August Made All of My Wishes Come True!

I keep pinching myself to see if all the things that happened this month really happened!! I started the month in San Diego as part of a panel at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference where we discussed a LEGO Serious Play session I facilitated where we built our ideas on how a multidisciplinary team can eliminate barriers to Alzheimer’s care. That panel was a once in a lifetime experience for me! Then in the middle of the month I facilitated another LEGO Serious Play session for a different panel on the same Alzheimer’s Care topic, this time for an event that will be held in Washington, D.C in mid-September!

I was thrilled to do an in-person event for Arden Courts in Delaware, to hang out with Babbie who I hadn’t seen since a year before Covid arrived! We had a great time as I presented Engaging Activities for Every Alzheimer’s Stage, which was very well received by all the folks in attendance!

Then it was FINALLY time to head to Florida with the kids for the four-time Covid-cancelled Disney Cruise on their newest ship The Wish!! The almost three years of waiting for this cruise was more than worth it and the ship was simply spectacular in every way!! The photos of the ship, the excursions, the food and entertainment simply don’t do it justice! Me and the kids had a blast, even though I started the cruise in tears because I was missing Tim on this trip which he would have loved more than any of us since he was such a big kid at heart! We laughed so much on this trip as we watched shows on the ship, basked in the sun, floated on the water, pet dolphins and ate a LOT!! I totally understand now why some adults go on Disney cruises without any kids, because the adults-only areas are simply unbelievable both in decor and ambiance. I’m already planning for the next Disney Cruise because it was simply the most fun event on the planet! As a way to “relax” after the cruise, we spent a night at a Disney Resort and a day at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom!! Such a Fantastic time full of incredible memories!

After a very short 16 hours at home, I boarded a flight to St. Croix where I spent four awesome days with members of the Virgin Islands Family Caregiver Support Program! I was the speaker on Friday night and Saturday morning, BUT the true highlights for me were just hanging out with the awesome caregivers, some of whom I first met in 2016 just six weeks after Tim died. I wrote a blog about that experience called The Caregivers Cared for Me! This weekend too, though no one had died, I also felt cared for by these caregivers, because they listened intently and participated in both my presentations, AND they allowed themselves to be vulnerable enough with me to share their deeply personal stories about their caregiver roles! I had one on one time with many of them as we walked together, played in the water, and sat together before or after sessions or shared a meal. We laughed, we cried, we worked out, we played games, we danced, we hugged, we shared and we ate like there was no tomorrow. The weekend was all about taking a respite from caregiving – YET we certainly cared for each other. On Sunday morning, people shared what they loved about the weekend, and where they were on their caregiving journey. Some sang, some read poems, almost all thanked God for the caregiver’s group and it’s wonderful staff!! As people spoke, if they shed a few tears someone quickly went up to the podium with them to lend support. These are some of the most caring and grateful individuals I’ve ever met and my time with them is always Glorious! I took video of the testimonies of many of those who spoke on Sunday, which I’ll be watching on any days I’m feeling down!

I’ve been so busy today planning for a September that will be even more busy than August was but I couldn’t let the last day go by without writing about all my wishes coming true this month! You’ll have to wait until my September post to read all about everything that will be happening next month but I know it will be fun and will cover even more of my wishes coming true!! Doing a Disney cruise with my granddaughter was a huge Wish of mine, and I have always Wished for additional opportunities to see the Virgin Island Caregivers again – getting both those things at almost the same time was Incredible! My advice to us all is – Keep Wishing, you never know what will happen!

4 thoughts on “August Made All of My Wishes Come True!

  1. “Keep Wishing, you never know what will happen!” A fine a word of counsel for this or for any time. Thank you, Loretta.

    And thanks be to God for you and your wondrous August. As the word can mean “impressive”, so your month of August, indeed, was most impressive!

    Reading your description of the Disney cruise, one word leapt from the screen for me. “Ambiance” for that was a word dearest Tim oft used to describe his sense, his awareness of a given moment and “soaking in the ambiance”. Wonderful!

    Reading your recount of the St. Croix presentations and workshops, even more, being with the grand folk there gathered, I particularly homed in on your description of the closing events. Immediately, I had a deep sense and appreciation of what Tim would refer to as the “ambiance”, that is, how deeply bonding moments of human connection, as they come to a close, evoke in and from people vulnerably emotive expressions of gratitude. Priceless!

    And, as I oft say, carry on!

    Love,
    Paul

    • Thank you Paul!!
      I recorded some of the testimonies and the Director asked for copies because they are true testimonies of how powerful their program is. Some of them mentioned me by name including and what I’ve meant to them! Going back to your sermon from last week we really had church & community in that conference room without being in an actual church building. The Caregiver Program Director / church organist even played during the last session. It was quite the event! Ambiance indeed!!

      Love

  2. All alright 😊! I told the ladies you have been living your dreams and having Fun 🤩. So wonderful you and your girls got your ‘cruise on’ pictures are so beautiful!
    You are inspiring me to take a Disney Cruise, adding that to my bucket list 😁Loretta, God is blessing your life for All the many ways you help others, but also for Tim, being your mother’s caregiver, using your many gifts and talents sharing LEGO Play!
    I’m still all thumbs 🙄😝.
    I was so overjoyed you hooked up with your Virgin Island caregivers group. I remember when you first shared this amazing group of women with me😱they truly love you ❤️.
    I got excited when you mentioned your visit to Arden Court In Delaware, hmmm we have a Arden Court in Cincinnati. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get a hook up 🤔I know a family who have a love one in that facility….. will follow up.
    Loretta’s, keep enjoying your life, Tim is your biggest fan 😇. Love, love, love you ❤️🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾
    Belinda

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 9:46 PM, Belinda Larkin wrote:

    • Hi my dear sister!!

      Thank you sooooo much!! I knew you’d remember my first trip to St Croix!! What a time that was!! Sooooo amazing to reconnect with those folks!! So much fun yet very emotional too!!

      Please tell the ladies hello for me!! Definitely hoping to get back to the awesome state of Ohio and would love to go to Arden Courts!!

      I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me over all these years!! I’ll keep the legacy going and continue to live my best life!!!

      Much love to you!!

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