The Weekend That Was Meant to Be!

I was supposed to spend Labor Day Weekend in Orlando at a huge African-American event participating in a panel on Alzheimer’s disease and signing my books. But more than a month ago, I was bumped from the event by a famous actor (there are worse things in life). I was told I could still attend the event but would have to pay my own way, but I declined. Then I tried to make camping reservations for me and JOY, but by then all the campgrounds within a comfortable driving distance were booked. Turns out, it was Meant to Be for me to stay home this weekend.

On Friday afternoon, instead of driving to a campground and being out in nature which I love, I was sitting in a room in an upscale assisted living facility visiting our beloved friend Mrs. Adams. She and Mom have been best friends since forever! I was terrified a few months ago when I called to set up our next get together, and learned that her phone had been disconnected. She had to be removed by protective services from her home of 65 years for her own safety. Then in June she suffered a traumatic brain injury. The woman who had been my rock since my Mom was diagnosed in 2006, is now in virtually the same condition as my Mom. Struggling for words, getting frustrated when she can’t find them, and YET still having a smile that could light up a room. This visit was simply Meant to Be!! It meant that I wasn’t going to let not knowing where she was stop me from upholding a decades long tradition of celebrating our birthdays together. After I found her, though she couldn’t remember my name, when I asked why she was removed from my home she told me the story of her conflict with her son, a story she had yet to share with anyone else according to the staff at the facility and the two other friends who were in her room when I arrived. I thank God that she’s in a great place and is safe!


Then on Sunday, I took my Mom to church for the first time since last year. Earlier in the week, a friend who will soon become an Episcopal priest shared the research she’d done on the “best spiritual care interventions across the stages of dementia”. I loved her findings and because I know my Mom Spirituality is still very strong, I decided to take her to church in spite of her habit of constant humming which began about 9 months ago. As soon as we got out of the car at church, people rushed up to her. Some of them only know my Mom from Facebook, but they greeted her as if they’d known her all of her life. She hugged them, they hugged her! During the service Mom did well. She couldn’t follow the service, but passed the Peace and took communion. When her humming got too loud, I took her into our amazing chapel where she could hum and I could still hear the service. It was the absolute BEST of both worlds. Of course I now wish I had taken her to church more in the past. One of the things Mom says more than any other is “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”… in between the humming, she must have said it 40 times as we sat in that chapel. I’m so grateful for our Rector Michele, who stopped what she was doing and hugged and welcomed Mom, and for all of the parishioners, some who are friends and some who are not, who rushed up to greet us. For a while there was even a line to say hello to Mom. Truly an incredible morning for me…. I thank God for sending us to church and allowing Mom to be surrounded by love, which I believe she felt. The trip to church was simply Meant to Be!


Having Mom with me all day yesterday was beautiful. As we sat in my RV named JOY we had lunch, we colored in what I hope will be my next published work, and we flipped through several magazines. We even went for a ride in JOY!! She’s still so aware at times, because as I buckled her into JOY for our ride she said “you can’t drive away in your house!” I was hysterical!! Being with her over the Labor Day Weekend was fitting… She labored so hard during her life to keep clothes on our backs and food on our table! I think she understands somewhere in her mind that I now LABOR for her in any and everything that I do.


If this weekend had unfolded the way it was originally planned, I’d be writing this from Orlando. BUT, I would have been busy, rushed, chatting with people and signing books. I wouldn’t have spent time with my Mom’s best friend whom I’ve known my entire life, or watched my Rector and my fellow parishioners gush over my Mom before and after service or had a simple lunch with Mom that we giggled through for no reason at all. I didn’t know what was coming this weekend, but I knew it would be something special because I wasn’t even upset when my gig was cancelled. Turns out this weekend brought me peace, and it was simply Meant to Be!! Happy Labor Day from Mom and me!


7 thoughts on “The Weekend That Was Meant to Be!

  1. Dear Loretta,

    I so much enjoyed hearing about your Labor Day weekend and the change in plans that allowed it to happen. The story of your finding Mrs. Adams and spending time with her and learning what had happened to cause her to have to leave her home, and then the story of your taking your mother to church and spending time with her in “Joy” (what an absolutely apt name for YOUR RV!) and giggling through lunch and coloring in your new book were the icing on the cake of my Labor Day weekend, spent mostly still recuperating on the sofa.

    I agree that the famous actor gave you a wonderful gift by freeing up the weekend for you to spend it with two people you love and who clearly love you. I’m so glad the weekend brought you peace; like you, I think it was meant to be.

    You continue to amaze me, Loretta, with your sunny outlook, your ability to focus on the good side of everything and everyone, and your constant creative living of every day as if it were a gift to be savored. And your writing is contagiously upbeat and encouraging. I never fail to feel better after reading something you have written.

    I feel sorry for the people in Orlando who missed out on your presence this weekend. I can’t believe the actor, whoever he is, was a sufficient replacement for what they missed by not having you there. They’ll never know what they missed, but I’m so glad that Mrs. Adams, your mom, and you had a wonderful time.

    Much love to you, Loretta,


  2. Thank you so much Karen!!! I had lost my voice for a bit over the last month dealing with my family issue and didn’t feel like writing, but I was soooo excited after this weekend!! and YES, JOY is the perfect name for my RV.

    I’m thrilled that my blog lifts you up!! I’m smiling – even though I just had some nasty dental surgery (only half of which was planned)… Yeah my replacement is a pretty BIG star!!!! And he has an Alz connection as well so I’m more than ok with it.

    I can’t express how much stress I felt when I couldn’t find Mrs. Adams, I of course thought she had died!! I was pretty distraught. Her son has always been a nightmare, and spent much of his young adulthood in prison. Not surprising that she had to be removed. Sooooo grateful for the person who called social services. This is so sad for me because she was my stand-in Mom all these years!! I’ll continue to support her as much as I can.

    Keep healing, I’ve been praying for you!! I’m so sorry that this current bout has been worse than previous ones…. Please feel better soon!

    Much love back to you!

    • So sorry about the dental surgery, Loretta. That’s no fun at all, I know. Hope it all heals up quickly and without fuss.

      I’m so sorry you are facing this with Mrs. Adams, when it sounds like she’s been important in your life as well as your mom’s. I’m so glad she has you to check in on her and support her. Your heart is as roomy and warm as a big, sweet-smelling, comfortable kitchen where everyone is welcome, Loretta.

      Thanks for your prayers. They’re helping! I feel like I’m turning a corner toward getting better The red is fading from my arm slowly, and it’s still more swollen than it normally is, but I’m starting to feel a little more normal all the time. I just need a lot of sleep and rest right now. Luckily I’m retired and can do that pretty much when I need to.

      Have a good week, sweet lady!

      Hugs and love to you,


  3. God Bless You, Ms. Loretta Veney!! Keeping you and your mother in prayer, I wish I known about your book sooner! However, I will purchase it and my mother is from Maryland too!!

  4. Loretta, Loretta!!
    What joyful news of your Mom’s visit last Sunday to our beloved St. Marks. I wish I could have been there but thanks to you, I feel like I was! I fly overseas tomorrow night but plan to be in church beforehand. Hoping to see you if our timing works. Catching up with your lifelong family friend and support to you—and the picture of you both— touched me in a time when our hearts are heavy.
    Love you 🤗

    • LOVE YOU BACK!!!! I’m Verger today so I’ll see you then!!!

      YES last weekend was truly AWESOME!!! Turns out not going to Orlando was the best thing that could have happened!!!

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