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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 111 of 1,088

Planning on taking my neighbor lady to see her family in another state. I do this each summetr and its a blessing to see her happiness when she sees her family again. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My Grandmother was my only living relative. I was nine years old when she came to the orphanage where I had been placed after my Mom died. She looked frail. I was told she was recovering from a stroke. When I found out she wasn't taking me home with her, I was upset. "Expecting life to treat you fair, is like expecting a bull not to charge, because your a vegetarian.." she had said. "I'm a vegetarian, cause I hate plants!" I snapped back.

 

Years later, my Grandmother contacted me. She was recovering from her second stroke. I was financially struggling as a single Mom. She needed a caregiver, and I needed to be cared about, so my son and I went to live with her. My Grandmother, known for wit loves playing word games. Word games frustrate me. "Horticulture," I said hoping this would be a word to end the game. "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think... " she said with a smile.

 

2015 was a horrible year for me. A drunk driver killed my child. Two months later, while visiting a friend, I was a victim of a home invasion. I was beaten up, put in a coma for a month. My Grandmother was at my bedside when I awoke from the coma. Depression and anxiety now filled my everyday life. There wasn't a day or night that I didn't cry. My Grandmother gave me two months before she snapped, "Don't walk around with a T-shirt that says, I give up, on the front and, I never started trying on the back! People bring you down, situations happen, YOU feel like life is the **bleep**tiest thing to deal with. BLAH BLAH BLAH.. If you're walking through Hell, keep going! Everyday face it, deal with it, move on! To every problem, there is a solution. Time for a new game! It's called take over the world! WHOOOP WHOOOP!!"

 

She booked our first vacation. Grizzly Bear Watching in Alaska. Our Alaskan adventure also included zip-lining  through an Alaska forest, and suspended bridge trekking. On our way home she said, "Have you ever noticed, ‘What the hell’ is always the right  decision?"

 

I was terrified, staring at my Grandmother. Was she affiliated with the antichrist? Why is she so calm? Three planes, miles through the Norwegian ocean, surrounded by imposing glaciers, and at this moment we are being readied to be loweredinto the icy water to swim with orcas and humpback whales...! "We are so lucky" she had said. I only felt terror, not lucky. I tuned in to what she was saying to an environmentalist, with whom she'd entered into debate, "Earth has been through a lot worse than us! Earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, comets, asteroids, meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, poles, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, nuclear radiation, bombs. Plastic bags and aluminum cans will not cause Earth's destruction. Earth and plastic will be here for a long, long, time. " Then she glanced over at me. "Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind dear, be led by the dreams in your heart" she said. As we were being lowered into the water, the enviromentalist got on one knee in front of my Grandmother, "Darlin, can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the money?" We swam alongside the immense killer whales and humpbacks. No one got hurt, and none of my imagined fears came true. We spent the evening watching the breathtaking dancing aurora borealis.

 

Grandmother was reading a book from the National Institute of Health. "The Benefits Of Fear - When we are fearful, we imagine all sorts of outcomes and scenarios. Sometimes the fear can be so intense, it can cause inaction. Fear heightens your senses, awareness, focus, concentration, helps to quickly identify choices to evaluate the best course of action." This information led to our next fear-based vacation, at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. This gateway to the Rockie Mountains hotel, was Stephen King’s real-life inspiration for the movie, 'The Shining.' We clung to each other as we walked slowly through a creepy underground tunnel beneath the hotel. We nervously had drinks and watched a piano occasionally play itself in the hotel's bar.

 

In the car, as we headed home, she
pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket, and began reading it to me. "People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway. Anything you want, that is good, you can have it, hard work works. Working really hard is what successful people do. When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up. Each one, teach one.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to fail. When you fail, fail forward. Reggie Jackson had the most strike-outs in the history of baseball. Twenty-six hundred strike-outs, but people only remember his home runs. Accept that you will fail, you will lose, you'll embarrass yourself, you will suck at something. It’s inevitable. Life should not be a journey into the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well-preserved body. Better to skid in, broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a Ride!”

 

I no longer needed to hear my Grandmother say, 'Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.' The words that have the power to change people's lives for the better, words which heal wounded hearts no matter how in ruines the relationship is. The right words matter, like the difference between a lightning bug, and lightning. The saddest tears over a grave, are for words left unsaid. Say them now. Use them freely. Resolve the unresolved. Do not wait for the last second, or it could pass you by.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 113 of 1,088

I take care of my mom when my dad needs a break.  It is impossible to think about taking a vacation at all.  Dad needs me as much as mom needs him.  

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 114 of 1,088

recently flew down to florida to drive my dad up to ohio. and the dog too.....

it was a long trip but fun. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 115 of 1,088

I am the caregiver of my mother, who has a myriad of problems and is currently addicted to pain killers because of them.   I have been trying to get her to address her problems for years but she seems much happier popping a pill every 4 hours and zoning out.    We finally convinced her to make an appointment with senior services to get grief councling so I am excited to see if that will pain into anything. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 116 of 1,088
very inspiring
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 117 of 1,088

i HATE SUMMER. ITS SO HOT

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 118 of 1,088
Share your experience here and you will be entered in our Caregiving Summer Contest 2018 and could win one of the weekly $100 gift cards or a chance for the overall winning prize of $500 gift card. Your story may be advice or inspirational!
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 119 of 1,088

When you are a caregiver you need to schedule vacation time around that. It can be planned in advance . One thing I do is ask for rooms on the first floor or close to the elevator. Also,just take things as they happen no need to get all stressed out .

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 120 of 1,088

took my mother to visit her grandchildren, thats when we discovered that she cant sit for very long without her legs cramping up so we had to change our plans and stop every half hour for her to walk around. slowed the trip but gave us a lot of time to reminisce.

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