Moving Woes

Spending days going through my office, and wishing I wasn’t such a pack rat, but I am, and now I have to deal with it.

I’ve spent seveal days updating my files, never mind, throwing out papers. Funny, isn’t it? Not really. It’s a lot of work, and today, I think I finally made a dent in it, meaning I’m close to finishing this part of it.

Then, there are the pictures, the journals, my writing, books, recipes, office supplies…I keep telling myself, I have about four to six months before this move. And then I answer myself, saying it will take me that long to go through everything in my office.

I should take a break, and do my closet. That should be much easier, and faster to do. After all if something doesn’t fit, why should I keep it. I also have some dressy clothes from the 80’s, where am I going to wear them. I hate getting dressed up. The there are the things I hardly ever wear, what’s the sense in keeping them. Let someone else have a chance to wear them. I’m giving a lot of things to the Henderson Senior Center, they’ve been so wonderful to me and my new journey with Adopt A Caregiver. I just hope they find the room to store it all.

I’m finishing up my old journey, a themetic art collection. That is what is taking me so long in my office.

We had a realitor in today about our house, how depressing! We are in the worst market in the United States. Oh well, again, we aren’t putting the house up yet. My husband said it took him ten years to make me clean out my office, so even if we don’t move, it will be cleaned and cleared out.  (Which means, I’ll just start over collecting things.)

I am tired. I am grateful for so many things. Our weather is getting warmer, I have a good attitude, even when my Fibromyalgia is bad due to doing all the things around the house. Bending and lifting is not easy for me. But it needs to be done, so I’m doing it.

I’d love to hear from you, and I promise I will answer. So take care my friends.

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

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

Resolutions? Or Affirmations

Only a couple of days left in this year. Most of the time I write myself a few New Year’s Resolutions. They always say the same thing, eat less, diet more, exercise, write every day, take time to meditate, write to friends more often, and every year I ignore them all.

So, I’m heavier, eating more than I should, not doing exercise, writing when I feel like writing, and keeping in touch with friends most of the time.

This year will be different. I promise myself that I will do exactly what I want to do, when ever I can and that I will be more productive by not beating myself up about some of the things I don’t get done. I’m just me. I always tell my husband that. He smiles and says, “You are the best, inside and out.”

While I love getting compliments, I worry about some of my friends. Many are going through rough patches. I would love to Adopt A Caregiver every day, but there are only so many hours in a day. I promise my friends I will do everything in my power to make Adopt A Caregiver known, so that others will say, “I want to Adopt A Caregiver.”

To my friends who are going through depression, and I have been there too, I say, try to limit it. In other words, give it a time frame. Say I’ll only let myself be depressed for three days. I used to do that, and most of the time it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but I did not get upset. I knew that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

May I suggest that you try journaling? It literally saved my life. I mean that.  My secret journal that became a book this year. Behind The Mask is my guts, my thoughts and my emotions, and I laid it all out there for the world to see.

One grandson said, “I haven’t cried this much since I was fifteen, and I’m only on page 17. My daughter said, it’s a bi disconcerting to read about your parents sex life in print. And another grandson said the whole story was amazing. Another grandson said, Pop Pop wasn’t that young in 1993, guess we kids have good sex genes.” And my amazing granddaughter did the cover of the book eve while she was crying.

Remember, you have to stand in someone’s shoes before you know what they are going through.

Three things I am grateful for today. My granddaughter made an unexpected visit from California. My husband said he’s going to support me all through my Adopt A Caregiver journey, and I know I am dedicated to my cause. I promise to do all I can do for Adopt A Caregiver to become nation wide, and people will listen, and they will Adopt A Caregiver.

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

Love and kisses Helene

Websites to look at:

http://www.regional.org/aging/index.htm

click on the candlelight and watch the video.

Other great sites to look at today are

www.tenderlovingeldercare.com

and

www.knittingdoctor.com

www.lifeprints.com

Composed of information, stories, and comfort. If you know some others, please let me know.

When you find a caregiver, please look at her/him in a different light. Remember these people are suffering, hurting, wondering what else is going to happen to them.Will you be there for them?

If you Adopt A Caregiver, you  give a gift that lasts a lifetime, and costs nothing!

More and more I’m getting questions and being asked how it’s going. It’s going well. One by one, we are going to make a difference. Word of mouth is still potent.

Since I’ve had this last bout of Chronic Fatigue for the last seven weeks, I’ve done very little, but hopefully I will start feeling better and get back into calling people and having them call me.

Adopt A Caregiver is my passion, my journey, my future, and my vision to help all caregivers. Today, tomorrow, one day it will make a difference. One person can do it; with a little bit of help. Are you listening? Are you willing to Adopt A Caregiver, just look around you, and you will find one. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Attention Teachers, Counselors, Principals

To all teachers, counselors, principals. I think you know that school is a community. And there are caregivers in every community, including schools.

I have a suggestion for you. You all know who the caregivers are in your school. Help them find each other. They know that no one understands what they are going through, and they are right. Unless you stand in their shoes, you don’t know how alone, abandoned, and scared they are.

There may be siblings, parents, or grandparents in the house, and these kids are helping out; they are caregivers. Encourage them to journal, to find a friend in similar circumstances. They need help, emotional help.

It’s your community, it’s up to you. Tell them a friend sent you to them. I’m sending you to them, they need you.

How do I know these things? Because I was a caregiver in my teens, and I was a caregiver in my sixties. My book,  Behind The Mask chronicles my journey during the last time I was a caregiver. My story is their story. It’s every caregivers story.

After I published my book, I realized that if everyone would Adopt A Caregiver, we could help and support the caregivers of the world who are so busy helping others, they have no time for themselves. But they still have their emotions!

My new journey is to have everyone Adopt A Caregiver. It’s so easy to give back. Nothing to join, nothing to pay, no commitment, except to yourself. Help the kids, help the caregivers.

Keep love and kisses in your life Helene

Caregivers And Community

Caregivers are those who take care of people with diseases, strokes, heart attacks, anyone who does the job 24/7. They are men, women and children. They are the heroes of the home. I salute them and vow to try to make my words known all over.

Adopt A Caregiver.

Community. Everyone lives in a community or is part of a community. Homes are community, churches and synagogues are community. High rises in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are communities, just ask any doorman.  If you are part of a poker club, a Mah Jongg Club, a book club, a travel club, a social club, this too is part of a community.

And in every community there are caregivers. Think about these people once in awhile. Think how they must feel. How alone, frustrated, how worried, how exhausted they must be. I try to urge every caregiver I know to journal their feelings and their thoughts. No one else has to see these words.

I wrote a secret journal when I was a caregiver. I later published it as Behind The Mask. I now call it every new caregivers story. I hear things like, “I showed my friend your book, and she called me from California and said, “‘Why didn’t you tell me how bad you were feeling?” She was crying.

Now my book has a purpose. Adopt A Caregiver is my new journey. And I will keep working at it, talking about it, speaking to groups about it, until everyone understands the desparate need for my Adopt A Caregiver program.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

A Brief Encounter

Sometimes you meet someone just briefly, yet you know deep in your being that you were supposed to meet. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason but when you are supposed to know, you will know. In the meantime be yourself, go about your every day business and when the time is right you will know.

Once in a while this person’s aura or energy or light will reach out to you.  Embrace it with all your being. If you don’t understand it, it’s still all right. Be aware, stay alert, go with the feeling and let it energize you. And if you are wrong, so what did you lose and so what? Just a little time and attention.

Then when you least expect it who knows what will happen.

I wrote this during the time I was a caregiver, while I was writing Behind The Mask.

Since I decided that my journey now is for everyone to Adopt A Caregiver, I’ve met many of these people. You just know they are put in your path to help you. Thank you and bless you.

It’s just like I said, word of mouth is potent, one by one by one we are getting the word out about Adopt A Caregiver. Several websites have approached me and said they wanted to write about my Adopt A Caregiver program, and I gave my permission. Several people have heard me speak, and want me to speak to other groups, and I have accepted.

I am so proud and grateful and blessed to have all these good people put into my path. Together we are going to make a difference in the life of the caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Reflections

Evey once in a while I write what I call a Reflection of Me. This is one of them, one I wrote while I was a caregiver. The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease was changed seven years later. This was kept a secret for all of those seven years; until I published my secret journal, Behind The Mask.

The Road:

“This road is an unwanted journey. No choices here, only steady plodding, only roaring down the river without a life vest, riding the waves, brushing up against the rocks, wind roaring through my ears. Not having time or energy to enjoy the beauty of the clear water or the gorgeous sunset, or watching the moon come out at night, smiling back at us.

Too out of control, no oars, just holding on for dear life letting the river take me where it will. Will I ever be able to look back and see any beauty in this agonizing fear;  out of control, how could I have picked this road?

No one gets to pick, we are all chosen, we are together as always, and always alone. No beauty here, only darkness and fear. Have to find the light, live in the light and the sunshine, away from the shadows and the valleys.

Have to be me, to find the balance of light and darkness. I look at strangers and wonder what their lives are like and I look at friends and wonder what they’d say and how they’d feel if they knew??? And why do I even care. I’ll be alone no matter what. It’s how life plays itself out. We come into this world alone, and we leave it alone.”

Now I am on another road, another journey. This one is full of sunshine, and promise and fulfillment. This one is opening doors and people are listening, and caring.

Adopt A Caregiver. That’s all I ask, nothing to pay, nothing to join, no commitment, except to yourself.

Give something back, just look around your community, everyone knows a caregiver. Lets wipe away some of their tears. Be a friend, listen, let them vent. In fact encourage them to vent. If not to you, then in a journal. My journal saved my sanity.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Remember

Remember the Alzheimer’s stamp is coming out soon. And remember to wear purple on Sunday, the 21st. I know I will be wearing purple and holding my book, Behind The Mask, with it’s purple color.

Remember that you are blessed, and each day is a gift.

We lose people we love, but we remember them with our love and smiles.

Remember to smile when you are feeling lousy as I am today with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. A bad day, but tomorrow is another day.

Remember to take care of yourself. And please think about my Adopt A Caregiver program.

This is my new journey, and it should start within every community. We all have friends, or neighbors who are caregivers. Please help them, remember them with kindness. Email them, tell them you care.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Alzheimer's Association says Go Purple

The Alzheimer’s Association says that Sunday September 21st is ‘go purple’ day. I love purple, my home has a lot of purple, many of my clothes are purple and Behind The Mask has a purple cover.

I had forgotten that Alzheimer’s Association is purple connected. When my granddaughter was asked to do the cover for my book, Behind The Mask, she said, “Gram, your favorite color is purple, can we do the book cover in purple?”

“Of course I said, I love purple.” And she designed the cover in purple. I hope the Alzheimer’s Association likes it.

On September 18th the Alzheimer’s Association is coming out with an Alzheimer’s stamp. Please buy them and help the cause.

You can help my new journey, Adopt A Caregiver, just by spreading the word. Plant the seed by word of mouth and our persistence and courage will see us through.

We don’t want to leave the caregiver alone and depressed. No one in our community should have to go through this alone. We can help. All it takes is a few minutes of your time. Send an email, a joke, be a friend. Help those who are feeling alone and helpless.

Lets wipe away some of the caregivers tears. We can help each other right in our own community.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene