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Grandparents Matter

Have you ever considered how important your grandparents were to your life? Or perhaps, on the flip side, how you are influencing your grandchildren?

There is a web-site that provides some great tips to active grandparents. Check it out at:

http://www.grandsmatter.org

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Caregivers and Their Need To Stop and Relax

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Help and advice on improving your emotional health and feeling happier

Source: How to feel happier – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS Choices

Many people are living a life where they would describe being constantly under medium to extreme stress; especially caregivers.  The stress of caregiving is compounded if caregivers provide personal care, are employed, and are still raising children.  If you are a caregiver, take the time to check out this web-site.  It has lots of tips on managing stress, learning to relax and improving your self-esteem.  At the top of the web page, is a five minute sound bite you can listen to when you are alone.  It will guide you through a short, full body relaxation technique.  Caregivers who take just a few minutes each day to relax find they are much less stressed and able to cope with life’s demands.  It can also be very beneficial to ask a trusted friend for help or look into local community resources for respite care for your loved one.  The United Way or the Alzheimer’s Association are two resources that you should contact for more information on this topic.

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Government Says Four Cancer Charities are Scams

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Government says four cancer charities are shams – CNN.com.

I recently read this article and it shocking.  There has been a “massive nation-wide fraud” by multiple cancer charities in the US.  The government investigated multiple cancer charities; one of which is the well-known Breast Cancer Society.  Many of the individuals who stole funds from the charities listed in this article were related.  Most of the money raised by these charities from 2008-2012 was spent on lavish life-styles: expensive cars, trips, college tuition, etc. Two of the four charities have been shut down and the government’s goal is to shut down the remaining two. Only about 3% of the money raised by these organizations went to those affected by cancer or research.  $187 million was stolen.
Below, please see an updated letter from Mr. Reynolds, with the Breast Cancer Society
http://www.breastcancersociety.org/

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Even When Old, We Need a Friend

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I was recently talking to senior and we discussed the ups and downs of life. I thanked her for listening to me and she told me she sometimes thinks she’s been given the gift to reach out and support younger women (such as myself). She then went on to tell me that there are times she seeks advice from a woman even older than her. How cool. This was a good reminder that spiritually, we all need a friend that can support and encourage us no matter our age.

Poem-
You’ve been with me through rough and tough
Thick and thin, until the very end

Now let me tell you what’s on my heart
I can’t stand for us to ever be apart

You’re a great person inside and out
Right now you’re who I’m thinking about

If I’m happy or sad, upset or mad
You’re one of the greatest friends I ever had

by Florence Gustave
Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-greatest#ixzz3dj5SK9vD
Family Friend Poems

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Friendship at Its Finest

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I met an older woman this week and we discussed a little bit about her life.  Her husband died some time ago and she relayed to me that she was in complete denial that he would die, even though he had cancer and was on Hospice.  She said she cried every day during that period.  She said she struggled to believe her husband would actually pass away and therefore, she was unable to make plans for his funeral.  Thankfully, a dear friend of theirs said he would make all arrangements and all she had to do was “sign her name”.  I thought this was a true act of kindness on this man’s part to help a husband and wife in a great time of need.  I think about professionals, such as social workers who can help others through this time of grief and planning for end of life arrangements.

What is best (if possible) is for a healthy couple to make these type of arrangements ahead of time.  Certainly, this takes lots of open discussions and courage to plan.  For more on this, see the below web site from the Federal Trade Commission.

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0305-planning-your-own-funeral

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▶ Mary Chapin Carpenter – Grow Old Along With Me

▶ Mary Chapin Carpenter – Grow Old Along With Me Lyrics – YouTube.

I think this is one of the most beautiful songs- originally written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  I chose it for one of our wedding songs years ago.  The video is outdated, but if you just close your eyes and listen to the words, you’ll be enchanted.  A sweet song, but sad at the same time.

Isn’t this what we all want?  To have someone we love be with us as we grow old?  To be there for him or her as well?

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It Is Still Painful After All These Years…

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As I watched my two boys this week at a science museum, I began talking to the only other parent in the room- an African American grandfather.  He sat by me and spoke gently to his two young grandchildren as they played.  He was incredibly friendly and we briefly discussed the need to keep children’s minds stimulated while on summer break.  I mentioned my thoughts to him on how the museum was very rudimentary, and that a better one was reportedly only 20 minutes away.  I asked him “Had he visited the other museum before?”  He very quickly informed me he was born in Wilson and that he has always lived in Wilson (NC).  I took that to mean he was very content to stay right where he was.

He went on to tell me he believed it was important for his grandchildren to know him.  He said that he knew his mother’s side of the family growing up, but never knew his father’s side. Once, as an older child, he discovered that his father’s father lived on his same street…  His grandfather had nothing to do with his family and his grandfather rejected any relationship with him.  He didn’t elaborate; but it was clear that he was still injured by this, even though his grandfather has certainly been gone a very long time.  I told him I had a difficult time understanding how family can reject family; even though a similar situation has occurred in my own extended family.

I have pondered this man and his feelings for days and this is what I have determined:  some pain lasts a life-time.  Some injuries are never healed.  How they can linger!  As we care for our seniors, we should be open-minded to emotional wounds we can’t see- hurts we don’t know about.  It is okay to ask a senior you care about:  “What is the matter” or “What is bothering you?”  We have to be open-minded to hurts that aren’t about today or yesterday, but that can span back some 70 years….

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