We are ALL connected to so many things…We’re connected to this world, to our families, friends and even to ourselves. Our connections support and nurture us, they help us to change and grow and the really great ones provide all that support without passing judgment.
As many of you know, after attending the Lego Serious Play course last month I ordered lots of Lego supplies, and am now ready to teach the many benefits of “playing”. One of the boxes of supplies holds what are called “connections”. They are a collection of assorted strings, ties, chains, poles, fences, and ladders that can be connected to Lego bricks to illustrate and emphasize our connections in work and in life. I loved using them in class to illustrate all the ways I was connected to the models my classmates had built, so I couldn’t wait to try them out at home.
For my latest build, I not only used two types of connectors to make and hang a swing, I took it a step further and connected Lego mini figures to show the value and importance of the connections in my life.
Hanging the swing required that I build something strong enough to hold it up. I built two pillars, because for me, they represent pillars that hold me up in my life. The significance of the pillars was based on a class I took years ago at the Washington National Cathedral where we walked outside and observed all the pillars and buttresses holding up the Cathedral. We were required to name all the people who were pillars and buttresses in our own lives. I’ve never forgotten the emotion and intense power of that exercise.
After seeing my latest build, my daughter Kim asked “who are those four Lego anchors? I know they aren’t just there.” It was a great question and Kim was right, they aren’t just there! The four mini figures at the top and bottom of the pillars didn’t actually represent people in my life, but rather the different facets of my life – my work, home, caregiver and adventurous lives! The figures are wearing different color tops and bottoms which for me represent all of life’s events and experiences AND how they impact me.
Kim also asked “who are the rest of them and does their placement have significance”? Another great question! The twenty additional mini figures in my model represent the team of connections that work together to support me. Some of them are close enough to touch each other, illustrating that some of my connections intersect, while some of them are not. Their placement didn’t have significance per se, the goal was simply to cover as many of the open spots as possible, closing any gaps where there wasn’t a connection, to illustrate that I, like all of us, need support from time to time in every part of my life.
One of the points that is driven home to caregivers is to ensure that there is a network of support in place for whenever it is needed. I believe my network of support is wide and deep! Most of you know my family and frienalies (friends who are family) and all the amazing things they do to support me. I love them ALL! There are times however that they even surprise me by providing support even when I didn’t know I needed it. That’s how you know your connections are strong!
Kim surprised me that way just last month, as she and Kendal spent 8 hours with me on my walk for The Longest Day Alzheimer’s fundraising event. I didn’t think I’d need any support as I’m accustomed to walking miles and miles alone, but as it turned out I DID need them and all the fun and laughter they brought along with them that day. I felt so embraced and loved by them both and it was a day I’ll never forget.
What support do you provide to your connections? What connections have you built to support YOU in your life? Life can be hard without the right connections, but it’s never too late to build some great ones!!
Thanks, Loretta, for this poignant sharing. Of all that you have written here, my largest “take away”, your word that I shall ponder long is “Life can be hard without the right connections, but it’s never too late to build some great ones”. Amen. As I reflect on my living, it took me a while, quite a while before I took to mind and heart the necessity, MY necessity of establishing and maintaining friendships, verily kinships of love and care and mutual support. I am grateful, most grateful for our connection. Love and peace to you, always and in all ways
Thank you Paul, I’m grateful too!! The connections in my life, including my connection to you, are extraordinary – each and all are very different, and each of them offering me very different gifts…. From you, I get the brother I never had, caring deeply and even pestering me at times to see things about myself and my gifts that I haven’t always seen or acknowledged. I was saying to someone the other day, I don’t need more friends because I have some of the best ever, whole families even with the Lopez’s and the Vorgangs…but you can never build too many connections in my opinion.
If you get a chance…. check out the US Against Alzheimer’s FB page. They asked me to be one of the group moderators two months ago, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The group is an amazing connection for me..
Much love to you!
Very reflective, Loretta. I never considered relationships in the context I do now after having read this. Sadly, I have broken connectors that may never be repaired. I need to learn that has to be OK and concentrate on the many great connectors now, make new ones, that are and will be positive, sustainable, and meaningful for life. Thank you for this lesson. Love you.
Thanks Winnie!!! In spite of the broken connectors you mentioned, there is so much excitement for and fulfillment from all of your “positive, sustainable, meaningful” connections that will last a lifetime!! Love you too!!
What some beautiful thoughts you have put into your stories. Great accomplishments. Keep up the great work.
Thanks Tim!!! And thanks for all your support!! Hoping to accomplish a lot more!!
Dear Mrs. Veney, I found my way here today because your daughter Kim posted this on facebook. I can relate to this on so many levels but most importantly is that all day today without having read this yet I have been thinking about my connectors. Today is the 3 year anniversary of our house fire which took much more than just my home. The only way my husband and I have gotten through the ordeal is through the love of family and friends. Thank you for putting it into such beautiful words.
Thank you so much for reading my blog and writing such an amazing note! I’m so sorry about the fire in your home. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like! It moves me deeply that my words resonated with you!!! I’ve always said you never know when your words will touch someone’s life!! I can’t thank you enough!!
Elizabeth’s tribute is poignant (the pathos, the sorrow of suffering a house fire – such sadness, such loss) testimony to the power of our connections to which you offer such eloquent testimony! Brava!