Caretaking

my left hand

Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Caretaking, Challenges, Love, Wholehearted, Writing | 1 comment

Day 14 of Verb Tribe we were invited to write our daily prompt, ten minutes on a paper bag, with our nondominant hand. I met this invitation with full resistance which looked like closing the prompt and doing everything else but write with my left hand. Eventually I came full circle and returned to the prompt and to the page, or bag. Here's what I shared after the prompt: Oh resistance! Huge crooked letters…and then an in rushing of sadness…this is how mom wrote at the end…oh how this frustrated her…I wrote through the sadness and struggle until the end of my bag. Then I flipped it over and with my right hand, wrote this: Say It's too hard, she says. Keep at it, I encourage. It looks like chicken scratch, she says. I can read it…kinda. Pfffffft. She says. Mom—you can do this. She picks up Mount Pen. I don't say it is chicken scratch. Her cursive handwriting was the first to go Along with memories of where she lived and who I was. She moves Mount Pen incrementally the letters of her name printed like a kindergartener. Great job! I say. If you say so, she says. I...

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Aha

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in Caretaking, Family, Healing, Moving your body | 0 comments

I had an ‘aha’ moment this month. I realized that my life is really, really good.  The malaise I’ve felt since mom died has dissipated.  When I got myself out of my head and emotions by challenging my body I had to shift from grief to support this new focus and determination: it required me to take care of me. To eat healthy, get enough sleep, balance work and play. And I have done it consistently for almost four months. Moving my body has impacted every part of my life: work, relationships, mood, attention and focus, desire, activities, willingness to try new things. The list is endless. I feel good. I feel energized, motivated, and positive. I am happy. That was the moment—realizing that I’ll always miss her, and she’ll always be with me and I can still live my life and be happy. Huge, huge moment and I know she was right there experiencing my joy with...

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Away I go…again

Posted by on Aug 19, 2011 in Caretaking, Connections, Travel, Virtual Assistance | 1 comment

by David Erickson Before I became a VA I didn’t travel very far from home. I get antsy on long road trips and I’ve flown a fair amount (I grew up on an island!) but never embraced being up in the sky.  When I first began my practice I didn’t plan to travel for my clients and since I worked virtually—there was no need. Six years later I’m happy to say that coordinating, traveling to, and executing live events for my clients brings me great pleasure and satisfaction. Last year I juggled my personal and professional commitments and let my clients know that as my mom’s caretaker I wasn’t as flexible to travel. They missed me but were completely supportive. I did travel to AssistU’s Community Recognition Awards (CRA) last September and left my family in charge of mom, but it didn’t go smoothly for them and as much as I needed to get away I wasn’t able to relax and enjoy myself. That was my last trip away from home while mom was with us. Without mom I now have a bittersweet freedom and I have availed myself to take WOWVA on the road several times this year. In March my hubby and I had a grand road trip driving my client’s car from Atlanta to Boston and culminating in a visit to our friend’s in Maine and a flight home to Florida. In May I visited my Aunt and cousins in Toronto along with a new and dear VA friend, Beatrice and her husband. June arrived so quickly and I flew to Maryland for an in person client event along with three days of client meet-ups to strategize for 2011. I was able to mix business with pleasure on this trip and see my awesome fellow Maryland AssistU friends who have loved and supported me over the past six years. The finale for 2011 is ideal: AssistU’s CRA in….San Diego! I’ll spend a weekend in America’s Finest City with fellow VAs gathering for meals, a bus tour of the city, and the awards luncheon will be held at Il Fornaio on Coronado Island.  I’ll be meeting some beautiful faces for the first time even though we’ve known each other for several years. This amazing weekend will be followed by several days playing tourist with my childhood friend who is so excited to show me her hometown!  My travels have allowed me to deepen my relationships and connections with clients, friends, and family and I am immensely grateful to have a business that’s mobile plus access to the technology to work from practically any location. I must mention that I have come to treasure those miraculous moments in the clouds while on route to my next destination. On a clear day the perspective from up in the air is grounding—the little problems don’t seem so big and the small details become magnified in importance. Where have you traveled to this year dear reader, any adventures to share?  If you’re a homebody like I am I encourage you to spread your wings and see where they take you. Here’s to...

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love in action

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Authenticity, Caretaking, Challenges, Connections, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Spirituality, Travel, Wholehearted | 3 comments

My client’s daughter has leukemia. She’s only twenty-two. Let me say that again: she’s only twenty-two and has leukemia. I could get caught up in the downward spiral of ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ because this family, the Days, are good people. But I don’t need to. The miracles of love in action that have been manifested by her family, friends, healers, caretakers, and complete strangers are awe inspiring. Sharon’s living in an empty home that a friend arranged for her near Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. When Marina’s not in the hospital they live with friends nearby in Greenwich, CT and they can borrow a car but really wanted to have their own economical little red Prius handy. Marina posted her ‘outrageous loving wish’ on her Facebook LoveFest page: for someone to drive her mom’s car up to visit her! I read it and instantly thought I’d love to do that!  The synchronicities of actualizing the trip are amazing themselves and will be a whole ‘nother post. My dear hubby came with—yay! Double yay as he did all the rainy driving on the interstates! I connected with Sharon and Marina’s friends in Atlanta which was deliciously motivating (more on that in another post, too!) We took our time and visited friends in Maryland (Hotel Artiz actually!) for a few days, met up with two of my clients, and found some long lost family in Annapolis—Jeff hadn’t seen his estranged uncle in over forty years! We arrived in Boston a week after leaving Atlanta and delivered the little red Prius (beep, beep!) safe and sound. Here are my awareness’s from this journey: I really needed to get out and see the big ole world in action. People are OUT there living their busy lives and loving and ranting and moving forward all the time. I’d forgotten. My life as a caretaker and while traversing the grieving process had shrunk to a pinpoint of visibility.  My eyes were opened and I ‘got’ that the world is ready for me to jump back in when I am—this realization smacked me on the forehead: I am ready. I’ve only met my client Sharon once a few years ago and so of course I was looking forward to hugging her in person and connecting with her and her husband Mike. But for me meeting Marina was the pièce de ré·sis·tance (Marina’s learning to speak French) and I was honored to be welcomed into her sacred space at the hospital and peek at who she is, how deeply she is loved and loves in return, her zest for life and laughter. By inviting and creating a community of family and friends around her to be an intimate and intricate part of her healing she has become, and inspired others to become, love in action and it is truly a beautiful thing to witness and participate in. Here’s where you come in Dear Reader. Marina’s dear friend Beth Clay wrote this letter to their friends at Up With People to ask that they write and stay in touch with Marina. They’ve both given permission for her LoveFest Community members to share the letter and request with their communities and share the love. I could not have written a better entreaty on Marina’s behalf so here’s Beth’s moving message which I hope you won’t be able to resist and join the love in action movement (Please send your support and best wishes to Marina knowing that she will be so deluged with love and busy healing that she won’t be able acknowledge...

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Vigil love

Posted by on Jan 13, 2011 in Caretaking, Family, Love | 0 comments

Me & Brin at mom's bedside

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Dotti’s Day

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011 in Caretaking, Connections, Creativity, Healing, Love, Spirituality | 6 comments

I don’t want to have a funeral for my mom—her body is being cremated and I’m more comfortable with a memorial service but ultimately I’d prefer to celebrate her life. And ya know as a VA I know this too can be accomplished across distances to make them seem as though they don’t exist. I said to the lovely Antonette while she was here with us, “What do you think of helping me create a virtual celebration of mom’s life? What kinds of things could we invite people to do? “ This idea came to me first because my family and dear friends are spread from Florida to Missouri to Canada and even the Bahamas and last minute travel is expensive and often disruptive. I also wanted to include my extended family of Virtual Assistants at AssistU and other dear friends who have journeyed with us this past year through my blog and Facebook and kept us in their thoughts, prayers, and hearts. Dotti’s Day (or hour) is Friday, January 14th at 4pm ET. My intention is to create a connectivity that celebrates mom’s life with laughter, gratitude, and joy and I would be honored if you took the time to join us. This is a spiritual celebration so wherever you believe she may be is beautiful; heaven, Universe, or reincarnated—I believe love lasts forever and our soul lives on. I posted this idea on FB and so far have received an interesting mix of what you can do to celebrate Dotti depending on if you knew her personally or not; light a candle and say a prayer; write her a note on a balloon and set it free; make and eat your favorite treat; paint or create something for her scrapbook; share a funny Dotti story; send a message in a bottle; walk a beach and pick up shells; have a cuppa tea in a beautiful cup; dicker at a flea market or thrift shop and discover a treasure; put on some ole ‘blue eyes’ or Nat King Cole and dance! Do whatever works for you and your schedule and if you can’t do it on the hour take anytime on Friday to wish mom Godspeed. Happiness, bright blessings, and of course...

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