So Many Blessings in a Year of So Few!

I had a lot of goals for the days before and after Christmas but none of them actually involved opening presents or visiting others. Because I knew I couldn’t spend time with Mom on Christmas day because of COVID and we were supposed to socially-distance from family we didn’t live with, I’d psyched myself up just to deliver my gifts and keep moving, coming back home to work on all of the goals I’ve been setting for my business for 2021. Turns out the day had some unexpected Blessings! I received a gorgeous photo blanket from my bestie Kris that captured my almost 35 years with Tim. I got to see Mom walk again from the table to the door, strolling as if she was walking through the park like we used to do. I didn’t get to see her open her gifts, but the visit still meant everything!

When I got to the house to see my daughter and granddaughter, my plan was to stay long enough for them to open their presents. I gave my granddaughter a pink and purple Jeep and a table and chair set for her treasured doll Luciana.

I gave my daughter a motivational wall hanging on believing in your dreams. I also gave the kids a gift that was 25 years old but had never been opened. It was a souvenir Tim and I bought in 1995 in Australia. It’s an orange and blue tea towel that was made by an aboriginal woman. Tim loved her stand of kitchen towels, wall hangings and pot holders. Tim purchased his favorite one, and I had forgotten all about it until found it while purging stuff a few months ago still sealed in the original package. I took pictures of it and then resealed it. After some research I learned that today that women who was selling items at a stand on the roadside is now a huge contributor to a gallery of Aboriginal Art in Sydney. I hope the kids use it well in their kitchen.

They loved all of their gifts and I ended up staying for dinner which wasn’t in my original plans. After a wonderful rib dinner with veggies, cornbread and lemon meringue cheesecake, we watched the Disney movie Mulan, and it was truly a girl power inspirational movie. So many delicious and inspirational Blessings in one day.

Meanwhile, the work on my speaking business has gone incredibly well. I’ve been in my house since Christmas day and will be here all this upcoming week continuing to work on all of my goals. I’ve made new presentations, updated my website, written entire speeches, and created specific LEGO Serious Play programs for caregivers that I am thrilled about. I feel incredibly Blessed. My website is now titled – Loretta Veney Inspires, a phrase so many people have used to describe me over the years. My new tagline is Loretta inspires caregivers to move from “I give up” to “I’ve got this”.

Like almost everyone I know I’m looking forward to 2021 and though I have rarely stayed up until midnight in previous years, I’m going to stay up this year to make damn sure 2020 leaves! I’ll likely cry a lot too, for all the people who have died or are sick from COVID, for all of the health care workers who have given every ounce of themselves to save lives, for all who are unemployed, without a place to live or who are alone. There is so much fear, grief and uncertainty in this world today – but I pray that over this last week of 2020 we can all find at least a few Blessings to hang on to from this year. Mom and I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021, and I thank you all for helping me survive the nightmare also known as 2020.


I’ve already received my Christmas Gift!

I’ll be alone for most of Christmas Day and that will be perfectly fine because I received the best gift ever today so I’m already completely fulfilled. I not only got to see Mom through the glass door, I got to witness something I didn’t think I’d see again!

To rewind back to this summer, Mom had three seizures, a fall that resulted in a broken clavicle and four broken ribs, and two hospitalizations. She was so weak by mid-summer that even after physical therapy she could barely stand by herself.

Because she can’t follow directions due to her dementia, the physical therapist wanted to stop working with her after 10 sessions even though Mom was approved for 18. I insisted that they finish her sessions even if they thought it was a waste of time. I’m never going to let anyone give up on my Mom! I spent weeks in early fall working to get Mom a wheelchair so we could do our best to keep her from falling again.

After Mom’s physical therapy ended, Janet worked very hard to help her regain her strength. So TODAY when I arrived she got up from the table and walked to the front door by herself with Janet following very closely behind her. Janet had called me on Tuesday to share that Mom had started to walk on her own again and I was really excited, but to see it for myself today was priceless! She not only came to the door, she tried to open the door to come out!

I never really expected Mom to regain her strength to this degree again, BUT it is proof as to why you should NEVER give up on someone with dementia. It’s why I only focus on all the things Mom can still do! No gift I might receive on Christmas could top the gift I received today! Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today was pretty great! Love you Mom! Thank you Janet!