful lake front with a bike path that I hope to show him. The hospital said that he was stabilized but was a little agitated with the new surroundings. They said it is disorienting for an Alzheimer's patient to move so I feel this is normal. I haven't seen him yet believe it or not! This was like an all day affair today.
My mom has an 8am doctor appointment with a dentist and a 10am doctor appointment with a Neurologist for her Parkinson's and then we had a noon appointment at Benton House to sign paperwork. We had a novel to fill out. It really felt like a mammoth task to move him. We needed to get 1823 forms from the hospital, should we resuscitate or not forms, what does he like to eat, how does he like to wake up, power of attorney forms and finally furniture! They don't offer furniture so I gave him my son's bed and dresser set. I will buy my son a new set, I needed something fast. I have a Prius and my Darrel, my ex-husband has a Highlander. I see my neighbor Carl across the street getting his mail in his pickup truck. I run across the street and ask him if he can help us move his bed and some belongings. He was the most gracious angel ever who offered to help and wouldn't accept anything more than a handshake. I get out my drill and my ex has the wrench and we are drilling and unscrewing the bolts from the bed. Piece by piece we take it out to the truck. He has a tarp to keep things nice and off we go.
My mom drives separate because she has to shop for a mattress pad in case he wets the bed and an extra set of sheets and towels. Darrel drives separate with the kids and right before we were going to leave, my daughter bumps her head hard on my other neighbor, Elizabeth's coffee table. She comes home crying and we are alarmed. We put ice on her head and leave. She calms down in the car and both kids fall asleep. We get to Benton House and unload the truck through the back door while Carl watches the kids in the car that is still running for air conditioning. I drill the bed back together and Darrel tightens the bolts. I have to remember the code to get out of the place with every trip as memory care is on lock down so patients don't wander and get lost. Darrel takes the kids home and Carl & I drive to the front and spot my mom. She is worn down and is parked outside. I know she is in pain after 6 and I simply run out to the car and start carrying things in with Carl. I see her as I pass and she can barely talk and is super wobbly with her walk. She needs to rest. The home gets a wheel chair for her. I know she is in pain but I can't help but to feel like she puts on an extra pity show when she is around people. I feel guilty even saying this but I often see her walking up and down the hill in my yard with a hose watering the plants and she is fine. She does get worn down at night because she gets up so early so who knows. I put on the mattress pad, the sheets and the comforter and put away some of his things. Tomorrow I may bring the dresser for his cloths as my mom packed him a huge suitcase. He doesn't need all this stuff, but she wants it nice. We bring a big family picture from home so he sees something that he is familiar with. He has a roommate who seems nice but was sleeping the whole time. We have to be quiet and keep the light off for him.
During this whole time we are calling back and forth to the hospital for my dad to get his final check ups and discharge papers. The hospital provided transportation for my dad to get to the home so after we left the home around 7ish he was still an hour away. I run back to Darrel's house to check on the kids and bring them food. They are asleep and I quietly put on their pull-ups. I kiss them goodnight and go home. My mom wants to go back to the home to greet him but she falls asleep. I can wake her but I don't. She will be able to help him better if she gets a good night sleep. I turn off the tv, get her a glass of water and turn on a nightlight. Sweet dreams for now. In the morning, we go to see my dad!!!!
Tomorrow, the contractors tear out my kitchen tiles and continue to finish the flooring in the living room. The office is painted and the room looks amazing!!! I painted the walls a light gray color and the small room looks so much bigger. Today was a busy day but there are lots of good things happening. Energetically, I feel better making sure my dad is with my mom and that he is well cared for. Even though his speech is disoriented, energetically I feel his soul. I know he feels mine too. We silently connect and I feel his love. Sleep tight Prince Wayne. I'll see you soon. Peace and love.
"Mommy, my tummy hurts." "We'll be back at the house in 2 minutes baby." "Mommy I'm going to throw up." We pull into the driveway and I stop. "Open the door Pepper and throw up outside." "Mommy I can't." Blaaaahhhhhh! Blaaaaaaahhhhh! Blaaaaaaaaahhhhh! OMG! Projectile vomits flies all over my car. You gotta be kidding me. I run around to her door faster than Speedy Gonzales and take her out of the car and lean her over the grass. She stops. "Why didn't you open the door." "I couldn't." I had the child proof on the darn cars! Aaaahhhhh! Red slime and chewed grapes are slimed all over the passenger seat and in between the seat and the console. She seemed to find all the cracks. There is toys all over the floor covered in vomit. And there is vomit on the carpet. My kids haven't thrown up in a long time. My daughter sometimes gets car sick but she hasn't thrown up in like forever. I got a bucket of water and a rag to clean this one as I peel one slimed toy after another out of the car and hose it off. Seriously you all, moms do so much! She says she's sorry sheepishly. I look at her with love, reach my hands out to her neck and jokingly strangle her. She laughs and I say I still love her but I don't like her yucky throw up. I clean the mess and we all relax again. That wasn't fun.
My dad has been at the hospital the past 3 1/2 days. The hospital is going to transport him to an Assisted Care Facility in Clermont, Florida where my mom and I live tomorrow. They reduced his medication and he is doing better except he has a bad headache. I'm sure weaning him from some of his medication has it's side affects. I am happy that he will be only 15 minutes away. Now my mom can stop driving so far to see him. It is too far for her to drive alone. It costs more money but I think that it might be cheaper in the long run if it avoids an accident. Plus this new home is way nicer than his old place. I also saw their lunches and I was impressed with their food as it looked fresh. Everyone was raving about the food so I'm sure my dad will be happy about that. We have to buy him a bed and move his personal belongings. He doesn't talk a lot anymore. I'm looking forward to taking him on walks. They do have a courtyard loop that he can walk outside with pretty plants. Inside they have lots of activities that they do with the patients. I hope he adjusts well. I know it is always stressful for an Alzheimer patient to change their surroundings.
I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think that both my parents would be better off. I also think it takes the pressure off of my brother in Tampa. He has already helped tremendously and now it's my turn. He has a construction mess to fix with hiring the wrong contractors for an addition on his house for my mom. Now he'll have more time to focus on getting that fixed. He also won't have to deal with the responsibility of the details of my father's death whenever the time comes. It's hard to even say the word death but it's on everyone's minds, especially mine. I've been learning from it and seeing how it's making me focus on the important things in life. Right now, that is my family, my career and my friends. Death makes the time that we spend during life even more important.
Tomorrow, the flooring contractor comes to install more of my new floors. They are going to paint the office and then I get to have that room back. Next week the contractors come to re-do the kitchen. The new kitchen is going to be awesome. I don't know what I'm going to do without a kitchen for a month while they work! I hope they diligently hurry. Overall, I am blessed. I feel really good about the change in my dad's home and the remodeling of my home. Overall, I'm happy. Sending you all love and light! Peace!
My dad was admitted into Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida Thursday afternoon May 30th, 2019. After my visit to his Assisted Care Facility I was concerned for his health. He looked terrible and it was obvious that he was in bad shape and needed help. I spoke with his care giver about all the medications that he was taking and requested that they reduce or eliminate the long list of medications that he was on. Some of the drugs are so strong that they have to wean him. They took my request and said they would talk with the owner who was clearly the one making all the decisions, not a doctor. I spoke with a nurse about it and I left a message for the psychiatrist on site. I then proceeded to interview Assisted Care Facilities in Clermont by my house. I knew he had to be moved or he was going to die in this home. I told one of the caregivers that if they don't reduce his medications then they were going to kill him and it would be like murder. I said if anything happens to him then it'll be on everyone's shoulders at that home who could have done something about it but won't. I might have been too hard on them but I was really scared for his life. They told me they were worried about his aggression but he could barely move so I knew this wasn't the case anymore. Assisted Care Facilities in Clermont started to call the home he was at in Safety Harbor and interview the care givers about moving him. Thursday afternoon the caregiver called 911 and my dad was admitted to the hospital. I called and asked her why and what was going on. She replied that he wasn't behaving his normal self lately. In my opinion, this was his care facilities opportunity to cover their ass for over-medication and it is how they evicted him from the home. They said he is not allowed back because he is not fit for their facility.
At the hospital, they confirmed that he was being over medicated and started reducing his medication. I was upset and relieved at the same time. I was upset that he was on too many medications but also relieved that my instincts about the condition of his health was correct. There was a social worker on the case and they were working with the homes in Clermont to help get him moved once he leaves the hospital. He is doing better but they suspect that he might of had a mini-stroke. He is currently in the cardiology section getting his heart tested because they suspect that he might have a heart attack. He is still on medication for Alzheimer's and I asked my mom if she could request that he goes off of it. He is not going to recover from Alzheimer's and I fear that the extra medication for it will be too hard on his system. In my opinion, less is better. She will talk to the doctor's about it. He had his hands behind his head watching tv with headphones on and got some rest. I'm happy his health plan is being reviewed so he gets the best care. He will be at the hospital a few days.
My mom drove 2 hours to the hospital to see him and I'm waiting until he gets discharged to go out there because of my kids and of course, right as all this is going on, my house is getting remodeled. It's all tore up. I'm in my master bedroom as the living room and whole front room under construction with new tiles being put in. I'm excited about the house but I'm also freaking out a little because my mom wants to bring him back here. I keep telling her that he needs to go into another home because he can't live in a construction site and he needs more help that I can give him alone. I hope she listens to me. Honestly, she never listens to me but I really hope that this time she will listen to me. Maybe as she sees him in the hospital she will see how much help he needs. I know 2 men had to help him get up and down just to use the bathroom. He's losing his mobility. Home health is a fortune plus it's not always 24 hours and that's what he needs. The hospital said that last night he was very restless. His constant movement happened all through the night. Once he is standing then he will shuffle around everywhere. His incontinence makes it difficult. At the home he was peeing in the potted plants. He will pee in a corner because he is confused. Changing a grown man's diapers can be tricky because of his size.
As I meditate, I think about all this. I go over everything that has happened and evaluate my decisions. I hope that I am doing the right thing for him. He deserves to be close to my mom if he is going to pass. They should be together. They spent 47 years together. He also deserves to be treated in the highest regard. He is a fallen genius, father, angle, husband and prince. He has done so much for me in my life. He has taken the family on vacations every year. He coached tons of sporting teams. He cooked, cleaned, did laundry, fixed the whole house and was a great listener. He might of made mistakes in his life but so have I and so has everyone else. I love him and forgive him for anything he has done. He also gets scared and frustrated and needs more love. I want to be there for him. I hope he makes it back here ok and that my mom puts him into a home where we can monitor everything that is happening. I will make regular visits to check on him. The people at all the homes that I visited were super nice.
Peace my friends and thanks for listening. Writing this blog helps me get all these thoughts off my mind so that I can process them and come into the present moment. As I worry about the future for my dad, I think about how right now is the moment and how can I enjoy this moment to the fullest. I am aware that I need to let my worry go in order to be present. With my dad, I have to trust that the hospitals are taking good care of him. I also have to surrender to the fact that eventually my dad will die. I simply have to make clear sound decisions about his care. My mother needs help because there are lots of decisions that need to be made. It is overwhelming for one person to do it alone. Especially when it's someone they love so much. She could be emotionally distraught over the situation. I'm stepping up to the plate, speaking my mind and trying to do the best for my dad. What are your thoughts about everything? Do you have any experiences like this? I'd love to hear from you. Even if I don't respond, I read them all and it helps me tremendously. I love you all. Peace.
I went to see my dad in Tampa yesterday. His health has degraded tremendously at his Assisted Care Facility. I'm saddened to see how much worse he has gotten since he first went into the home only five months ago. I sat down and talked with one of the care givers and she gave me a list of his medication. He is on the following drugs:
Mirtazaphine 7.5 mg (antidepressant),
Olanzapine 10 mg (antipsychotic, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder),
Depakote ER 500 mg (seizure disorders, mental/mood conditions such as manic phase of bipolar disorder),
lorazepam 1 mg (anti-anxiety),
memantine 10 mg (Alzheimer's disease),
donepezil 10 mg (Alzheimer's disease),
enalapril 10 mg (high blood pressure, diabetic kidney disease, and heart failure),
hydrochlorothiazide12.5 mg (high blood pressure),
vitamin d3(fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, and multiple other biological effects)
This seems excessive to me. I'm not a doctor but I don't have to be a genius to see this list and say, damn that is a lot of medicine. It seems like too much. He was so drugged up when I saw him that he could barely keep his eyes open, barley walk and barely talk. He lost a lot of weight. We took him to Panera Bread so we could visit outside of the home. He was passing in and out in the car. It was difficult to get him out of the car and in the restaurant. I had to pick up each foot to put them on the ground and then hold his hands and pull him out of the car. I brace myself into a deep lunge and put his arm around me to get him to step up onto the curb. I walk him to a table and he shuffles his feet about 2 inches at a time along the ground. We ordered him a soup. His hand couldn't find the spoon and I had to help make sure he didn't stick his whole hand in the soup. I hand him the spoon and he takes about three bites. Then he passes out again. I tried to put him down on the bench to nap but he was physically stuck and couldn't lie down. I kept him sitting up. My mom gave him water with a straw and he barely sucks up the water. He is so weak. I rub his back and his head and he responds positively to the touch. He tries to whisper weakly to me but nothing he says makes sense. He wants to say something but he can't. I ask him questions and he responds yes or no. I'm confused because he understands me.
We stop at Safety Harbor Resort to see if we can visit with him there and try to take him to the bathroom. I drive up to the valet and he can't get out of the car. They run to get him a wheel chair and the valet's help to get him out of the car. I park and go in. My mom is trying to get him to go to the bathroom but he won't go on his own. He walks up to the toilet, messes with his pants and then walks out. We walk into the men's room tell him like 10 times to go to the bathroom. We try to help but he won't. He plays with the lock or just waits on the other side of the door. Another man tries to help him to no avail. We sit him in the lobby and he sits for a few minutes and then he wants to get up. He won't stay put. He asks me if I have any money. Why does he ask about this I wonder? We walk down a hotel lobby because he likes to walk. He looks like he wants to pee in a corner so I hurry to take him outside. He won't pee outside either. The drugs are wearing off and he is more conscious. We stop at Walgreens and my mom buys my brother some groceries. While we are parked I do some of my Assisted Thai Yoga on his neck and arms. I press my thumb up and down his forearms and squeeze his biceps and triceps. I also bend his fingers back and forth to stretch his hands and wrists. He likes it but I have to be gentle. He kisses my head. He recognizes me. I ask him, "dad, are you ok? Are they being nice to you at the home? Do you want to come home?". He tries to answer but he can't. We stop by my brothers house to drop off the groceries and I take my dad for a walk. He wants to walk, all the time. He actually has non-stop movement. When he has come to my house he shuffles around the entire time and would walk out of the house and get lost. I'm sure that is why the home has him on so many drugs. He is having incontinence. On our walk he poops in his depends and he doesn't tell me but I can tell because he reaches to touch the back of his pants and it smells. We go about three blocks of shuffling and my mom is right there to pick us up. He is too weak to go far but I take him and try. We used my moms walker the whole time. He looks so broken down that everywhere we go people come over and offer to help and ask if everything is ok. It breaks my heart to see him like this but what can I do. We take him back to the home for them to help change his diapers.
I talk to the care giver and ask her to reduce his medicine. We need to give the home a power of attorney because they don't have one. My mom said she gave them one so I don't understand. I get to talk to a nurse practitioner who agrees to reduce the drugs that she has him on. The psychiatrist has him on different drugs including the schizophrenia drugs but she is not in because of Memorial Day holiday. I tell the care giver that I want the psychiatrist to reduced or eliminate the other drugs. I was surprised that he was even on them. I didn't even know that Alhzeimer's and schizophrenia may be related. The only symptom that I noticed was that he has disorganized speech. He is so drugged up that how can I possibly tell if he has a mental disorder or if it is the drugs affecting his behavior. I know my dad was getting violent with diaper changes. I can only imagine the humility he must feel to have to have someone else change his diapers. I'm sure the medicine is to help curb some of this behavior. It's just sad. He was so much healthier before. Were the nurses always gentle with him for diaper changes? I don't know. I have been trying to move my dad to an Assisted Care Facility in Clermont but the first home denied him because he was on too much medication. He got interviewed at a second home and is on a wait list to get into this home. My only other option is to bring him home and my hesitation is that I still have to work and I need help. I could hire someone but that is only for one shift. If he is at home then it's 24 hours. I feel frustrated. I don't know what to do. I don't know what is the best care for him. I'm a single mom already taking care of my mother who is sick with Parkinson's and a 4 and 6 year old. All I can do for now is wait for him to get into the home closer and keep applying to the other homes in the area. If he is in the area then he can come home and visit at least. Alzheimer's is the worst disease. I never understood how tough it is until now. I do have a calmness that I never had before about his illness because I've been doing a lot of research on death. I'm not as scared as I used to be and I feel prepared. I want him to be in the best situation for him during his time earthside. My mom was originally going to live with my brother in Tampa but she wants to stay with me because she loves my kids and because I work more part time where my brother is more full time. Now that I know she wants to stay with me, I think it is best for him to be close to her. My mom misses him and I'm sure she misses him. Hopefully I can get him moved soon. Peace out my friends. If you know someone with Alzheimer's then I send you and your loved one lots of love and prayers. My heart feels so much compassion for victims and their families for this illness. Much love!
Over the years of dating, I've run into a few things. I never really thought about the psychology of dating but as you get burned you learn to wisen up. I was talking to a friend yesterday who went to a Matt Khan conference. He is a spiritual teacher/life coach. At his conference, she was telling me, he said to never start a new relationship until your existing relationship is over. This triggered a memory for me of someone that I explored dating.
The person wanted to be my friend and arranged to hang out as "friends" for some time. I wasn't really sure what was going on and I didn't want to be rude to ask. It was obvious there was some energy between us but neither of us said much about it. From my perspective, this person wanted to date but they were still in a relationship. I was thinking that eventually things would end between them but it went on for months and they were still together. Every few weeks my friend would call me up to hang out. I was confused because if he wanted to date then why were they calling me while they were still in a relationship. I don't want to be put into that situation. I don't always know what they other person's intentions are so I have to ask and trust that they are telling me the truth. What I was experiencing was someone trying to secure a new relationship with me before they let go of the old relationship. This is called Monkey Bar Dating. Monkey-bar dating involves the inability to let go of one relationship until there is another relationship firmly in their grasp. From my experience this isn't the best situation to get yourself in. I say this because I seemed to make all the mistakes when choosing who to date and I had to sit back and evaluate what was going on so I could stop making the same mistakes. How could I be more conscious when dating so that I can make better decisions? Let's examine why someone may monkey bar date.
Someone who monkey bar dates may have a few people that they are trying to secure a new relationship with before letting go of the old one. They are doing this to secure not being alone and may arrange many options. You may think that you are the only one but often times the person has many people to secure a new relationship. I was very naive because I was honest with my partners. Your partner may not be honest with you so don't assume because you are being honest that they are too. In a monkey bar dating situation don't be surprised if things are blissful and heavenly one day and the next you fall flat on your face the next. You may fall hard, just like falling off of a monkey bar.
Often times people who are serial daters are monkey bar daters and they are addicted to New Energy Excitement, also known as NRE. They stay in the first relationship until the excitement wears off and is already off looking for the next relationship before letting go of the first. They like the romance and that happy giddy feeling. They crave the constant attention, the excitement of the first kiss or learning someone new. They are always looking for someone better so don't be shocked if you aren't "the one". The courting of the honeymoon period, dressing up and behaving your best can be exciting. Don't get too carried away yet because, I like to say, "shit hasn't gotten real yet". The daily grind that most of us are in and the reality of the totality of someone else's life hasn't necessarily presented itself yet. Many times fear about learning or experiencing the reality of their entire life keeps them in the beginning stages of a relationship. They get addicted to the NRE and leave the old relationship with almost no conscious. They don't care if they hurt your feelings, they are more worried about protecting theirs. Many times, these people are driven by fear or a simple lack of consciousness about the other person's feelings.
Monkey bar daters hate being single. They may have a plethora of options available swinging from one monkey bar to the next leaving the old relationship as quickly a new one becomes available. Often times the old partner is left in shock, bewildered, heart broken and confused. How could we be so high and now it is over out of nowhere like a light switch turning on and off? Often times someone who is monkey bar dating is insecure and they are seeking the confidence that your attention gives them. They suck your energy like the vampire archetype. Are they afraid to be alone? This situation can leave you feeling insecure and worthless afterwards. It's toxic because your confidence can be rattled after the relationship ends.
Many times monkey bar daters are skeptical about love thinking that once someone gets past the NRE stage and their partner gets to really know them that they will no longer love them. Many times these people have had bad experiences that have happened to them that prevent them from really opening up. Let's face it, it's scary to open our hearts because they are so soft and tender. No one wants to get hurt. No one is also perfect. If you are guilty of monkey bar dating then I invite you to face your fears of being alone and do some self work. Often times we get into trouble because fear runs our lives instead of taking the time to learn who we are. Take the time to learn yourself better and consequently choose someone who is in alignment with your life vision. We all deserve to be happy. Learn to do some shadow work and face your fears so you can overcome them. This will empower you and give you a confidence that doesn't end when a relationship ends.
If you find yourself in a situation where a monkey bar dater is trying to date you then I recommend to stay away until that person has done some self work. Believe in yourself to hold out for the right person. Believe that you are worth all the love in the world and recognize that a monkey bar dater isn't a bad person, they are just a person who has more evolving to do. I like to think of it as a person who still has a demon or fear hanging over their head. Love yourself first. Take the time to get to know yourself as well. What do you want out of life? How can you find that for yourself and be your own hero? When you are whole then you will see more clearly. You will recognize when others have done some of this self work. That will be attractive to you. Most importantly, you will be more attractive. Learning about monkey bar dating is just a tool for you to learn how to be a better dater. I would love to see you all find beautiful love and happiness. I hope you are more aware and through that awareness, make better decisions. Learn the art of making choices in life that lift you up. A huge part of this puzzle piece is having self love and real self confidence. It's easy to say you have self confidence but do you really feel it? It's my opinion that it takes falling in love with yourself first. Peace, love & light from my humble heart to yours. I wish you all lots of healing and lots of love.
I Hello Beautiful People,
My emotions have been creeping up on me lately. There is so much going on. I'm taking care of aging parents, raising 2 young children, growing a business and letting go of a relationship. Today I watch my ex-husband pack up his car with my children's bags as he goes on a vacation with my kids and his girlfriend. I wrestle with how I feel about this. I feel hurt but I am also ready to let it go so I can move on. As I meditate I think about relaxing and saying positive affirmations. I repeat, let it go. Michael Singer the author of the Untethered Soul talks about letting it go and that is where this affirmation comes from. As I sit in silence I imagine wiping my slate clean. I imagine letting go of any negative feelings and I invite God to offer the right situation for me. I trust that I am in the best situation for myself right now and I am enjoying the free time to do more self study and work on my business. I offer gratitude for all that I do have. I have amazing friends whom I love dearly. My relationship with my mom is great. It is stressful to deal with her illness but she helps as much as she can and I'm happy to spend more time with her. I really love my work with yoga and my clients. I feel like I am helping others and serving. It feels great to watch people grow. The self study that I've been doing has been very fulfilling and my life is enriched because of it. Overall, I'm very blessed.
I sit in my pool house to meditate in silence and I can feel the tension in my body. I focus on releasing any tension in my muscles and in my face. I elongate my breath and relax. Just because you enlighten yourself a little doesn't mean that life stops it's challenges. These challenging times are the times for our biggest growth. Michael Singer says "Disappointment is a wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth. It is a spotlight shining that is shining on your stuff. The question becomes, are you willing to let it go? Or are you willing to let it take you with it and make a mess out of your life?" I think about what this spotlight is saying about my stuff. What choices do I need to make in my life to feel my best? I don't want to just feel better, I want to be thriving. I already feel happiness so I simply need to stay strong when challenges come up. It's like hitting a speed bump in the road reminding us to slow down and relax. It's also a reminder for me to believe in myself. I also want you all to believe in yourself too. If I can do this then so can you. A lot of our suffering is in our head. Consciously choose positive choices. If you have to, fake a smile on your face. Fake feeling happy and you will see that you really do start to feel happy. That statement, Fake it until you Make it, really works.
I noticed this attitude change worked for me the other night. My daughter did her first play and she was a clown. She put on her clown makeup herself and I did my son's. My son wasn't in the play but wanted makeup just for fun:) . We were early and my son and daughter wanted to go swimming. I washed off the makeup and then let them swim. When my daughter got out of the pool she was crying about her eyes hurting her. She swims almost everyday and her eyes might irritate her but it doesn't stop her from doing things so I knew something else was wrong. I squirt saline in her eyes to sooth them. I take her to the school for her play and help her get dressed. We had about 10 minutes before the play was going to start for me to re-do her makeup. The poor thing had major stage fright. I talked to her to calm her down and got her to dry her tears. She cheered up with she saw her friend Sophia. We got her makeup done and she went back stage to start her play just on time. She is in kindergarten so she is young to be talking on stage at 6 years old. She had 3 lines and she said them all! Wow, I was thinking, so happy for her. She did a clown joke where 3 clowns bump into each other and fall down. She did great! I give her flowers to celebrate and I take them to the waterfront park to celebrate. My son and daughter scooter down the bike path from the waterfront park to a restaurant on the lake called Lily's. By the time I got there I was pretty stressed out from the evening. I got them their food and then checked my phone. The next thing I knew my kids were at the lake picking snail shells and clam shells. My daughter found glass all over the beach and was showing an older woman who was swinging on a swing with her husband. She was oo'ing and ahhh'ing at all my daughter's findings. My daughter's energy was ecstatic with this woman. It turns out that this woman was a retired professional clown for 15 years and is excellent with children. We told her about my daughter's play and she told my daughter about her clowning. She told my daughter she was saving everyone's toes by finding all that glass. She called her the glass princess and said, "wow, so how do you find the glass? Do you just see it sparkle?" My daughter then took a lot of time to explain. What are the odds of bumping into a professional clown when your kid was just a clown in a play in the same night? I energetically shifted my own energy to match the excitement of the clowns and watched how my daughter became excited and happy. When we scootered home, my daughter was happy and singing, "you are a good mother, oh oh oh, you are a good mother , oh oh oh" and she wanted to hold my hand. Honestly I was struggling with my daughter before the clown. After meeting her and seeing how her energy helped my daughter's energy shift, I made a conscious choice to lift my energy as well. I was stressed out from the stage fright situation to be honest. I was able to witness how making a conscious choice to find joy in the new situation and let the old situation go helped everyone. That professional clown was a conscious reminder that I have a choice to be happy if I want it. All I have to do is when life hits you with challenges to simply let it go. I think about the movie Frozen and the song "Let it go". My daughter loved that movie. I pick up my guitar to learn a new song and I choose to sing Rise Up by Andra Day instead of It Hurts to be Human by Pink. Now relax, breathe and play. Everything is going to be alright. Peace, my friends.
Today I meditate by my pool house. When I meditate I purposely do not do a guided meditation, I am sitting in silence. Only that it is anything but silence. Outside I am listening to my thoughts and to the sounds around me. Most importantly I am listening to my inner guide. I like to meditate in nature as my opinion is that nature is our best teacher. When I'm out in nature, it has something to teach me. I usually notice the birds tweeting and didn't notice all the bugs singing! Today I listen to the bugs. Were they always there? I also hear frogs croak, birds chip and the wind rustling the leaves. When you really get quiet, there is so much to listen to. I can't tell what kind of bugs are making a noise but it sounds like grasshoppers holding a long note and then it stops and then it starts again. During the day in central Florida, I'm not sure if it is grasshoppers making that noise? It's been raining here lately which seems to bring out the bugs. The bugs usually annoy me but today I love them. I wonder which ones make which noise. There's so much to learn.
The other day I watched a Kate Winslet movie called A Little Chaos. I love her movies. It's about Sabine de Barra, who is an incredible garden designer for the Palace of Versailles. I think about this movie and all the flowers that my mom has been buying. She loves red and hot pink geraniums. She has them all over the front and backyard of my house. This reminds me of being a kid and how she would always be in the yard planting flowers. We had one of the best looking yards because of my mom's love for flowers. I remember feeling a lot of pride for how pretty the yard looked and felt. On Mother's Day my mom got flowers from my brother Brent and she would move flowers into whatever room her or I moved into. I have a backyard garden that I haven't maintained as well as I could. I am inspired to revive it. I had a friend Chelsea who once said that I should turn it into a meditation garden with fountains and statues everywhere. I like this idea and I'm going to run with it. I have a little hill off my back porch and I bought 18 blue flower ground covers for it. I moved my jackfruit tree and I planted a new red bush in the pool house. This is the beginnings of the meditation gardens. Every week I will do a little more work on it.
I need to get my gutter's fixed as I am still having erosion issues on one side of my hill. Step by step, my house is slowing coming together into a paradise oasis. I love it. I love the creativity of making my space beautiful. I am going slow but steady with home sanctuary projects. The other day my mom was sitting on the lanai and she said she loves the new windows on the lanai from Seabreeze. She also said that she was excited about the gardens. I learned a lot about permaculture and I always wanted a food forest. I started this project years ago and let it go. Now it's time to bring things back to life and plant some color around the yard per my mom's lead. I used to have a jasmine trellis in the front yard so I plan to work on that project next. I love the smell of jasmine.
Lately I'm been inspired by Michael Singer's work. He talks about the mind and goes as far as explaining how the universe was created with The Big Bang theory. My dad was really into science and he read a lot of books on this topic. My dad would play around with meditation and loved quantum physics before his Alzheimer's took force. Michael's work reminds me of my dad. I'm a person who likes truth and I like that science offers this. There is proof that events actually took place. I resonate with Michael's work because of this. It makes me see the genius in my father. He was an incredibly smart man. I've been blessed by his teachings and I plan to continue his work. Michael Singer's course on The Untethered Soul in Action is incredible. I've never listened to a teacher who was able to explain things so concisely. I look outside from my desk and see the rain. I'm glad the rain is watering my flowers. It is making them bloom. I feel my heart blooming as well. Peace out beautiful people. I encourage you to create a beautiful space for yourself at home. It doesn't have to be the whole house or yard but find a space and make it beautiful, like your heart. Love & Light!
Hello beautiful people,
I'm back into my meditations and continuing with my mindfulness challenge. Mindfulness is challenging! I notice my mind wondering off topic all the time and I have to continuously and consciously reel it back in. A simple example that I noticed is that it's hard for me to be mindful when I'm driving. My mind is in another world as I think about and plan my days. I'm developing an awareness of this and consciously reeling my mind back into focusing on what I'm seeing right before my eyes.
Another time that I noticed my mind wondering was when I was doing a simple om'ing exercise. I was in my yoga teacher training and we were repeating OM. As I was om'ing my mind started to take off with thoughts rapid fire. "Wow, she can om for a long time." "I need to take a bigger breath." "I still can't om that long. Why did I ever smoke in my life? Now I can't om that long." "He can om really low." "Can I om that low?" "I wonder if I can om in a high voice?" "I'm fucked because I smoked when I was young." "I can feel the om buzzing in my mouth." etc. My mind was shooting thoughts like crazy and this went on the entire exercise which was a few minutes. This happens all the time. This was just the beginning of me noticing the rapid thoughts. How can I quiet this down? Is all this thinking really helpful?
After going through Michael Singer's course, "Untethered Soul in Action", I am learning. He has three main techniques.
1. Positive Thinking
2. Mantras or Affirmations - He suggested simply saying, "I can handle this."
3. Relax and Let it go
The other day I was driving and the song, "Bring him home" by Josh Groban came on. I was immediately thinking of my dad with stage 3 Alzheimer's in his assisted care facility and wanting to bring him home. My mind started shooting off with all the things that I would need to do to make this happen. "Get combination locks for the doors." "Hire 2 shifts of help from Care.com." "Hide sharp objects." "Install grab bars." "Put mattress cover on." "Close off sections of the house so he has limited access to the house." "Get wood patio furniture not cloth so that if he poops his pants then it doesn't get on the fabric." Then I hear the words to Bring Him Home:
"God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young
Let him rest
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home."
I start to cry. Now, normally my mind would continue racing into the ethers except I see myself having these thoughts and I stop and relax. I breath and repeat to myself, "I can handle this." "I can handle this." And I quiet down, like magic! Normally this anxiety would overwhelm me. This was one of the first times that I felt like I had some useful tools to sooth my anxiety. A calm mind returns to me once again and I focus on the road. The grass is really green. The light outside is cheerful. The weather is beautiful. There is a lot to be grateful for.
If you find your mind racing when you are trying to be mindful then try one of the three techniques above. They really helped me relax and become present again. The one that was the most powerful was repeating, "I can handle this." I can say this mantra and feel a wave of calm and quiet blanket over me. I relax and trust that everything is going as it should. Everything is going to be ok. All of this chatter in my mind isn't helping so I consciously catch myself and stop. If you ever get overwhelmed, try saying "I can handle this" and you will, because you can! I believe in you:) . Peace out my friends. I love you.
Sometimes kids need one on one time with their parents. My kids love it. I spent the whole day with my son and then at night their daddy came and got him and I spent the evening with my girl. My little girl is the sweetest most adorable thing in the world and she loves alone time with mommy. She is in school longer hours now so it's harder for my to get as much alone time with her as it was before school started. It's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life so I take time to slow down and be really present with her. It's some of my happiest times too.
We had lots of homework to do which almost seems crazy for a kinder-gardener. We read 10 stories together, thank god I bought a lot of books at garage sales! I love garage sales, btw. There's nothing more fun to me than finding cool things at bargain prices, lol. It's nice to read books with her alone because my son likes to read different boy books and she likes to read girl books. I also can go slower with just her so that I can help her read. When there's words that I know she knows then I ask her to read them. My son gets impatient with this but what do you expect with a 4 years old, lol. As I sit with her I tell her that I love reading stories. I put my arm around her and I ask, "do you know what I like even more?". She says, "what?". I say, "reading stories with you". I kiss her head and she giggles, she loves it. I have a big box of books for her and she picks out 10 that she likes and we read through them one by one. After stories we have to write her sight words. Poor thing doesn't want to do them because these are not small words, these are big words like "because". That's a big word for a kinder-gardener! I show her the automatic pencil sharper that I bought and she loves it. Now she wants to sharpen every pencil in the house. She sharpens so many pencils that she jams the pencil sharper, ugh! Now she has no more delays and has to write her sight words. We read through the words and then get ready for bed.
She normally sleeps with her brother but now that she is here alone she is too afraid to sleep alone. She begs mommy to sleep with her. I lay down with her and cuddle and hold her. She loves it. She really likes being held and loved on. She falls asleep and I sneak into the other bedroom. In the middle of the night I roll over and she's in my bed! Hahahaha, that little stinker, she came over in the middle of the night. Normally I take her back to her room, but this night I let her stay. Eventually she won't want to cuddle with mom so I allow her. She is so happy to spend the time with me. We go to bed early so that in the morning she feels good.
I wake her up and she gets dressed and we do her hair, her favorite part. She has been a girly girl since she was a baby. She liked painting her own nails as soon as she was able to. If I was ever putting on makeup then she put on makeup. If I dress up then she wants to dress up. She copies and emulates my every move. This is a big responsibility for me so I do my best to be a good example for her. I brush her hair with the special soft brush that doesn't pull. I put her hair into a pony tail and give her a spiral pony tail curl. Then we pick out a pretty head band and she is skipping all over the house bouncing that curl. Grandma has grapes out for her and we bring them with on our trip to school. She grabs her sparkle hot pink sequin back pack and off we go. On the way she wants to listen to "Body like a Back Road". Her favorite song. I put it on the blue tooth in the car and we sing and dance in the car the whole way. We get to the front of the line and her principle opens the door and dances with Pepper. Everyone laughs and I go home thinking, I'm blessed. Being a mommy is rewarding. I am one lucky mommy and I love spending the time with her because I can see how it makes her feel so good about herself. She thrives when her emotional cup is filled up. She is simply the most perfect, precious, beautiful little thing.
Pepper has no idea how much she fills my emotional cup too. My mother is starting to fall in the house and it is scary. I am trying to stay calm and composed for everyone. My mom fell the first time in her bedroom but it wasn't so bad because it was on carpet. Yesterday my mom turned and her right foot wouldn't pick up. I had my back to her and I saw out of the corner of my eye her hands reaching for me with a look of terror on her face. She fell in the kitchen hard on her knee and arm. I put both arms under her arm pits and help her up. I walk her to her chair. She is having a harder time walking and carrying anything at the same time. She asks if I can bring her food to the table. Get her a glass of water. Carry her dirty plate back to the kitchen. Get her phone and put it on her bed. Hand her the tv remote. I spend a lot of times carrying things for her back and forth throughout the house. When she falls she cries and says that she wants to see my dad in his home in Tampa. I tell her the kids are almost out of school and then we'll go. She gets scared and says she's sorry. I tell her never to apologize to me and that it's ok. I also like my alone time with my mother. Over the past few months we have been building a very meaningful relationship. We fought all the time before. I had a shift and I'm happy that I did because I get to spend the last years with my mom with a positive relationship. I accept her now where before I resisted her.
My little girls love makes me strong. She loves me unconditionally. I want to continue to evolve into the best person that I can because of my kids. I love the nights where I get to cuddle with my girl. Peace out beautiful people. Life is a blessing, even the scary parts. Enjoy the moment because that's all we really have. Love.
Hello beautiful people,
How are you all? I wish I could hear your responses, lol. I read the Untethered Soul and was inspired by Michael Singer's writing. I looked up his website online and saw that he had a yoga temple called The Temple of the Universe in Alachua, FL. Wait, this isn't too far from Clermont, FL. I look it up and it's about 2 hours away. There was a yoga class that night followed by a meditation followed by a talk by Michael Singer, the writer of The Untethered Soul. I love meeting the writers of books or youtube personalities that inspired me. It was around 1pm when I looked all this up and I would have to leave by 3:30ish in order to ensure I had enough time to get there. I spontaneously drive up there. On my way out, my mom jokingly says, fuck you for being so spontaneous. She just wants to do something fun too. She worries when I leave the whole time and called about 5 times worrying that I was going to die and did I have my will all arranged. Geez, it's just a mini trip. Talk about guilt trip, I feel guilty leaving my mom at home alone. I go anyway, I'm being pulled and I have to go.
I get there and it's a wooden temple in the middle of the woods. It almost looks like a house but it's not. I walk in and it looks almost a little dated inside. There is a basic mini kitchen and a temple room. The temple room has light blue carpet that reminds me of the 1970's or 80's. There is an alter in the center with photos and statues of the great religious leaders and famous yogi's. I like that they celebrate all the faiths as there were many enlightened teachers to pay homage to.
I was raised Catholic, including Catholic schools during grade school. For some reason it didn't resonate with me. The most religious person that I knew was my mother and we also had the most dysfunctional relationship. I rejected religion for years. For a long time, I didn't go to church and I really didn't know what I believed in so I ignored the topic. I hate putting a label to anything but I guess you could say I was agnostic. I went to Christian churches, youth church groups and camps and I felt the same thing. My instincts were telling me that if the message wasn't love then something was wrong. Some of the sermons created fear and separation and this is what I felt like I didn't like. I did believe in Jesus but I also couldn't deny the Buddha or other religious beliefs. After doing a lot of research I realized that there is a Oneness to all these different religions. If you study all of them then you will see there is a common thread through all of them. The different religions are the different vehicles to the oneness of god. This was something that I could wrap my mind around. For the longest time I rejected God. With this new understanding, I could accept God into my heart. The spiritual void in my life somehow was filled and now I have a strong devotion to God. I like this about yoga. Yoga helped me find God.
In the temple we do a yoga class around the alter with flowers, candles and pictures of Jesus, the Buddha, the Virgin Mary, Patanjoli and famous religious leaders. After the class we sat in silence on big pillows and they make a runway for Michael to walk down and put his keyboard at the base of the alter.
After about 30 minutes after yoga class Michael Singer walks in. He bows at the alter and then sits lotus style on the floor. He is in his 60's or 70's I guess. He does his whole talk in this lotus position and I think that I can't even hold that pose for an hour without some discomfort. His does a mini stretch and starts playing a devotional chant on the keyboard. Everyone joins in. He finishes and begins his talk with is essentially a summary of his book. He talks about opening your heart and never closing it energetically. We are all one and if we keep our hearts open then we will feel joy and happiness like we couldn't believe. He said this one simple technique alone is more powerful than meditation. Meditation is good for like 15 minutes in the morning and at night but that's it. He has a simplicity to his style and he talks with joy and enthusiasm. There is something magnetic to this person. Everyone hangs on his last word. At the end he does a thirty minute question and answer. This is my favorite part. I can watch the lecture on youtube. I want to talk to this individual and ask him how to apply his teachings to everyday life.
I ask, "Michael, how do I apply opening my heart to death? Both of my parents are very sick and I am watching them suffer with pain. It sucks. The anxiety that I feel over the fear of their death is overwhelming to me. What should I do?" I start to cry and I can't turn it off. I am a buggary wet mess. I have to get up to get the tissues. I sit with a straight face with tears rolling down that I fight not to let out. Damn it, this is embarrassing I think. I hate that I am crying about this and that I'm so emotional. Waaaaaaahhhhh. I ask anyway because I want to ask someone who is going to give me a really good answer. I could ask a friend but I want an answer from someone who has some some work on enlightenment. Here's his response.
"Amy, you need to change how to think about death. You are attached and that is why you suffer. Death is a celebration of someone's life. They lived it and now they pass. Everyone passes. It is just an event in life that happens and your resistance to it creates your suffering. Think of yourself like a rock in the river. The water is the events in your life and they need to flow through you. If you try to create a dam or stop the water from flowing through you then you have to work really hard and it's exhausting. He references this analogy from the book Siddhartha. Stop resisting death and simply let it flow through you. You are the rock witnessing the events or water flow through you. Stop clinging. The details of death are not pretty but that is a part of life. He references the Bhagavad Gita and how Arjuna has to go to war and kill his cousins, friends and people he knows. It overwhelms him and he doesn't want to do it. Krishna tells him it's his duty and that he may kill the body but not the soul. My parents soul lives on as we are all one." When I told him it sucks to watch them suffer he says I need to change my words and attitude about death. "Death is the ultimate expression of I love you. All of a sudden the last years, months, weeks, days and hours are filled with meaning. We tell people how we really feel. The sadness that I feel is just my love for my parents. Celebrate their life not suffer in the sadness of death. I have just been culturally conditioned in the west that death is a bad thing. It's not a bad thing. They had a life. They lived it and they will die. It's all a part of life. Iyengar didn't cry when his parents passed. He did a headstand for some time and that was it. Let it go. Of course you suffer when you say death sucks. That is a very dark way to think about it. Change your conditioning. Change your words. Change your thoughts. Death is simply an event that I have to let pass through me. "
As we walk out he gives me a hug and asks if it helps and I say yes because I never heard anyone talk about death like that before. I drive 2 hours home in the dark contemplating what he says. He is a powerful teacher. I feel better. I feel light and I'm catch when my words are dark. A simple example is that my previous blog was originally titled "Home Improvement Obsession" to "Creating My Home Sanctuary". I changed the language of the whole post to talk about this beautiful project that I get to create instead of it being a negative obsession. Now the work begins. I am being mindful of my words as they affect my thoughts. Words Matter! Change your language, change your life. Peace out beautiful people. Use positive words and watch how it can help lift your moods. I love you.
Hello beautiful people, This is my health blog designed to encourage you to live your best life. Hopefully my experiences will positively influence your life somehow!