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'Dear Friends' January 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008
  

One Shuffle at a Time

Dear Friends,

    If you're like many caregivers, appointments for your care-receiver were put on hold over the last two weeks during the Christmas/New Year's holidays. (Non-essential, non-emergency appointments, that is!) Now, it's back to "business as usual" with the doctor, dentist, physical therapist and so on.
    Even after that short (not quite) break, it can be hard to get back into full swing again. The same holds true for care-receivers.
    As we once said to a care-receiver as the appointments -- and concerns --mounted: "Some days, it's one step at a time." "No," she corrected us and pointed at her walker. "Some days, it's one shuffle at a time."
    She was right. And that's where the underrated and overlooked virtue of perseverance comes into play.
    But, as we've written before, that's not to say that as those needs increase, or as that time continues, you'll be able to do everything you think you should do, or even everything you would really like to do, for your loved one. Odds are, at some point, you're not going to be able to "do it all." That's possible only in the very early stages of caregiving.
    One step -- one shuffle -- can (and sometimes really should) mean getting more help. And giving up -- handing over to others -- some responsibilities.

- - -

    Speaking of "back to business," the notebook computer Monica uses for her work with the Friends of St. John the Caregiver appears to be on its last legs. (Its last . . . pads?)
   If you received a new notebook computer for Christmas and have been wondering what to do with your old one, please contact us. That's a donation we could really use right now.
    You can contact us
here.
    Thank you, thank you, than you!

- - -

    We're happy to report we have our first new member for the new year. "Hello" to Mary B. who lives in Louisiana. Please keep Mary and her mother in your prayers.
    To find out more about becoming a member, you can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

- - -

    A big "thank you" to Bob Dunning at Immaculate Heart Radio in Sacramento for inviting Monica to be a guest on the Jan. 3 broadcast of "The Bishop's Hour" program. Monica will be speaking in that city at the Catholic Breakfast Club this Wednesday.
    A week from today, Jan. 14, she's scheduled to be a guest on "Conversations with Father Bob," a program that comes from Sacred Heart Radio in Seattle. It will be broadcast at a later date. We'll let you know the specifics.

    God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 14, 2008
  

A-mazing Grace

Dear Friends,

    It's easy to get trapped by the "shoulds & shouldn'ts" when you're caring for a loved one. There's seems to be an endless list -- constantly running (racing!) through your mind -- of all the things you should be doing and all the things you shouldn't have done.
    It's a labyrinth that seems to have no exit. One that keeps growing with each new concern, complaint or crisis.
    We touched on this subject when we wrote about caregiver guilt:

    Remember that you are a human being. Like all humans, you are not perfect. Not a perfect spouse. Not a perfect parent. Not a perfect son or daughter. Not perfect at work or home or anywhere else. You will never be a perfect caregiver.

    That cold, hard truth can -- at times -- help bring some warm, sweet relief. How? By helping you remember that God knows you're imperfect. And even though he knows that, he's asked you to accept this vocation of caregiving. Even though you do make mistakes, you do get tired, you do get impatient . . . and all the rest. It can be a reminder that that the One who asked you will never abandon you. He, too, is in the middle of it all: that a-mazing (if you'll pardon the pun) situation of caring for someone who is so dear to you . . . and to him.

- - -

    Thank you so much to the Sacramento Catholic Breakfast Club for the wonderful hospitality extended to Monica last week. She really appreciated the opportunity to speak at the Jan. 9 gathering. What a wonderful audience!
    Today (Monday, Jan. 14) Monica is a guest on "Across the Nation with Bob Dunning" which airs from 2-4 pm EST on The Catholic Channel (159) on Sirius Satellite Radio. (Bob interviewed her on "The Bishop's Hour" two weeks ago. (And did a great job!))

- - -

   Again this week we want to welcome the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Rose G. in New Hampshire, Joan G. in Washington state and Gemma W. in Pennsylvania. Please know that they are keeping caregivers and care-receivers in their prayers. And please keep their intentions in yours.
    (To find out more about becoming a member, you can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).)

- - -

    And as we mentioned last week: If you have a laptop or notebook  computer you no longer need, that's a donation we could really use right now.
    You can contact us
here. Thank you, thank you, than you!

     God bless you!

                                                      Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 21, 2008
  

Assessment? Check!

Dear Friends,

    If you're like us, you rely on to-do lists. And, if you're like us, there can be a particular item or two on that list for more than a little while. One we've had listed for some time is adding caregiver checklists to YourAgingParent.com. They're in the appendix of "A Catholic Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parent" and we want to make them available on-line, too.
    We've been spurred into action after the topic came up during the question-and-answer period following Monica's presentation at the Sacramento Catholic Breakfast Club and during her recent interview on "Conversations with Father Bob," hosted by Father Bob Camuso. So . . .
    We've posted the first one (An Assessment Checklist for Family Caregivers) and others will follow.

- - -

    And speaking of that conversation, the radio interview will air on Sacred Heart Radio, Seattle, tomorrow at 5 pm and Thursday at 9 pm. It's also archived and available on-line. (Monica follows a piece on the Knights of Malta.) We want to thank Father Bob and the show's producer, Lori Wirtz, for the invitation and for the hospitality shown to us. (And a great job interviewing, too!)

- - -

    As the United States -- and the Church -- mark the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade tomorrow, Jan. 22, we want to remind all those taking care of a son or daughter with special needs -- whether a child or an adult -- that caregiving is pro-life. Thank you for all that you have done, all that you are doing and all that you will do. Members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver are praying for you and your loved one.

- - -

   Find out more about becoming an FSJC member! You can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

    God bless you!

                                                      Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 28, 2008
  

 

Greetings from Benedict XVI

Dear Friends,

    Monday, Feb. 11 -- two weeks from today -- is the World Day of the Sick and the 150th anniversary of Mary's first appearance to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France.
In his letter marking the upcoming dual celebration, Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

  I extend my cordial greetings to all sick people and to all those who take care of them in various ways . . .
    May the next World Day of the Sick be . . . a propitious circumstance to invoke in a special way the maternal protection of Mary over those who are weighed down by illness; health-care workers; and workers in pastoral care in health!
    I think in particular of priests involved in this field, women and men religious, volunteers and all those who with active dedication are concerned to serve, in body and soul, the sick and those in need. [Note from Monica and Bill: Emphasis added. Heaven knows that includes family caregivers!]
   
I entrust all to Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, the Immaculate Conception. May she help everyone in testifying that the only valid response to human pain and suffering is Christ, who in resurrecting defeated death and gave us the life that knows no end.
    With these feelings, from my heart I impart to everyone my special Apostolic Blessing.

    Here are links to find out more about:

The pope's letter

The sponsoring organization

Our Lady of Lourdes

- - -

    The February editions of Catholic Caregivers ("An Assessment Checklist for Family Caregivers"), Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession have been posted at CatholicCaregivers.com. All the material is free and can be used by any group or individual. Print as many copies as you would like. No charge.
    We know that some parishes include the flier in their bulletins once a month and other make them available in the vestibule or narthex.
    Also, we would really appreciate it if you would ask you parish staff to include a link to YourAgingParent.com on the parish's Web site. (What a fast, easy and no-cost way for a parish to help caregivers!)

- - -

   The two of us are scheduled to be guests on the "Catholic Answers Live" radio program on Wednesday, Feb. 13. (At 4 p.m., Pacific time.) Monica's been on a couple of times before. Thank you, Jerry Usher and the staff, for inviting us.

- - -

   It's hard to believe but . . . Lent is just around the corner. This year it starts on Feb. 6. May we suggest you begin this liturgical season by becoming a member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver?
   (Not that membership is some sort of penance!)
   If you've been considering it, been meaning to do it, been putting it off . . .
    Now is a great time to sign up!
    There's more information here.
    No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

    God bless you!

                                                      Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

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