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!