Grateful List

As I look forward to 2009 and having Adopt A Caregiver become a reality, instead of just my vision, I realize how grateful I am for everything in my life. In these uncertain times, I am totally proud to be an American, and I hope that pride in our country returns, and that morality once more becomes more prevelant.

In the meantime, I’ve said before, I like lists. So here’s another grateful list.

I am grateful that I am able to sit here at my computer and talk about Adopt A Caregiver, and that today I met the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and gave him one of my books. The sun was shining today, which makes me feel better, my husband took my car in for service, and when he picks it up tomorrow he will gas it up for me. You think that’s not such a big deal? I come from the East Coast, and it was illegal to pump your own gas. I never really learned how.

I am grateful that I am seventy seven years old and still have a dream! And a goal! I am thankful for the help I am getting from around the country, and from you, my readers.

I am thankful that I am able to speak to local groups, and give interviews, one of which will be airing soon. Stay tuned, and I will let you know on Monday, whether or not you can tune in to see me speak.

I am warm well fed, spoiled by my husband, my daughter and granddaughter call every day, I like to read and knit and write on my blog.

I never know what I’m going to say when I sit down to write, most people would say that’s the wrong way to do it. Even I think it’s wrong. As a writer, I should be writing a draft, and editing it and trying to make it better, more coherant, more interesting, but, what you see is what you get. Me. I am only me; I keep telling my husband that I am only me. He says, “Thank goodness.”

I am blessed, I am spoiled, and I appreciate life with all it’s ups and downs. The good, bad, and the ugly, and believe me I’m no different than you are. I have all of the above too.

I believe that is is going to be the year that Adopt A Caregiver becomes a reality, one that all communities will adopt within themselves.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Listening

Listening is definitey an art, a lost art. Everyone is waiting to get their two cents worth in, so they are no longer listening to the talker.

The only New Year’s Resolution I made this year was to advance Adopt A Caregiver in any way I can, and to spend the year working passionately and diligently in planting the seeds for communities to understand there are caregivers in their midst who need someone to befriend them.

The only other resolution I made is to really listen when someone is talking. Listening to the words, reading between the lines, and understanding where the person is coming from.Times are not easy these days, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get better immediately, so try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you make your comments.

I read all my emails from caregivers and try to answer each one of them. I try not to give platitudes, but genuine affection and admiration for all they do.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Caring By James N. Fick

I went to AA today. (Anthem Authors) and one of my writing buddies wrote this poem and dedicated it to me.

I am dedicating it to all my friends and caregivers.

“Do we see after one another, someone in need?

Another word for care.

Do we aid a family, those in need?

Another word for care.

Do we watch over someone in need?

Another word for care.

Do we mind our friends, those in need?

Another word for care.

Do we foster the orphan, someone in need?

Another word for care.

Do we help in disaster, those in need?

Another word for care.

Do we lift the burden, someone in need?

Another word for care.

Do we worry and guard, those in need?

Another word for care.

Do we help the poor, those in need?

Another word for care.

Do we, I ask, see the need?

And know the word for care..”

Thank you James, beautifully said.

I hope our words can inspire you to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Knitting And Other Hobbies

Knitters, quilters, artists, craftspeople, all have one thing in common. So much stuff! I’ve been cleaning out my office, and today I decided to go after my yarns and knitting projects.

I used to do lots of knitting back in the 70’s because my friend owned a knitting store, and everything fit me perfectly. Also, I handed her the back, two fronts, and two sleeves and she finished off the neckline and the edges, and whatever else had to be done. I can’t sew. I don’t want to sew, bu I like to knit.

Recently a knitting store opened near my house and I was estatic. More color, more yarns, more to do, like I don’t have enough to do. I’m 77 years old, and I’m always doing something. For me knitting, easy knitting, is relaxing.

It took me most of the entire day, to go through every bag of yarn, to rip out old stuff that I didn’t like, or wouldn’t fit and put it all away, neatly.

Since I spend most of my days doing something for or about Adopt A Caregiver, a lot of time reading other blogs, and of course checking my statistics often, when will I have time to knit? Well, I decided at night, while watching tv. with my husband Howard, when we watch a movie together, then I can knit for a couple of hours. That is why I like easy. I have three hats I want to make, a couple of shells for myself, and many other projects too numerous to name. Yet everyone I know who does a craft tells me the same things, they have stashes of stuff in rooms, closets, cabinets, so I know I’m not alone.

I wonder if caregivers could or would find some time to knit? It is relaxing. I have to ask my caregiver friends. Are you a caregiver, would you knit if you could find some spare time? I think writing and knitting are relaxing, and theraputic. We all need some therapy at times.

To all my caregiver friends, hang in there, I’m working on Adopt A Caregiver as much as I can, and one day, hopefully, my vision will be a reality. Every caregiver will have a friend, someone to talk to, to vent to, and to share their day with them.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Every Day Is An Adventure

Every day is an adventure, a new beginning. For caregivers days are the same, only harder, the only adventure is to get through every day. To put one foot in front of the other, and to stay in the now, or as I say, in the patients reality. Have yo ever tried to do that? Suppose your spouse asked you the same question three times in five minutes, or repeats one thing over and over, or asks you why, why, why? Stop and think about this for a moment. How do you think you would react? I hope with dignity and humor and commitment.

So, what happens when the caregiver gets sick? Who is there to help? Does anyone care, is there anyone there? Caregivers are so alone, so isolated, and scared, it takes all their energy to just be there. So, is worry an adventure?

Adopt A Caregiver was started to help the caregiver. To hopefully wipe away some of their tears. How can we do that, by being aware of caregivers in our own community and then befriending them. All is takes is an email. You have no idea how welcome it would be to someone who is a caregiver to receive a note from someone who tells them, “I would like to be your friend. I will not judge you, for I have not stood in your shoes, but I would like to hear what you have to say, and I would like to email you again. Actully, I would like to adopt you.” Then tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

The Paper Boy by Helene Moore

Tommy finished folding the last newspaper and threw it into his bike basket. He was supposed to be finished in time for school, but one of his bike’s tires kept going flat, and he’d been late three times this month for school.

He rode to his destination, a four story low-rise building in his neighborhood. He grabbed the basket of papers and ran up the four flights of stairs. He always started on the top floor then went down to the next floor. Every floor had it’s own smells. Today was no different, cabbage, onions and garlic on the fourth, and he wrinkled his nose.

Quickly, he started down to the third floor where he smelled laundy and flowers. He completed his task and ran down to the second floor. That went well, no dogs barking, no one opened the door to talk. Then he finished the first floor in record time. Just as he was leaving the building, he spotted something shiny on the floor. He bent down and picked up a silver dollar. Wow, this would fix his bike tire for sure.

He closed the door and walked outside. A little boy was sitting on the step crying. Tommy stopped, and sat down next to the little boy. He’d seen him before, and he’d always seemed sad, but this was the first time he saw him cry.

“Hi, I’m Tommy. I deliver the newspapers here. What’s the matter?” Tommy put his arm around the little boy’s shaking shoulders.

“My grandpa gave me a silver dollar and I was supposed to keep it safe. I lost it, and I lost my grandpa too. He died yesterday.” He started to cry again.

Tommy thought that was horrible. He put his other hand in his pocket touching the silver dollar. He pretended to bend down, “Look, you didn’t lose it. It’s right here in your shoe.”

The boy smiled through his tears and rubbed the dollar and then gave Tommy a big hug. “Thank you. Now I feel like grandpa is still here with me.” The boy touched his heart, then jumped up and ran inside.

Tommy kicked his bike’s tire and said,  “You better be good, I need to get to school.”

When Tommy arrived home, his grandpa waved to him. “Hey Tommy boy, I got my Social Security check today. Time we got a new tire for your bike. Let’s go.”

“Now?”

“Yep, now.”

“I love you Grandpa.” Tears came to Tommy’s eyes, as he realized how much he loved his Grandpa.

This is a little story I wrote and how I wrote it is simple. I picked three words: newspaper boy, bike, silver dollar, and I created this little story.

I hope you like it because sometimes I would like to put my little stories here on my blog.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Anne Frank Said

Anne Frank said, “I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.”

Wow, when I was her age, I thought maybe I’d like to be a writer, but who was I to dream that big? No teacher, no parent ever encouraged me, or asked me what I wanted. I was just goody two shoes.

Twenty years ago, while living in New York, a friend of a friend called me and said she would like to see our kissing art collection. I said okay. When she left she said that a book was bubbling in my heart and I should get it out on paper.

Boy, was that food for thought. I had a computer and around Thanksgiving time I thought about writing. I fooled with it, but didn’t know the craft or how to construct the story.

It wasn’t until we moved to California in 1990 that I decided for real that I wanted to learn how to write. So I joined the Orange County Romance Writers Of America and I tried to learn.  I admit it came hard to me, but I had several friends who helped me, and I am still in touch with two of them.

When we moved to Las Vegas, I started Sun City Anthem Authors in February, 2000. That was the best thing that happened to me. I blossomed, I learned and I found that writing from the heart is the only way I can write.

Behind The Mask, my secret journal written when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993 was published this year. You see, in 2000, they changed his diagnosis, and I finally showed him my journal which no one had ever seen. He said to publish it, it might help someone else.

I think this was the most Bershert (‘meant to be) thing that ever happened in my life. Because what lies buried in my heart is all the caregivers going through their grief. I started a new journey, Adopt A Caregiver, and this year I will devote my passion, and my vision to making my dream of wiping away some of the caregivers tears, a reality.

With a little bit of help, I can do it. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Wishing All Of You A Happy And Healthy New Year

This is the last day of 2008.

I hope many of you who have read my blogs will at least be ‘aware’ that there are caregivers out there who need a friend.

My vision, my new journey is to inspire you to Adopt A Caregiver. Stand in their shoes for a little while, and try to understand all they are going through. That is one reason i published my book, Behind The Mask, so you can stand in a new caregivers shoes and feel the emotions and thoughts going through my (their) mind during this very hard time in my life.

I have been told that my book has helped many understand what it’s like to be in the caregivers shoes. In fact one friend told me that she sent my book to her friend, and when her friend called she said, “Why didn’t you tell me it was so hard?” And my friend said, “How could I explain it to you?”

This year I want to talk to Alzheimer’s support groups, tell them help is on the way to wipe away some of their tears. Please help me in my efforts. Get my words out, plant the seeds, there is someone in your community who is a caregiver and needs your help. Please make the effort to be aware of them.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Reflections Of 2008

It’s been a very interesting and busy year for me. In February my granddaughter got married, and my book came out; both the same weekend. In March my grandson got married and I started thinking about the purpose of my book, Behind The Mask. A secret journal started when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993. It was secret because we were advised not to tell anyone, as he was still working, and highly functional.

In 2000 his diagnosis was changed and a few years later I showed my husband my journal. He said publish it, maybe it will help someone else.

A few years later I did publish it. And now I knew the purpose of the book. To show people what’s it’s like standing in the shoes of a caregiver. You don’t know about anything, until you do stand in someone’s shoes, and only then can you understand, truly understand.

In April of this year I started using Adopt A Caregiver in my blogs. In May I applied for a trademark, which I am still waiting for.

For the next several months, I met with and spoke to groups, all receptive to Adopt A Caregiver. Many of these people helped me, introduced me to other people who also became interested in my vision of wiping away some of the caregivers tears. We, my husband and I started a Non Profit Foundation.

In October and November, I was literally laid out for nine weeks from a severe bout of Chronic Fatigue which resulted from a shot.

Now as I look back over the year, I am proud of what I have done, and I feel that I have barely scratched the surface. I see 2009 as a huge stepping stone for my vision of Adopt A Caregiver.

I spoke at the Henderson Senior Center this morning, and I can’t tell you how much these wonderful people have done for me, and with me. Allowing me to speak at the center several times, helping me, supporting my vision and just being nice folks. Thank you so much guys, you all really got me started on my new journey.

It all begins in the community. Where you live, work, go to school, church, synagogue, all your social clubs, whereever you congregate with the same people, you hear things. You know someone has just become a caregiver, or someone is really lonely and depressed, and wishing they had a friend. Reach out, don’t hesitate, they need you.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.  Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Only you have the power to forgive yourself; care giving is a tough journey, don’t beat yourself up if you can not do everything yourself.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Caregivers: Live In Their Reality

One of the most valuable pieces of information I received after my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease was: You will have to live in his reality.

Those were the truest words I heard. I still tell caregivers that same advice. I know how hard it is, and yet, it’s also simple.

I was talking to one of my caregiver friends and we talked about it, and she said, “It doesn’t always work, but it’s still good information.”

Caregivers, you are my heroes. No one else can or would do the job you do 24/7. How I admire you and your tenacity, your ability to carry on. That’s not to say you never get depressed, or feel like you are all alone, and no one understands. They don’t. It’s that simple. Unless you actually stand in someone’s shoes you don’t know how they feel, or what they are going through.

I think that’s one reason I finally decided to publish my secret journal. To show others what it feels like, the thoughts and emotions going through a new caregiver’s mind. Now, I’m so glad I did publish it.

Tomorrow I’m speaking at the Henderson Senior Center, and I’m looking forward to it. They are the greatest bunch of people, giving, caring and open. The kind of heroes no one talks about. They are always behind the lines.

After that we are meeting old friends from Howard’s hometown of Baltimore, MD for lunch, what a treat that will be. I don’t think we’ve seen them in decades. A chance encounter with their daughter who works here and we found out we knew her parents. What a small world.

As this year is coming to an end, I feel blessed in all that I have accomplished. I publsihed my book, Behind The Mask, so people could stand in the caregivers shoes and know what it feels like, and hopefully that will inspire them to go out and Adopt A Caregiver. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow night.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene