I met a lady years ago, only twice, but she has stayed in my mind until she died at 97 years of age, a week ago. I asked myself why did she stay with me all these years. She was one of those people who are just so lovely and good. She wasn't bitter when she could have been, wasn't angry, wasn't a gossip, mean, or hard to talk to. She just was a really kind, loving, forgiving person. When you meet someone and you have an instant connection and feel like this person is a friend, cherish the time. Learn from the time you spend with them. They are like rare gems. I hope to be a rare gem. To cultivate those qualities in myself. To all my lovely rare gems on KS, I am grateful for you.
Last night we went out for dinner and on the way home I saw a large "something" on the side of the road. Suddenly I realized what I had seen. A man laying there. We turned the car around and raced back. I felt sure he had been hit by a car and either dead or very hurt. When we got there, he was trying to stand up. We both raced over to him and he screamed at us to just "go away". I spoke to him about how worried we were and asked if he was ok. All the time walking closer and then realized he was very drunk. An elderly man and really so vulnerable. We asked if we could help get him to his feet and he told us that the taxi driver had thrown him out of his taxi. Stewart walked him to his home and as he ... Read Full Story >>
As I was walking around Residential care this afternoon, I heard a lot of yelling and crying coming from one of the rooms. I had actually tried to connect with this little lady a few weeks ago but she can't speak English and has dementia. A caregiver was in with her and speaking but the lady wasn't responding. I took the lady into the bathroom and she was crying and looking in the mirror. To calm her down I started to brush her hair, it was soaking. The caregiver left and I grabbed a small towel and dried her hair as well as gently rubbing her head. She just kept crying and was terribly upset. So I wrapped my arms around her, rubbed her back and hugged her. At the same time, I was talking very quietly to her and rocking her. She sobbed in my arms. When she calmed down I sat with ... Read Full Story >>
I had a lovely day yesterday. As I was crossing the street I made a little joke with an older lady and continued on to go shopping. Later I was going to my car and spotted someone in front of me looking lost, the same previous lady. She told me that she had a stroke and a little memory loss.
So we stared a the big parking lot and I asked: "any idea where you might have left the car?" "At the front" was her reply. So we walked on that row and there was her car parked next to mine! We then had a laugh on how things happen. She told me she did 'channeling'. So we talked for an hour and I just let her speak.
She was lonely and I felt I could give her my undivided time. Sometimes that is all a person needs, to just be heard. I took her phone number and will ring her to invite her out for coffee. Life is strange how we are meant to meet some people. I am not into channeling but try to keep an open mind.
Well after reading Mindy's post 're- sock and the homeless', I am off to buy some more socks and take them plus frozen meals out to the shelter.
I know how lucky I am with not having to work, married to a beautiful man, children living good lives, a cozy home, a funny little VW Beetle to drive around in (yellow daisy included), a mostly healthy body, Bentley and simply having enough.
I am grateful that I can now look back at the hard, tough years of suffering and despair and now greet each day with pure joy. I thank all of you my friends for helping me make this happen. So many hugs of love to all of you.
A week ago I walked past the house I had donated plants, pots and flowers to. This time I had two massive cane baskets that I had in my back yard. I used to put pots of geraniums in them.
I looked at my lovely garden, and thought "why keep things that are so beautiful if I now just take them for granted" So what I did was leave these beautiful baskets on her front porch. Yesterday when I was walking Bentley, I noticed she has arranged them in an area surrounded by flowers and put some flower pots in the baskets.
I get such a thrill when I see part of my garden now living in her garden. It is like seeing them bring pleasure to someone else. It makes me happy and I kept walking with a big smile on my face.
I am so getting into the "listening". A dear friend was having coffee with me and started to tell me a long wonderful story. I listened intrigued, commenting when needed and truly heard her.as I have heard the same story over and over. She has memory loss.
The positive side is. I know the story so well that when she falters in the telling, I fill in the blanks. She says to me "you are amazing how you know exactly what I am going to say". How do you do that?" A beautiful learning for me is hearing her and not letting her know that her memory loss is so bad. I get more out of seeing the joy on her face as she tells this marvelous story. It is a gift to me.
I was at the shops last night and saw a homeless woman with a trolley full of all her things. She was sitting inside to keep warm. I went up to her and tried to give her money for her to get something to eat. She wouldn't take it. I said I wanted to help her but she said if she had enough given to her that day and if she had money on her, other homeless people would steal it from her when she slept. I explained that I wanted to help her and could I buy her something warm. Again she said no. She thanked me and said how grateful she was that I had spoken to her and offered help. We introduced ourselves and she said that when I saw her next time, she would accept help. What an amazing woman. So as I walked out into the cold ... Read Full Story >>
I had one of the most amazing things happen at the place I go to volunteer. No one had told me that because of the holiday, there were no activities. So I said, "Well since I am here I might as well take this gorgeous lady for a walk around the outside gardens." We laughed, stole roses, talked, and basked in the peace.
After that I went around to a few people and massaged their hands. One lady was so upset and angry. She was sitting on the side of her bed, so I pulled over her walker, sat in front of her and chatted. I listened and then I did her hands while we talked.
What happened was special. As she talked about how she hated the place, people, etc., I continued to listen and comment all the time touching her hands. She started to interact with me and laugh at things and life. She blossomed and so did I. When I left and said I would see her later, she was so different and open to the possible in life. What an amazing connection.
We went out to dinner at one of the clubs and I noticed a young man in a wheelchair. I think he has muscular dystrophy. His brain is great but physically he cannot do much. I had a chat with him and it was hard to understand him. I made a point of really listening and looking at him. Of course, I always think this could be my child and treat him the way I would want my child to be respected. Stewart finds it hard to relate but boy, does he really make a great effort. So after some time, he moved on and we continued to eat. As we were leaving I noticed him looking into his wallet and looking around. So we went up and found out he had lost his visa card! He had gotten money out earlier and put the card, or so he thought in his carry ... Read Full Story >>
When you give out kindness and being friendly to others, it does come back. We have just finished having the whole house painted. It was hard to live around this. But I supplied good coffee and beautiful biscuits. We didn't complain and moved the furniture each night so the painting could be done easily. I became friends with this young man over the two weeks while he painted. We weren't going to paint the bathroom area as it made living there too difficult and were going to arrange it for September. He talked to me about getting it done quickly for me and also did the front door in this fantastic high gloss paint. When we went to pay him he said the bathroom and door were a gift to us. I was stunned. He explained that we had made him so welcome that he wanted to do this. On the last day we ... Read Full Story >>
Late last night Stewart and I got all the Christmas cards we have written. They say "Merry Christmas from a neighbor". We put these in a street that is not a very happy place. A lot of problems on this street. We decided to put one in each mailbox. I am hoping that this will bring a little peace, happiness and joy to some of these people. We could also be starting world war 3. But I live in hope. Not for war!!! But for perhaps a reaching hand to each other.
I was out shopping today and ran into a very old lady who I had known years ago. She doesn't speak much English , so I nod a lot. and smile. What I did understand was her husband has had to go into care. I was holding her hands and she started to tear up. Next thing she threw herself into my arms and cried her heart out. She is heart broken to be without her husband. we were sitting on a bench and she stayed in my arms for at least 5 minutes and I thought she would break if I let her go. I just kept quiet and held her. She finally moved away and I was nearly crying. I wiped her face and kissed her on her checks. She kept saying I am sorry. But I stopped her and just smiled. She then was calm and I felt her ... Read Full Story >>
It looks like my path is taking me more to being involved with a place call "My Place" It is where men and women can go to get a shower, food, chats, items, etc. I have made my involvement a little different this time.
We talk about fear stopping us but I have seen this fear in organisations being unable to ask in the right way for help. So I have taken it upon myself with their knowledge to ring big shops and ask how to go about getting donations, forms they have to fill in and who they write letters to. I then inform them who to contact and they have to take the responsibility of Doing.
I feel free then to get friends and relatives backing me with money and donations of other kinds. We have a big freezer we have used twice and I know they need one so I thought, just give it to them if they want it. They need it more than I will ever need it. I feel happy with the amount of interaction I am doing.
The old me would want to take over , not now. Just want to help. I have a developed a really nice way for me to help and be calm about it. It is because of all of you
Hi Everyone, I just wanted to tell you that my son rang me to thank me for the phone call and email I sent him yesterday. He was grateful for reminding him on how the small stuff is not worth worrying about and to be thankful for his life and all the good things in it.
I felt very proud of him for recognizing that he had forgotten the joy and goodness in his life. I also recognize that I am now relating to my grown children in a very different way. More loving, positive and kind. I am a softer more approachable women now and I think they a responding to the new me. The change has been noticed.
What more could I ask for? A special thank you to all of here on this lovely site of KS. You helped me become this way. Big hugs of love to all of you.
Well, now I take my two older ladies out once a week for an outing to lunch, browsing the second hand stores, or just a drive around Canberra. Talk about funny, they talk nonstop and I can't talk and drive so of course we took the wrong turn off. But we got there in the end.
Then as we were going to lunch, one of them remembered she had locked her daughter out of the house and she was supposed to be going with the daughter to an appointment. So we raced her home, and then I dropped the other lady off as she had forgotten she had to go out by a certain time.
All together it was a lot of fun but boy did I need a cup of coffee and a rest when I got home. Next week we meet on Thursday and I think this time we are going to lunch! I might just ask politely if they have forgotten anything. I am laughing as I am writing this post. Such delightful ladies!
Change is something we can all do but often don't. I had a friend that I knew for nearly 40 yrs. The most beautiful, loving person I had known. Also the most shattered and broken woman I had ever met. But what she was, was pure kindness. We were a good match. Kind attracts kind. As we all know. I spent years changing, falling, getting up and changing. It was hard and often lonely. She spent years being used, broken helping and still letting others walk all over her. I tried to help her, as I was helping myself, to move up and put herself first. Over those years we broke up as friends three times. Always for the same reason, she was a victim and couldn't put herself first. Well we found each other again, two years ago and it was like coming home to a very loved sister. The change in ... Read Full Story >>
We now have a lovely person living in our flat that is attached to the back of our house. such a change for me. No one has lived in it for five years and the whole place has been made so beautiful. It was like my sanctuary. I knew one day we would find the right person. And we did. I've taken note of what everyone says about letting things flow and then happen. Putting a problem into the universe and just sitting back and seeing what happens. The change within me has been unbelievable. I am so relaxed and don't live with tension or anxiety anymore. It wasn't a choice to be different, it was joining KindSpring and reading about all of you. The beautiful and heartfelt validation I got from all of you, changed something deep in my soul. I try new things, and just let them happen. I meet ... Read Full Story >>
More clothes to the second hand shop and then going to Residential care. I cleaned out one of the ladies closets at the nursing home, as she cannot physically do it. We take family for granted and only realize that when you don't have anyone, no one does the little, special things that are needed. Like getting rid of clothes, books and other stuff that some of these people don't need or want them anymore. I had a good time doing this and the lady loved it. Sad that some of it was years old and not appropriate anymore. My point really is that friends and family look after a lot of the little things these people need attention to. Those without any family or friends, don't seem to get this help. I then bought her three of those warm long sleeved light thermal tops to keep her warm. I am not supposed to ... Read Full Story >>
I went off to a nursing home this morning where I do hand massage and now neck and knee rubs. I so love doing this. It just allows me to connect with the elderly, and often lonely people. I think I get more out of it than they do.
I laugh, feel good, and feel wanted when I go there. I feel I have found what I am meant to be doing. While I was there, one of the staff members asked me to visit a certain lady, a very lonely, lovely lady who has no relatives and few friends. No one visits her.
Well ,I was a little unsure about how she would be - but let me tell you, she is such a darling. We clicked right away and I felt I wanted her in my life. This upcoming week we are off to the garden center for lunch and a stroll. She is so excited about it and I am over the moon. Life is just so full of surprises. I love it.
We had to go into town yesterday to get a new cooking fry pan. It is windy and cold here. As we walked towards the coffee shop noticed a man and his beautiful big dog, sitting in the corner of the walkway. Of course we stopped and chatted to him about life and his dog. Sad story of dog being kept as bait for fighting dogs. He told us how he rescued him and the vet treated all his bites. Heartbreaking. This is his best friend.
So we gave him all our change and then asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee. We went inside and the staff took him out the coffee and cake. I kept thinking about what I take for granted in my life and at that moment was so grateful for what I have and that I can give to others.It dawned on me that that could have been me.
The last few weeks I have made a point of talking and listening to people who pass my way. I then also take time to engage them and show I am interested in what they are saying. It takes so little to make people feel comfortable enough to relax and you both end up chatting like old friends. It is marvelous. I am finally making connections and enjoying it. I used to be so scared of people and frightened that they wouldn't like me. Now I think "just give each person that is in my space time and attention. Hey it works. I am feeling so great.
I had the loveliest day yesterday. My dear friend rang and she was just outside my house:)) she knows me well. She was worried about me and walks up the driveway with the biggest bucket of roses I have ever seen, at least 40 from her garden. We go back a long way. like sisters who fight, makeup, get cranky and finally as we are now old girls totally accept each other.
I am a listener and now when she talks about her problems, I just say the right things, accept and don't judge in my head or from my mouth. It used to be hard to do but now I have found a softness and a gentler way of being. I love being like this. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes those "mean thoughts" creep in but I let them flow out easily now. Ageing brings so many gifts and learning. To accept people has been the biggest gift for me. So we sat on the veranda feet on cushions and chatted about life. What a beautiful day.
Went to the Botanical Gardens yesterday and was sitting outside in that glorious Fall sunshine. We were having lunch and noticed this very old gentleman sitting on a chair in the full sun. I went over to ask him if he needed anything. "No I am fine just waiting for my daughter to come back from her walk" He was still there thirty minutes later so I just grabbed a small little table put it near him and handed him a glass of water. He must have been hot. He was really thankful.
The friend I was with didn't know how to handle what I did. But that didn't stop me offering two delightful ladies at the next table, some of our lovely cookies that we were not going to eat. They loved it.
My friend still said nothing. But I just smiled and continued our conversation. Some people don't think to do these things until they see others doing them. I hope there will be a ripple.
I have had a lovely day. I went off to do the shopping for dinner. I always say hello and talk to the delightful young man Bryan who has disabilities. He sells a magazine called The Issue. When I came out from shopping, I gave him some bottled water and a great big box of mixed chocolates. He loved it and kept laughing . He is such a gorgeous young man.
I always think , how would I feel if he was my son and people ignored him. So I like to make him feel Happy. I have to tell you, that every day I just feel so damn happy. I just smile all the time and feel so different. I love my life, all of it. I look in the mirror and can really now "see" me. Tell you what, not only am I beautiful on the inside but gorgeous on the outside. I can't stop laughing. Big massive hugs to all of you. Go look in your mirror and see what is there.
When I was shopping a few months ago, I saw a man trying to get people to donate to a very well known charity, a children's charily. I explained that we can't give out our personal details anymore due to my bank account being hacked last year. It was a terrible time and took months to get back our money. Last week I had been out and came home on a really hot day. My husband Stewart was at the table with a person from a Charity having a cold drink. We chatted for a while and then I said "I know you! " and he looked at me and said "you're the lovely lady that bought me a big lunch and drinks when I was at shops trying to get people to donate. We both laughed and I grabbed his hand and we had a little hug. He told me that ... Read Full Story >>
I had a lovely week and took a couple of bags to the Food bank. While there I got into a conversation with the lady who helps out with admin. We were talking about domestic abuse and she told me her story. It is amazing when you stop the social chitchat and see the real person, the connection can be overpowering. The conversation turned to other parts of her life and it was so hard . This lady is keeping her family going with little financial help, husband in hospital ,most likely going to lose his leg, and she has to keep the farm and family intact. The strength of this woman astounded me. I asked her "how can I help you". She of course said I am fine and today is my birthday. So I said to her, "I want you to take this money and use it for whatever you ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday was such a good day. One of the ladies I visit in Residential care, who has no family to speak of, came to the Pub with me. I have been trying to get this going for some time. We went to the local pub on the lake and after I had got permission that it was ok, ordered her a beautiful glass of red wine. She had a big plate of hot chips and so enjoyed it.
She hasn't had a drink in years. This used to be what she so loved to do. We made it really casual and are going to do this one day every week. When I took her back to the Residential care she said " thank you, this has been absolutely the best time I have had in years. So enjoyed the quiet, looking at the ducks, hot chips and that good glass of red". This was something so simple but really good for her to do. Can't wait to repeat it.
As I was walking my dog Bentley yesterday, I passed this little lonely house, (as i often do on my walk) where the owner makes such an effort to make her garden nice. She has put out little pots of false flowers, glitter pots, and painted rocks.
So, as a fellow gardener of pretty things, I met her and asked if she would mind me dropping off some pots and garden stuff. I said that I didn't need them. She was so happy for this offer and now I will be able to contribute to making her area lovely.
You can actually see her soul in her effort to make her surroundings more beautiful. I am so fortunate that I can just buy soil,plants, and pots to make my garden special. I am so grateful for all I have. So today I will start leaving surprises in her front garden. Now that is making me smile and so happy!
I went shopping today to buy a pretty nighty for one of my ladies in the Residential home. I had gone through all her cupboard with her permission and showed her what had to be thrown out.
She has been there for many years and some of her clothes were torn, and very aged. So when I went shopping I got her two pretty nighties, a gorgeous shirt and another soft top. Tonight I will wrap them up and take them in on Christmas morning. She has no one to do this for her. She is my age and on her own.
She touches my heart so deeply. I hope that if ever my children had an accident and ended up like this, someone would take them under their wing and show them care and love too. She enhances MY life.