I opened the sweetest little card sharing newsy information from a former student who regularly writes me even though I’m no longer her principal.  We spent a great deal of time together during those formative elementary years, and she continues to stay in touch, keeping me updated on her life.  She is a blessed reminder of the impact we have on others when we least expect it.  A couple of sentences into her message, she caught me off guard: “I remember you often talking with me about holding on to hope in life.  Through this recent experience, I see how hope what is like the night sky with  stars twinkling above.  Even though there may be storm clouds in the way, the stars, especially the North star, are still there leading the way, reminding us to hold on and always be hopeFULL.”  Talk about an inspiring, uplifting  thought to ponder!  Couldn’t we all use a little more hope floating to the top these days?  I know I could.  Perhaps a tinge more deep reflection, gratitude, giving thanks, sharing kindness, and holding on to hope are in order.

As my pastor recently reminded us:  “Even though we’re currently living between a world of hope and the reality of what is circulating all around us, choose to hold on to hope, because hope is worth holding on to, my friends!”  So today, please take a moment to ponder:  How do you hold on to hope?

My hopeFULL and grateful wish for you today:  an abundance of positive feelings warming your world to bring a smile your way along with a hopeFULL reminder of how much nicer the world is because of you… 🙂

Showing up once again…

As I’ve shared before, when you’re traveling the path of Alzheimer’s with a parent 24/7, you can expect daily kinks in the routine.  Some days are relatively smooth and we roll along, while others, well, I can’t say it very nicely so I’ll leave it to your imagination.  Most mornings dad pops up in bed as I present him with a hot cup of coffee, a smile, and a cheerful greeting.  I remind him to shower, help lay out his clothes, and leave him to his personal rituals. Once he presents himself in the main part of our home, he grins and announces, “I’m here; let the day begin” (even though it may be pushing noon).  He chooses to “show up” and we do too.

Dad requires more and more assistance with specific daily tasks, especially those involving medications, reminders to carry his cane, wash his hands, cover that cough, and such.  He easily confuses things or chooses to just skip them.  Some days while gently reminding or assisting him through a specific task, he looks at me as though I’m bossing him into submission.  (even though I realize I’m a red-headed benevolent overlord at times).  To dad though, I’m his little girl again and by golly, no daughter of his will tell him what to do.  But the instant St. M opens his mouth to repeat exactly what I just asked, dad immediately complies.  WHAT?!?

It’s the power of what I call “show up.”  You see, St. M carries compassion in abundance and uses his super power of show up to his advantage with dad.  In his calm voice, he coaxes dad to do what’s in dad’s best interest.  I’ve learned to also appreciate this additional assistance when my patience well runs low.  In reality, it’s a grateful outcome because someone other than me took the time to show up in a needed moment.

What’s a super power of yours you use to help another?

Some dear friends frequently remind me on this journey of these powerful words:  show up…pay attention…let go…speak your truth…don’t be wedded to the outcome…”  This is my morning mantra as I show up in gratefulness for the opportunity to start another day with dad. And here’s hoping your super power(s) offers you the opportunity to start another day in gratefulness too! 🙂



Yes, it’s been a few weeks since the last post. So much life…soooo much 2020!  While we all know everything will work again if it’s unplugged for just a bit, even that is not a complete guarantee this particular year, huh?!

Today, however, marks exactly 30 days until Thanksgiving, my personal favorite.  In an effort to jump start myself and find ways to focus on this important season of thanks and giving in the midst of an ongoing Pandemic, these next 30 days are once again about GRATEFULNESS.  As a way to express appreciation, share a word or two of kindness, and reflectively narrate on the grace of simple gratitude, there will once again be a question posted each day.  Here’s hoping this helps us pause briefly from the anxiety, stress, and frequent-overwhelmingness of this unique time in our lives.

Personally, being grateful is a feeling of appreciation for a kindness, a welcome experience of gratitude and of thankfulness.  Being authentically grateful brings pleasure and contentment on a level everyone could genuinely use in daily life.  The word itself comes from the Latin derivative, gratus, “showing grace, blessing, and JOY…” Just like daily physical exercise, we must create and cultivate mindful ways to powerfully practice daily gratitude in an effort to recharge and reboot mind, body, spirit, and soul.  As always, we start with a simple question on Day One: 

What is ONE thing you are grateful for today, only today?

Me?  RESTORATION.  Waking up to a beautifully crisp fall morning following lots of fog the past week (literally and figuratively) with regained energy.  The woods have regenerated with leaves swirling, and it’s Pumpkin Carving Day around here to boot!  My personal battery is restored from  yesterday because the blank page in the journal of life at this moment on this day is clean, crisp, and ready to unfold a fresh story!  Hopefully, restoration brings more patience, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, and generosity.  Perhaps we work to right wrongs, learn from yesterday’s mistakes, listen more, talk less, or simply put down our phones.  Hope is not lost and mercies are abundant, if only we seek them. 

Gratefully, restoration brings another day and offers renewed energy as many times as we need it!  And as my favorite Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau observed, “I am grateful for what I am and have…my Thanksgiving is perpetual.”   So, in this moment, take a deep cleansing breath, and gratefully name aloud your ONE thing today.  🙂