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Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
November 1, 2002

Publisher & Editor: GAIL R. MITCHELL






Hope the fall is treating you all well. October came and passed in the blink of any eye. However, as I look back it was packed with conferences, workshops, meetings and so much going on. All in all, it's been very exciting... Not much in the way of fall's almost like we went from summer to winter...I thought winter wouldn't hit us until January, just like the past few years.

The National Alliance For Caregiving hosted the Third International Conference on Family Care. There were over 700 participants from all over the globe. All who came together were harmonious, seeking out ways to provide for caregivers (carers) from their countries.

It was amazing to be immersed in an event that was filled with connection, caring and love. There was true representation of people the world over, who shared the desire for harmony, and wished for peace, rather than warfare This stood in stark contrast to the fact that many large many large American organizations that aren’t willing to collaborate and work with other organizations. This saddened me greatly for I truly believe, that caregiving, at best will be a grass roots initiative, a coming together of all care-related organizations for the highest good of the caregivers in mind. It isn't going to be about which organization did what... it will be about what we can all accomplish together for the highest good of the caregiver.

I would also like to point out that it is equally important for caregivers to identify our selves as such and to reach out for help and support. It is vitally important for us to do whatever is necessary to heal our selves first from within. In order to transform the caregiving experience into a more meaningful one for our selves and then those for whom we are caring, it is my hope that you will gather enough confidence and strength so that you can make better, more informed choices in your role. I also hope that those of you who become former caregivers will openly participate in research and studies so that your experiences will help others in need to all that is required.

It is amazing to observe all the web sites, books and organizations that have evolved from the caring hearts of caregivers while they were actually caring for another person. New resources, connections and avenues of help are blessings that continue to grow and evolve for all who are entering into the role of caregiver.

To properly cover all of the individual programs at the conference would take many newsletters as well as full time writers.

Because of President Ronald Reagan’ts diagnosis, Alzheimer's disease has captured widespread media attention as being the most demanding of caregiver’s needs. This has been valuable for raising awareness, however, I feel that caregiving should not be bound by any specific diagnosis. Everyone has been, is currently or will be affected by caregiving in some way during their lifetime. I feel that all caregivers need equitable recognition, support and care. Chronic diseases such as MS and cancer are also emotionally devastating, with caregivers suffering daily losses as their loved one slowly deteriorates.

Yes, caregiving is full time work. Yet, you must take time to nurture yourselves. Now, more then ever, we encourage you to reach out and tell your elected officials of your needs. Unfortunately, it is a necessity that we take responsibility and advocate for ourselves as well as for our loved ones. With the inner knowledge that things will eventually resolve themselves, these are the steps that will keep us moving through it all.

I believe the common thread that brings all caregivers together is the emotional and spiritual support, the connection to a higher power, the need to have our own needs met so that we can put our loved ones first.

I was totally moved by a young group of pre teens and teenagers who were carers for their parents in Australia. Their stories left everyone in the audience both male and female deeply touched in some way. Their love, will and fortitude are exemplary for all of us. This is a whole new generation of caregivers whose needs must be addressed: Children running home in between classes to feed, a parent or grandparent; sometimes missing school, worrying that social services may place them into foster care and place their loved one into a facility. The numbers of young ones are increasing in large numbers here in the US as well.

Another group of caregivers that is increasing is grandparents. Elders in their seventies and eighties, who worked all their life to retire are now caring for grandchildren for a myriad of reasons on a full time basis. Many of them actually needing care themselves, are caring 24/7.

I think there is something wrong here. When Congress can pass a 356 billion dollar budget for our military. When will we come first and when will our own needs be met first? When will the governments of the world and the corporations and ruling families finally support, WE, the people?

I also had the privilege of speaking at the Wellspouse Foundation's annual conference in Philadelphia, which was also very successful. It's true that spouses have many different issues around the role of caregiving. There may be problems with intimacy, role reversals, resentment, anger, guilt, but the well spouses too, are in need of working through the issues and making choices to heal themselves from within for what we don't heal emotionally tends to manifest in our organs and systems of our bodies. These negativve emotions feed off our bodies, comprimising our immune systems. For some well spouses, there is an issue of fidelity or perhaps a failing marriage before the diagnosis was ever spoken. It can bring diverse and difficult challenges that must be worked through very consciously for both parties.

There was a diverse representation of speakers at the Wellspouse conference but the general theme that seemed to run through the workshops and the keynote address was about the choices caregivers have. Choices that will empower you in any given moment.

Recently, during the past few months, I have been asked to give workshops to professional staffs in non profit organizations in the tri-state area. Topics have been focused on grieving, mindfulness, nurturing, stress techniques and re-connection with their inner being on a soulful level. It is interesting to see how much we are all in need of healing during these trying times. Overloaded schedules, administrative paperwork, insufficient staffing positions, all add to the energies that go out to the caregiver and the patient.

We are all in this together. Just like a pebble skimming the water of a lake radiating out in circles of ripples. How we are feeling in any given moment radiates out towards others vibrationally and most of us react without thinking. It is time for all of us to take responsibility for our own inner peace and well being so we can send out balanced, loving emotions towards all who enter our lives.

As I have mentioned before, I have been on the road and heavily involved in presenting workshops these past two months. We will be training new volunteers to help around the websites and in the office. At this time, I thank you for your continued patience and understanding if the newsletter doesn't arrive on time or if other aspects at the web site aren't updated in the timely fashion we would like to present to you.

Richest Blessings to you on your journey.
We always welcome your contributions, feedback, support and suggestions. Have a wonderful week.
In Love & Light,


Creating A Safe Space For Yourself


Update on NOFEC

National Organization For Empowering Caregiver's (NOFEC) invites you to sign up as members. If you are a family caregiver membership is complimentary. We invite you to fill in our caregiver survey . The surveys are confidential. The statistics will be used in our proposals as we apply for grants and funding. To reach the site click on this link:

We are actively seeking volunteers and interns to help us continue with our vision and mission. To become involved, please go to: Volunteers.

We are also creating a wish list for things we need to flourish in order to bring you so much more. NOFEC is now able to accept your contributions, donations and memberships online. Your valuable support in these areas helps us to continue to maintain the site and develop our programs for your use and benefits. Your support is gratefully appreciated. NOFEC

Spotlight Will Resume: January 2003
Caregiver Books Given Away Monthly

We will resume our giveaways in the month of December
"Featured Guest Experts"

Welcome Our Newest Edition To the Experts Area:
Featured- Columnist

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
November 2002
Beth Witrgen McLeod
Self-Care For Caregivers
Alan Cohen
I Don't Play Hurt
Harvey Cohen
You Are Your Cause!
Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts

(New Caregiver articles will be posted ongoing on the first of each month

Cash & Counseling: Consumer Choices, Family Reimbursements
"Cash and counseling (C&C) is one of the ultimate forms of consumer direction in which consumers are given the option of receiving cash payments that they may use to purchase a variety of support services.

Ten Things To Ask Before Hiring A Home Care Agency By Shirley Cohen
Today's seniors have more options available to them then ever before. One option more and more seniors are turning to when their physical capabilities diminish or while they recover from a short-term disability is to be treated in the comfort of their own home by a personal nurse's aide or a companion. Home care is considered by many to be one of the most desirable options because it allows seniors to maintain their independence while remaining in the one place where they feel most comfortable

Discounted Prescription Cards - Updated with new companies and information

In Memory

Top Of Page


Creating Rituals During The Holidays

With the holidays upon us, I have decided to reprint this article in hopes that many of you will choose to create even more special meanings for you and your loved ones.

Webster's Dictionary defines:
Rite - as a prescribed form or manner governing the words or actions for a ceremony. A ceremonial act or action; an initiation.
Ritual - as: relating to rites or ritual,: according to a religious law or social custom; the established form for a ceremony; a ceremonial act of action; any formal and customarily repeated act or series of acts.

There are many types of rituals other than purely religious. Taking a daily morning walk or meditating can be considered a ritual. For most, the term "ritual" represents an extended meaning to a set of actions. Many think of funeral memorials, deaths and rites of passage as rituals.

Creating rituals during the holidays is a way to give special meaning to those for whom you are caring as well as those for whom you are grieving. Creating a sacred ritual can offer a tremendous sense of honoring for the loved one you are missing. It also offers balance, comfort and support for you. The overall effect of creating rituals can assist you in coping with the coming holidays.

In continuing with your healing over your loss, you might also design rituals for anniversaries, birthdays and other events that were symbolic for you and your loved one. Rituals can help you to establish the spiritual meaning and understanding of your loss. The ritual becomes an ongoing memorial or representation that you can respond to and absorb the significant changes that have taken place. When you create a ritual from your heart, special meaning will fill you with purpose and most of all love.

Suggestions for filling your holiday loss and tears with celebration and love:

    Express yourself through artwork.

    Begin your holiday dinner with a minute of silent prayer and a toast in their honor

    Send up a balloon(s) with messages and prayers to your loved one.

    During the meal ask the question, "What comes to your mind when you think of _________?", and share memories with those who surround you.

    Plant a tree or a special plant in their honor in your garden or in your home.

    Create special Christmas ornaments for your tree and hang a stocking in their honor.

    Write a letter or even keep a journal of your thoughts.

    Light a candle(s) in their memory.

    Place a single flower or bouquet of flowers that your loved one cherished as the centerpiece.

    The "Shames" or head candle in the Hanukah celebration can be in honor of your loved one

    Look at pictures (or display pictures) from past holidays shared with your loved one. View videos, audiotapes and any remembrances, which reflect on the wonderful times you experienced together.

    Design a quilt with the memories you have

    Write a brief history of the ups and downs you have experienced in the past year and place it into a Christmas stocking or some memorable cache that you can add to yearly.

    Play a favorite song

    Create a sacred alter with photos and treasures where you can sit and reflect.

    If you vacation in a special area that you used to go to with your loved one, do something special in honor of them.

    Consider volunteering for an organization affiliated with your loved one;s illness, hospice or a caregiving program to help others through your own experiences.

    Vounteer to help feed the homeless over Thanksgiving & Christmas.

    Volunteer to read or spend time with the elderly in nursing homes, hospitals or to read and spend time with children who have terminal illnesses in hospitals.

    Donate gifts in your loved one's name. This is even more special when you donate in memory at their birthday, a special anniversary, etc.

    Offer a scholarship in a loved one's name.

Rituals empower people emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Caregivers in all countries who create rituals through customs, traditions, and their own desire to invent a new ritual that provides meaning in their life, have the opportunity to extend a person's presence beyond death. While our society encourages us to mourn quickly and return to our normal lives, it is particularly difficult for former caregivers who have experienced so much loss in their roles. The death of a loved one after a long period of caring leaves the caregiver without motivation, a sense of place, self confidence, a network of friends and socialization challenges to actually make the return to our own lives once again. It is not just the loss of a loved one you experience; it is the loss of many things that were put on hold.

As you move through your grief, remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person grieves in his or her own way and in his or her own time. It is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to support groups and learn how others are healing from their own personal losses. This gives you additional support and understanding. It also gives you reason to understand that you will move through your grief, just as others have. With understanding and healing, you will find that you may not return to your life as it was before you became a caregiver. You may find that you have grown in ways you could not have imagined, thus creating a newer more fulfilling life; perhaps even a new identity based on the transformational experiences you have gone through in your role as a Caregiver.

Rmember to be gentle and nurturing to yourself.

Richest blessings on your journey.

Copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell 11/08/01

Related Articles Here At The Site

The Holidays Are Coming: How To Make Them Sane & Satisfying
Loneliness During The Holidays
Sharing the Joys of the Holiday Season
The Holiday Season: How To Celebrate And Not Gain Weight!
Understanding The Grief Process
Emotional Reactions To Loss
Spiritual Reactions To Loss
Understanding Different Grieving Patterns In Your Family
Coping With Grief
Grief, Mourning And Guilt
Condolence & Sympathy, Elder Loss - My Wish for You
Filling The Void
Caregivers Grieve, Too!
Featured Articles By Our Experts

Our Life's Changes

Autumn reminds me of the eternality of life, and not to be fooled by appearances. The trees lose their leaves and, for a long time, appear to be dead. Yet meanwhile life has a far grander design, and in the spring they are renewed and grow to even greater stature. Often what seems like a death is just a sleeping. True life never dies; it just changes shapes and shows up in more wonderful ways.

So it is with the changes in our lives. We never really lose; we just build on what has been. If a relationship, friendship, career, or living situation is right and good for you, it will remain in force by the power of love and the Law of Attraction. If it ends or leaves, something better and more appropriate is in store. Sometimes relationships that appear dead are just sleeping, and, by applying more appreciation, can be renewed and go even deeper. The answer is always spiritual, and love is the highest expression of spirit.

I was reminded of the power of love during our recent Mastery Training in Maui. I had the honor to participate in monumental changes in the lives of people who are ready to claim the life they would choose. What a gift! Growth is not about finding out what is wrong and correcting it; it is about finding out what is right and drawing it forth.

I heard about a psychologist who was assigned to work with a young man with a long history of drug addiction. This patient showed up with a thick dossier of diagnoses and failed treatments. This psychologist, however, took a different tack. He didn't focus on his patient's addiction at all. Instead he kept asking the fellow, "Who are you when you are not an addict?" and "What did you do this week that was joyful, powerful, and productive?'" Over a period of time the young man's energy transformed and he utterly dropped his addiction. He shifted his sense of identity from addiction to personal mastery. As Dale Carnegie urged, "Give them a reputation to live up to!

Copyrighted By Alan Cohen


IVillage Chats On AOL

It is with great sadness that I share with you the following information. IVillage is no longer going to be involved with AOL. After four years of hosting the Empowering Caregivers site on AOL, the time has come to end the chat. I do not know the exact reasons for this separation. I do know that both corporations are out for themselves and genuinely not concerned with the mature members who are in need of the chats that were provided. I applied to host in the AOL Health area and was declined because I couild only offer time to host . Because of my workload I wasn't available to volunteer and give all the time they required beside the initial hosting time.

So, as it stands I will be hosting on IVillage on Thursday evenings in the 8PM EST time slot. AOL members please adhere to the following information so that you will not encounter too many difficulties.You need to register your screename at IVillage. When you are logged on, click on this link which will take you to the Thursday Scheule at IVillage. Scroll to 8pm and Click on the Empowering Caregivers Chat. If you are on AOL you will want to use HTML Chat. Or you can download a second browser: either Internet Explorer or Netscape and use the IChat or Java Plugins to have an easier chat experience both at IVIllage and here at this site this is the link: IVillageHealth CHAT SCHEDULE. If you have questions or need assistance please email: ivhealthhelp. You may also IM Cindy IVHealth Cindi


Town Hall Meetings -
"Strengthening Families and Communities for Caregiving"
Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm Eastern

The event will begin at 7:00 PM Eastern Time (New York) on November 20th, 2002. National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) and WHYY will partner together to host a townhall meeting on the costs of family caregiving - to families, businesses and the community. Moderated by WHYY’s Tracey Matisak, Creating Community Solutions to the Costs of Caregiving, is one in a series of town hall meetings presented across the country by NFCA. WHYY will serve as NFCA’s media partner for all of the town hall meetings, providing live webcasts at

The town hall meeting will provide an opportunity for family caregivers, recipients and others whose professional roles put them in daily contact with family caregivers to share concerns and explore solutions regarding the costs of caregiving with a panel comprised of policy makers and leaders in position to create change in the lives of caregiving families.

Please join us - and spread the word to people you think would be interested. Family caregivers and their loved ones are encouraged to attend.
The WHYY Technology Center is located at 150 North Sixth Street, Philadelphia. This event is free and open to the public.

1. For reservations to attend the town hall meeting, please call 215-928-2443.
2. To access the webcast go to: It is a good idea to register in advance and to run the “Wizard” to determine whether your computer is ready to display allaspects of the webcast. Free software is available if you need it. To sign up for this event: to get involved both on and offline please go to:

We look forward to seeing you…

November is National Family Caregivers Month

We support NFCA's effort to "Share the Caring" and acknowledge National Family Caregivers Month (NFC Month) as an opportunity to provide community-based activities in support of family caregivers.

NFC Month is designed to raise awareness that will help people recognize and appreciate the caregivers' vital role. The goal is to build caregiver self-esteem, expand caregiver self-awareness and teach caregivers to become their own advocates.Call NFCA at 1-800-896-3650 or visit their website NFCA

November Is Also:

November is National Hospice Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month

National Home Care Month

National Alzheimer’s Month

National Adoption Month November

If you do a search from this site or any search engine under any of these categories you will find a large assortment of links to provide you with more information.Search


Eden Alternative:

First International Eden Alternative Conference. (Nov. 19-22, 2002, Myrtle Beach, SC). Kingston Plantation, Embassy Suites in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Participants will be coming from the U.S., as well as Canada, Switzerland, Australia and other nations working to promote culture change in long-term care. For more information, email:

Palliative Care Conference
Thursday, November 21st, 2002

On Thursday, November 21st, 2002, the Professional Educational Center will host a Palliative Care conference. Distinguished speakers from leading institutions in palliative care, including Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, and the Jewish Home will share their expertise and knowledge. Physician CME's, Administrator CEU's and Nursing CU credits will be offered. Register for the upcoming conference or download and print a program and registration form. For more information, contact Naim Gribaa at 212-870-4762 or To register for the conference, please click on this form

Spirituality and Mental Health:
2002 Conference.
(Dec. 2-3, 2002
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
For information, contact:
Carmen Lefebvre at:

End Of Life: "Peaceful Death: Easing Fear for the Caregiver."

Dec. 6, 200210 am-3 pm.
Epworth Villa - Oklahoma City, OK.
Oklahoma State Forum sponsored by the Southwest Society on Aging
For information call (405) 744-7511 or visit

Jewish Spiritual Care:
"Getting to the Heart of the Matter:
Explorations in Jewish Spiritual Care."
Dec. 11, 2002, New York, NY
Speaker: Jerome Groopman, M.D.
Sponsored by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
For information call (212) 836-1865 or email

Body, Mind, Spirit, Healing Retreat.
Dec. 9-13, 2002
Tucson, AZ
Picture Rocks Retreat Center

Relaxation, meditation, healing prayer, imagery and fantasy, storytelling, drawing, labyrinth, and reminiscing. Johnson Institute at (636) 273-6898 or visit: or

What is SAD?

Many people experience a sense of sadness, loss and lethargy; sometimes even depression that accompanies the shortening days of the fall and winter. Many cultures and religions have winter festivals associated with candles or fire. This condition is known as "SAD" One recommendation to treat this condition is light therapy. This light brightens the room during the day time as if there was sunloight. To learn more click on these links:

Tell Congress to take action and pass the STOP Stroke Act this year. Call toll free, at no cost to you, to 1-800-810-6559 from November 4-15 to urge your Member of Congress to support the STOP Stroke Act.The STOP Stroke Act (H.R. 3431) will help ensure that stroke is more widely recognized by the public and treated more effectively by health care providers. This vital legislation passed the Senate unanimously in February and has strong, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

To learn more click here: STOP Stroke Act or click here to see a full list of House co-sponsors More questions, please email, or call (202)785-7900.Thank you for your support!

November 26th: Kiss A Caregiver

When you provide care to a family member or friend, you tend to forget to take care of yourself. And, other family members and friends may be so preoccupied with the health issues of the family member with the illness or disability that they inadvertently overlook the needs and wellbeing of the family caregiver.

Kiss a Caregiver, sponsored by The Center for Family Caregivers, hopes to encourage family members and friends to show their love and support for the family caregivers in their lives. "We've designated this day, during National Family Caregivers Month and during the week of Thanksgiving, for everyone to show their love and appreciation for those who care for a relative with a chronic illness or disability," explains Denise Brown, Executive Director, for the Center for Family Caregivers. For more information please go to:

Living Your Fabulous Life: The Radio Show with John Felitto
New York Tri-State Area

Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 pm EST
Recent Guests Include…
Dr. Bernie Siegel, Shakti Gawain, Chérie Carter-Scott & Gail Mitchell

Join our interactive radio community. Send an email to: John with Fabulous Life Radio in the subject line and you’ll receive: guest announcements, links to books and resources, supportive materials to coach yourself to success. Broadcast Area - On The Jukebox Radio Network:

Bergen County & Lower Westchester 103.1 FM
Rockland County & Upper Westchester 94.3 FM
Sullivan County, the Catskills and the Poconos 99.7 FM
Caregiving at Life's End: A Free Train-the-Trainer Program

Applications are now being accepted for a unique opportunity to attend a caregiver facilitator-training seminar. Based on a national needs assessment of hospice family caregivers. The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast is offering free national facilitator training seminars.The Caregiving at Life's End program helps family caregiver find growth and meaning in the end-of-life caregiving experience. This seminar is designed to prepare program facilitators and provide them all the materials for them to offer Caregiving at Life's End program in their communities.

The first free five-day training is scheduled in Florida for March 3-7,2003. Other trainings are scheduled for April, June, July and August 2003.Hospice, aging/elder care, caregiving, long-term care and palliative care professionals nationwide, are invited to apply to attend the Caregiving at Life's End Train the Trainer program. For more information about this project, go to or contact Andrea Goettel at The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast, 727-773-2561 or email .


National 2003 Medicare Education Campaign Launched
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

Services Administrator Tom Scully recently unveiled the annual national Medicare education campaign designed to help 40 million people with Medicare coverage get answers to their questions and make informed decisions about their health plans. The $25 million national advertising campaign featuresMedicare's newest television ads, which started airing on network television last week. The campaign also coincides with the annual election period for health plan options that begins in mid-November.

"People who are covered by Medicare, their family members and caregivers, need this information about Medicare and we want them to know exactly where they can find it Medicare beneficiaries, family members and caregivers can receive information through the 24-hour service of 1-800-MEDICARE, the Medicare & You 2003 handbook, and new decision tools at new decision tools to the Personal Plan Finder on the Medicare Web site will help beneficiaries, family and caregivers quickly develop a personalized report on the benefits and services offered by area health plans.


Government Program For Caregivers Of Disabled Persons
View Petition
View Current Signatures
Sign the Petition

This petition was created by RSDSpouse Support Network and written by Michael Fowler.

Dorothy Womack- Contributing Writer & Poet At
Empowering Caregivers

    I am delighted to introduce you to three of Dorothy's books which are now available for purchasing at and I remember as if it were yesterday when I encourage Dorothy to begin publishing her writings. Now she has three books: 'Passage Into Paradise' is the true story of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's, and her caregiving experience. 'Alzheimer's Angels' is a compilation of poetry concerning the caregivers and also the victims of Alzheimer's, written over a period of two years from dealing with online support groups. 'Sacred Sentiments' is all inspirational poetry, without any connection to Alzheimer's. Sentiments was created in order to reach Christians who were struggling with a myriad of issues, not necessarily Alzheimer's. Visit Passage Into Paradise, one of several of Dorothy's sites.




    Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.”

    Harriet Nelson

    Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.”

    Carol Welch

    Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness

    Edward Stanley

    God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.

    St. Augustine

    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

    Joseph Campbell

    You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.

    Woodrow Wilson

    Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers.

    John S. Bonnell, D.D.

    We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.

    Henry David Thoreau

    These are truisms that only kids can express. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

    "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."- Rebecca - age 8

    "Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."- Chris - age 8

    "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."- Mary Ann - age 4

    "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."- Lauren - age 4

    "I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her." - Bethany - age 4

    "You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." Jessica - age 8

    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." - Karl - age 5

    "Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

    "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." - Danny - age 7

    "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."- Bobby - age 5

    "If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."- Nikka - age 6

    "There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."- Jenny - age 4

    Life Raft Lessons

    As you were leaving, my heart was breaking
    I wondered just whose advice I'd be taking
    Your wisdom - Your strength - Your love ever true
    My heartaches and problems - You already knew

    When approached for an answer, you never failed
    To supply me with 'Life Rafts', when storms would prevail
    Under your wings, new confidence borne

    I'd go forth to face the trials of the morn...

    How do I manage now, without you??
    God called you to HIM - now what do I do??
    Beset by all manner of trouble and woe
    Not sure where to turn, or which way to go

    I treasure the legacy left unto me
    Your wisdom and counsel so integral to me
    Letting you go released you from pain
    Yet placed it upon me - till we're united again

    I feel like a child in so many ways
    There weren't enough years, months, weeks or days
    For me to encapture everything that you are
    Nor find a secure place - tucked within my own heart

    Where nothing can shake me - to falter or fall -
    For I know God is with me - He's there when I call
    And somehow, my knowing that you're right there with
    Makes my losses more bearable - My trials not so grim

    You taught me these lessons:
    To live fully - free -
    Be grateful - Be thankful -
    And give GOD all the glory......

    **Written for Mary Zinni
    c)2002 Dorothy Womack
    Alzheimer's Angels: A Compilation of Poetry
    Honoring Caregivers and Victims of Alzheimer
    's Disease By Dorothy Womack


    I AM NOT A CARE-GIVER ANYMORE, and that is the reason for this message...I recently lost both of my parents, who I have taken care of for many years. They both suffered from severe health problems and had to come and live with me (they were very much wanted in our home by my entire family). I wish I had found this website during those years, because sometimes the stress of taking care of my family, working and taking care of my parents seemed overwhelming! My Father passed away about 4 years ago and my Mother this past February. The guilt I am suffering through right now at times seems unbearable. I have to admit that there were times when I JUST WANTED MY LIFE BACK! Well, I have it back now - and all I want is my Mother and Father back. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!

    I never realized what my role was as a care-giver until it was too late. My heart breaks for every elderly person I see. It's a much harder time for them than it was for me - I just never realized that until it was too late. I feel like I could have done so much more to help my parents through this very difficult time. Sometimes my frustration with the situation showed and I know I broke their hearts a time or two with my attitude. I have a lot of guilt that I could have done so much more than I did. I could have made their last days so much happier than I did. What I'm trying to say is, I was really happier caring for them than I am right now - having my EMPTY life back. I hope this message can help you cope just a little better than I did! Thank you,

    I would appreciate your feedback. Meyers


    I've been married nearly 15 years. At first we both worked. Living in his parents home sounded a great assist until we could save up for our own place in a year or so...Our daughter was born three years later. My mother-in-law stopped driving the same month due to deteriorating vision caused by IDDM. Soon after legally blind. My daughter is 11 1/2 now, son 9. We relocated half way across the country shortly after my FIL passed away 9 years ago.

    Since then she and I have tackeled heart disease, ups and downs of diabetes, colon cancer, gal bladder surgery, hernia repairs, pnemonias, and multiple infections requiring hospitization and ongoing nursing care.

    For better or worse....
    I am a registered nurse able to meet all her medical needs.
    For better or worse...
    I am wife, mother, social director, homemaker, housekeeper, CINDERELLA!
    For better or worse...
    My prince works longer and longer hours... Is he avoiding returning to the castle?

    The evil stepsisters won't help! My resentment is building! My SIL moved 10 minutes away and has 2 kids in their 20's. They won't take her shopping, physicians, or even help me out with baby sitting.

    For better or worse...

    I am drowning. I have fallen into Alice's rabbit hole and I can't climb out. Somedays the Queen of hearts is happy and we bake and shop. I breathe a long sigh of relief! Other days she enters the kitchen shouting "OFF WITH YOUR HEAD" and I know I am in for another long day. These are more the norm these days than the occasion. I am not seeking out a "pen pal for daily whining nor planning". I simply seek a supportive friend who is there... and understands. My Mother in law is also my best friend... and for better or worse, to my marriage and family, my worst enemy. Dutiful Daughterinlaw

    Top Of Page


    Living To Be 100

    A woman in her late 80s decides to move to Miami. As part of her prepara- tions, she goes to see her doctor to get all of her charts.

    The doctor asks her how she is doing, and she gives him the litany of complaints: "This hurts," "That's stiff," "I'm tired and slow" and so on.

    "You have to expect things to start deteriorating," the doctor says sympathetically. "After all, who wants to live to 100?"

    The woman looks him straight in the eye. "Anyone who's 99."


    Two youngsters were closely examining bathroom scales on display at the departmentstore.

    "What's it for?" one asked.

    "I don't know," the other replied. "I think you stand on it and it makes you mad. At least it does that for my Mom and Dad."

    The Ring Bearer

    A little boy was in a relative's wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd (alternating between bride's side and groom's side). While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar loudly.

    So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR all the way down the aisle. As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the
    time he reached the front. The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and was near tears by the time he reached the pulpit. When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, "I was being the Ring Bear."

    Lawyer Gene

    Gene the lawyer was walking down the street and saw an auto accident. He rushed over, started handing out business cards, and said, "I saw the whole thing. I'll take either side."


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