Lullaby of Peace

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The smell of death is pungent
dementia lurking in the shadows
the air is heavy but with a calmness
the torture will soon be over

Months of sadness give way to silence
eyes speak of better things to come
I hold her hand and sing of day
where memories of this shall be no more

A soft wind blows in fields of peace
gentle is the lullaby that calls her home
release my heart oh soul take flight
realm of glory eternal life

~

I have sat and held the hand of precious elderly, prayed in their ear when

their eyes could not open; when they no longer ate because the dementia told them they were already full.

I have sat and sang at the bedside of dear seniors and felt their last breath of life on my cheek as they crossed over into the realm of peace and no pain. I have been so richly blessed and honoured.

~

We have a hope of eternal life no death or dementia can
hinder the profound promises of God’s word.
Hold onto these promises they’ll carry one through.

KJS

Silent Prayers of Dementia

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There are days when the rays
light the path to expectation
a glimmer of understanding
through a light touch
it thrills my heart
and lets me know
I am not alone

Many are the afternoons
when the clouds gather
I wait to see the break
…oft so many times
they will darken
anxious storms
are near

Lonely nights stretch into days
restless waiting for dreams
exhausted with counting
mirage of shadows
through meshed
confusion my
voice is silent

In this blackness a silent soul
finds an arbour of conveyance
through the dark He walks
holding my hand and
hearing my prayers
silent assurance
set free

~

KJS

My Love My Valentine (Dementia holds no cupids Bow)

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Oh my love where have you gone?
I want to give you roses…

I am here! I am still here
although a shell my love runs deep

Oh my love remember vows?
I want to renew just you and I…

I am here! I am still here
although my mind seems distant,
my love for you is deep within my soul

Oh my dearest love so many years~
together we walked through sunshine and rain

I am here! I am still here
I’m walking slower these days
through the rain but crave the sun

Oh my love I will become~
a friend, and share the love!
Today I bring you roses
and reach out my hand in friendship

I am here! I am still here
Thank you for the roses
the fragrance is familiar…
I give you a smile and welcome your friendship

Happy Valentines my friend…
Happy Valentines my love.
Dementia has no cupids bow~

Old loves become new friends, and pray to fall in
love all over again. Prayers strength and courage for brave souls
struggling and dealing with this heavy cross.

I Dream of A Garden (But for a Moment Wings To Fly)

Stroll with me and take my hand
I’ll lead you through my world
tiny favours of little waves
perhaps the song of a bird?

Look-! the sumac is in full bloom
the fragrance brilliant with colour
golden finch play in the meadow
in heart I run and pick a flower

The wheel chair is now my throne
these four white walls my home
so thankful when a friend stops by
but for a moment ~ wings to fly

~

So many lonely lost souls sit for hours day after day,
watching and waiting for someone who never comes. This world of
dementia ~ loneliness needs to be shattered with compassion and
time taken to brighten their day.

www.gofundme.com/momdream

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Don’t Leave Without A Memory

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I loose my balance
stumbling on todays
catching a foothold on
perhaps and I hope so

Darkness overtakes the light
In search for glimmers
finding shards of rays
lighting the path of possibilities

Peering deep into her eyes
an inquest for clues of trust
yes I know her she comes often
a friend, a foe or family?

It’s me I’m here!
don’t leave without a memory
share with me the tales of today
for tomorrow I shan’t recall

~

If we could step inside the unsettled murky world of dementia, and in reality perceive
for a moment… what the dear souls that carry this heavy burden feel…what then?

Guardian Angel With a Wooden Leg -Part Two (Fond Recollections Shared of their mom’s “Guardian Angel”)

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Tokens of Love 

Kathy J. Snow (Peters)

…”Believing the bond of love they had for each other, still holds their hearts close, and I believe her guardian angel watches over her from above”.

Growing up with the privilege of having a Great Auntie Nell, made it possible for my heart to treasure special trinkets, fond memories, and invaluable stories shared with and by mom. There are so many I am quite sure out of five siblings some of our treasures will be photo copies of notable memories, but savour and expressed from our hearts in each our own way.

I can still hear her laugh and the way her head would slightly shake as her lips formed the most beautiful smile. I can see her black shoes in my mind, and still remember how fascinated I was why one shoe had a much higher heel. Her walk although unbalanced due to her wooden leg, held character, and with each step was a reminder of how she had lost her leg as a child to cancer.

I will do my best not to share too many unforgettable(s) as to leave some to be shared by others… I do however recall one of Great Aunt Nell’s special talents, as she held a crochet hook in her hand, wonderful masterpieces were created! I remember one year in my birthday card, along with the paper clipped five dollar bill was a beautiful hand crocheted cross bookmark! I treasured this bookmark and was so very proud of it, but sadly as a child things tend to be misplaced, and not valued until as an adult you start to look back over the years, and those trinkets hold so much more value and you wish you had kept them in a special box!

One day on one of my regular weekend visits with mom, we were organizing her drawers when we came across Great Auntie Nell’s bible! I opened the worn cover reverently, and with delight turned the discoloured pages. Running my fingers over the hand written notes Great Auntie Nell had written, my heart rejoiced that mom had this beautiful keepsake from her Guardian Angel! As I turned a few more pages, there in the book of Matthew  nestled between verses was an old crocheted cross bookmark! My eyes welled up with tears as mom took the cross and held it to her heart. Mom held the bookmark and with a smile filled with tenderness, a voice filled with love and respect mom looked at me and said, “My dear Aunt Nell made this”. Very carefully mom placed the bookmark back in its place, but not before reading a verse. It has become a special time with mom now; on my visits we get Great Aunt Nell’s bible out and read a verse together, marking where we have read with that very special memento ~ a hand crafted book mark, crocheted by mom’s guardian angel.

Forever keeping alive this beautiful memory of this kindred soul, and loving heart; I pray that this will be one memory that dementia will never steal from my dear mom, the memory of her “guardian angel”.
Kathy J. Snow
A Trip Down Memory Lane
M.G Jaraway (Peters)

…Yes, it’s been many years, but the memories remain as close to my heart now as they’ve always been.

Today, if anyone were to walk with me down the lane to River Street’s end in Kenora Ontario, there would be nothing but an empty overgrown lot where a tar-paper house once stood, the house of my great aunt Nellie.

My memories don’t seem to go any further back in time than when I was ten years old and a first trip to Kenora to Grand-dad and Grandma Sharpe’s; mom’s parents. Even from that first visit we always looked forward to the trip because after we’d spend the first half hour or so visiting our grand parents it also meant a skip down the lane for a visit with our Great Aunt Nellie.

Now, “Taking my finger out of the dike” decades later, the memories come flooding back.
Yes, it’s been many years, but the memories remain as close to my heart now as they’ve always been.
“You think you’ll never remember the details from so long ago, but all I had to do is find a quiet, comfortable place and write one line. That’s when you start to remember things all over again. It’s incredible.”

I remember the expression of surprise when we walked in the door. She never knew when to expect us. There was always an ice cream cone, a glass of lime freshie and cheezies. I don’t remember her ever being without them.
I remember the prosthetic shoe and the gimp in her walk caused by a wooden leg worn because she’d lost her own to Cancer at a very young age; some child had kicked her in the shin causing bruising.
I remember the many crocheted and knitted items. The love that went into every stitch. The baby buntings, and table clothes, dollies and bookmark crosses. In time she taught me to do the same. To this day along with the cherished memories tucked in my heart I have several heirlooms tucked in my own  “tickle trunk” of treasures.
Years later I also fulfilled a mother’s request. With my own creative talents I designed a head stone marker for her unmarked grave.

So many dear to the heart memories across time.
M.G Jaraway

Heart Warming
Joyce Peters

…“It’s funny how we remember the adorable little idiosyncrasies she had. They were so heart warming”

Although quite young at the time, I remember hearing Great Auntie Nell laugh and thinking how it made me feel so comforted and happy. I can still close my eyes and see her smile, and hear her wonderful giggle. I recall with such fond memories the excitement looking forward to her little gift of ribbon and crocheted crosses for our bibles. I can still see her always sitting at her little kitchen table as she would listen to our little conversations and with her habit of nodding and saying,“yes ummhmm”.

I call to mind walking down to her little house from Grandma Sharpes, she gave me fresh sweet cantaloupe along with a vanilla ice cream in a pointed cone, and I remember uncle jack coming downstairs to join in.

To this day when I buy cones for ice cream for my home, they have to be pointed. Just that little thing makes me feel she is always nearby.
I will never forget this wonderful lady, and so thankful she was chosen to be our mom’s guardian angel.
Joyce Peters
The Impact of Love
Janice M. Fehr (Peters)

…I would go there by myself. It felt like a “secret garden” like it was some kind of fairy land. I don’t know why, but it was just a special place.

There is a street in Kenora, Ontario that holds very special memories for me as a little girl growing up. As a child you do not realize how very special these memories are while you are living them. You don’t realize that one day, you will have to say goodbye, and that these people who we just take for granted when you are young, will one day leave us, and all we will have left are these very treasured memories…

My Great-Auntie Nell was one of these people who as a child, I dearly loved. She had a wooden leg that just intrigued me as a little girl, and also endured me to her. I don’t ever remember her complaining about it, I don’t remember her ever complaining about anything, actually. (I don’t remember Grandma Sharpe ever complaining either. I think they had learned the secret of true contentment.) Auntie Nell was so very special. There was just something so very special about her that children loved, you KNEW she loved you, you could FEEL it.

We very frequently made the trip to Kenora from Vermilion Bay to visit Grandma and Granddad on River Street, where they lived in a little mushroom house. As a child, I thought nothing about how small or old the house was, I just LOVED it. It was Grandma’s house period. I loved the old cupboards, I loved the melmac tea cups and saucers she served tea and shortbread cookies to us with. Grandma Sharp loved children, and she always used to say: “we just have the best looking children, don’t we!” After visiting with Grandma Sharpe for about 45 mins, I would skip down the lane to another very special place; Auntie Nell’s house. It too was a very old and small house. It absolutely broke my heart when they tore it down! I wanted to preserve that house FOREVER!
Whenever, I opened the door at Auntie Nell’s, she always had a pleased and happy smile for me.
She ALWAYS gave us a pointed ice cream cone with French Vanilla “Blue Boy” ice cream. I don’t think there was one single time, we didn’t get one of those special ice creams! She always had cheezies, and rice krispie cake too, or assorted shortbread cookies in tins. Her house always smelled like Chicken Pot Pie, and I loved that.

Auntie Nell was a professional knitter. I always marvelled how she could sit and talk and visit, her fingers flying as she knitted without even watching what she was doing… how did she remember what row she was on? She must have had all those patterns permanently memorized in her head!
I remember sitting on the couch with her at around the age of six while she patiently taught me how to cast on stitches, and knit and purl, it is a memory fixed in my mind forever. I also loved looking at her knitting, it was so even and perfect, like it was made by a machine… she made me her beautiful heirloom baby shawl when I had my first baby,(which I passed on to my oldest daughter) and numerous little layette outfits.
Every Easter and Halloween, we received a parcel in the mail from Kenora from Auntie Nell. I was always so touched and thrilled, and it was so special. In it was rice krispie squared, chocolates, candy, cookies, nuts, etc… and every birthday, we received a birthday card with five dollars paper clipped inside, after we turned 13, we got ten dollars.
Behind my Auntie Nell’s house was a big field of grass and flowers. I used to love running and twirling in that field. I would go there by myself. It felt like a “secret garden” like it was some kind of fairy land. I don’t know why, but it was just a special place.

I remember Sunday evenings sitting and watching The “Tommy Hunter Show” and “Walt Disney” with Auntie Nell. She always sat and watched it with us. I LOVED those times!
I remember asking one time, why Auntie Nell never married. I thought she would have made the most perfect wife and mother. I was told that she had a beau once, but she didn’t feel that his walk the Lord was serious, so she didn’t pursue the relationship.
Instead she cared for her Dad till he passed on, and then Uncle Jack, her brother.

I didn’t find out till later in life what a huge impact she had on my own Mother’s life, and how she was like a second Mom to her. Thank you Auntie Nell. We love you so much! You had a huge impact on our lives too! Your love has followed each of us children through our lives. You and Grandma Sharpe were both such Godly examples of love, patience, and contentment no matter what life sends your way!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen”
-Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Janice M. Fehr
The Ice Cream Castle
June Morin (Peters)

…After what felt like an eternity to a child, we finally get to take the skip and hop on the little dirt road, down the hill to whom we really came to see,…

It’s a hot summer day, we are told to visit my mom’s parents, (grandma and grandpa sharpe), but only long enough for us girls to say hi, have a cookie, run outside to feed chippy the chipmunk and find some shade underneath the huge willow tree…oh just to swing on its big friendly branches.

After what felt like an eternity to a child, we finally get to take the skip and hop on the little dirt road, down the hill to whom we really came to see… Aunt Nell and her brother Uncle Jack.  It was their home that felt safe and held giggles of adventure.  The front musical steps brought us up to the smiling screen door, which led into the familiar worn wooden floors that seemed to know our names, right to the beautiful lady with the wooden leg, Aunt Nell and her sweet gentleman of a brother, uncle Jack.  We were greeted with sunshine, lollipops and rainbows with the pot of gold being the famous ice cream scooped into the cone that ended into a point where the last drops formed a pool of sweet cream waiting to surprise you when you thought it was all gone.

After a few stories, laughter and hugs, it was back outside into Aunt Nell’s backyard where surrounded by butterflies, dragon flies and later joined by the fireflies, for a few minutes the game of tag was played; only to turn into our favourite play of doing somersaults over and over down the grassy hill that left emeralds covering our clothes and smeared mud pies on our faces and hands, until we were too dizzy to stay upright and fell over rolling like barrels down the hill again. It was our secret world where we were surrounded by invisible solders to all others.  They stood guard protecting us, no outsiders ever made it in.
Suddenly we could hear our mom’s voice calling, “Let’s go girls, Its time to head back home.”  Then the solders disappeared as we ran to tumble into our family car and slam the doors as we waved out the back window at Aunt Nell and uncle Jack until the hills and corners hid them from our view, knowing we’d visit their ice cream castle where our Queen with the wooden led and her brother the king, lived waiting for us to return again.

Lovingly with happy memories
The Junebug

Does your loved one or someone you know have a guardian angel? Do you know someone struggling with #Dementia, a special #caregiver? Would love for you to share your thoughts and special memories.
~

Losing Yesterdays & Maybe Tomorrows

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Life so full of ordinary
creating brilliant priorities
now lays dormant
awaiting resurrection

Memories, define please-!
so many yesterdays with
no thoughts of tomorrow
uncertainty not voiced

Simplicity of happiness
redeemed by her smile
a visit an unexpected call
from whom? cannot recall

Portraits of familiarity
now dimmed by guesses
forgetting to inquire
just who they are

Losing her yesterdays
and maybe tomorrows
In need of guidance
love and strength

~
KJS

Dementia is the worlds next epidemic, a silent killer
that quietly, little by little steals our loved ones life, memory
and ability to truly identify and express their thoughts. We need to raise awareness,
educate and offer support.

Finding The Sun (My Husband My Caregiver) This is Dementia

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With a light hearted gesture she makes her way
to her closet where his little wicker bed awaits;
she tucks him in and with a few loving taps on his head,
smiles as she feels his gratitude and caresses her hand with his rough tongue.
She is settled now she knows where her cat is and he is safe.

She doesn’t need her walker to make the trip down the little hallway,
…I wonder where the cat is, is he safe, are the windows shut?
I can’t have him escape! I better check just to be safe.
Her footprints embed the bedroom carpet once more, and as
she stands there thinking I must have come in here for something.
she makes her way to the window to make sure it is closed tightly,
fixes the hat on one of her favourite dolls, and as she is making her way to
the doorway the thought crosses her mind, I wonder where the cat is.

A call from the living room interrupts her thoughts, and she is beckoned
to join her husband on the sofa to watch the news.
Slowly she follows the tiled path to the living room where she picks up her little songbird
from the old end table, and turns the little switch to make him sing.
Checking the curtains and the living room windows to make sure they are closed,
she sinks down in her spot at the end of the couch.

Reaching for her cream coloured Afghan with the embroidered robin,
she tucks it around her legs. Looking above her treasured piano is a picture,
one, two, three, four, five, yes they are all there. They are my daughters,
yes I know they are my daughters, i wish they would move closer…

She looks over at the man sitting in the recliner, he is so handsome and looks so tired,
I’m glad he is sleeping, a rest will do him good. I wonder where the cat is? With great effort
she works her way out of the comfort of the couch and follows the tiled pathway to the bedroom.
she sees the cat curled up on the bed, fixes the hat on her favourite doll, and makes her way back to the living room.

Nestled in her cream coloured Afghan with the embroidered robin, she looks over at
her sleeping husband, she gently rests her hand on his arm as she falls asleep,
The dreams are the same…
Holding hands and walking through meadows of green,
she knows him, and sweetly calls his name
with tenderness and love they embrace under the tree of life,
the former life is past, dementia has no place in this land.

She is awaken by her husband’s voice “I love you”
she smiles as she recognizes that beautiful old hymn he is humming,
“I have heard of a land, where the sun is always shining…
God has promised in His word, bow thy head and you’ll be heard.”

KJS
http://gofundme.com/momsdream

Finding the Sun (A Husband A Caregiver)

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With shoulders drooped he makes his way
to the warm comfort of his chair.
she’s asleep now, his hushed burdens can be revealed.
Slowly, silently, weariness wells up in his eyes
and readily they fall down his weathered cheeks.
He doesn’t dab away the tears, but lets them fall freely now~
releasing exhaustion and emotion that no one bears witness to.

For a few moments thoughts are allowed to surface
but quickly sending them back to his crowded mind.
He shuffles through his doubts and fears
deciding which ones he needs and wants to accept.
A soft noise startles his minds quarrel,
but to his relief it is just the complaints of the old fridge.

Reaching for his bible he finds comfort in verses of faith,
closing his eyes in prayer to set free thankfulness~
humbly he asks for strength to bear this burden.
The Lord is his strength the rock of his salvation,
once again he draws from the ultimate source of grace.

He silently whispers amen in his heart
and without knowing falls into a well deserved slumber;
the dreams are the same…
holding hands and walking through meadows of green,
she knows him, and sweetly calls his name.
With tenderness and love they embrace under the tree of life,
the former life is past, dementia has no place in this land.

*****

He is awaken by his wife’s hand gently resting on his arm,
he smiles at her and says “I love you”
without realizing he starts softly humming that beloved old hymn,
“I have heard of a land, where the sun is always shining…
God has promised in His word, bow thy head and you’ll be heard.”

KJS

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http://www.gofundme.com/momsdream

Guardian Angel With A Wooden Leg (Part One)

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Kenora, Lake of the Woods did not know it harboured a beautiful lady that had also suffered much grief in her young life, and would also be known as mom’s guardian angel.

Just down the lane on River Street; there nestled a little old house that was the home to a lovely Christian lady by the name of Nell Lodge. Nell Lodge lived with her brother Jack Lodge for many years, and never did marry. Nell was the sister to my mother’s mom Constance Kenora, the first white baby to be born into the Kenora district, part of the pioneers of this beautiful Lake of the Woods.

Also known as Nellie, she was recognized as a tender dedicated christian woman who attended lakeside Baptist church regularly, and was picked up by taxi with bible in hand, as not to miss a Sunday or weekly prayer meeting. Nellie did not drive or ride bike, and walking would be difficult given her wooden leg. Sadly as a young girl Nellie had lost her leg to cancer, and lived out her years with a cumbersome wooden leg. As a young girl she had been aggressively kicked by another child, and her leg had bruised quite badly. The bruise never did heal and tragically turned into cancer and had to be amputated, in its place a wooden leg with a brace. Mom said, “Auntie Nell was never one to complain” and she looked at life and its trials that they were meant to be, as God had a purpose for her life. Unknown to her one of those purposes would be to give shelter to my mom and be one of her lovingly guardian angels.

My mother moved down to her Aunt Nell’s after her father had come back from fighting in World War Two. He had come back a changed man and held unto demons from the war; this would have a lasting impact on my mom’s young life right up until this day. Mom recalls packing up her few belongings and leaving the little red mushroom house that was her home. Left behind sadness, abuse, and shadows of night terrors that still sometimes haunt her today, Thelma Sharpe (known as Holly) would leave her footprints in the dust of River Street as she made her way down the lane to be welcomed into her guardian angels arms of love, the arms of Nellie Lodge.

Mom recalls going to Lakeside Baptist church with Nell, and one time in-particular when the young people were singing. it just so happened that Lawrence Peters was on the platform singing when Auntie Nell leaned over and said to mom, “now there’s a nice young Christian man for you” , in time mom would court Lawrence Peters and walk down the isle in Lakeside Baptist church and say their vows. With heart brimming with love Nell her guardian angel attended their union revealing a luminous smile on her face.

Many years later and through chapters of life, Holly would follow her husband to Eastern Ontario, where they reside today in the town of Hanover in a little apartment. Due to distance, and lack of funds mom was sadly unable to make the 1846 KM trip to her old home town to say good bye to her dearest Aunt Nell. Nell Lodge would later move in with her sister Constance until moving to PineCrest where she would live out her remaining years, and it was there she would hear the call of her Lord, and go to her heavenly home to meet her Saviour.

Mom’s dream is to go back to Kenora and visit Aunt Nell’s grave, bring her flowers and say good bye. This will be her final trip to Kenora, part of her “Long Good bye” closure to another chapter of her life, that held sorrow, but also was covered by the love, dedication, and protection of a dear soul; a Christian lady that I would come to know as my Great Auntie Nell, my mom’s guardian angel.

Kathy J Snow

Her daughter ~ advocate for dementia awareness and “For the Love of a Mom”

Donations are greatly appreciated through;

http://www.gofundme.com/momsdream

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