Holidays can be filled with a wide range of emotions ranging from pure joy to utter sadness when you are visiting someone with a cognitive illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Regardless of the emotion, however, accept it and try not to judge your feelings or the feelings of others during this time. Holidays may feel and look different because traditions are not able to be followed exactly as before, but that does not mean you cannot have a meaningful experience.
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Whenever the Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind” plays on the radio, I can feel our 8-year-old roll his eyes as I remind him that these lyrics are something I hope he takes to heart:
“Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you / When you get where you’re going, don’t forget to turn back around / And help the next one in line. / Always stay humble and kind.”
It’s important to us that Cayden understands that we have been incredibly blessed to have had so many people help us in our journey to become a family.
• There were the dedicated, caring social workers who made sure to keep checking on his welfare the first year of his life. These people work tirelessly to try to help birthparents successfully parent and then do the difficult work to place the children with foster parents, if necessary, who will make sure these vulnerable children are safe and healthy.
I traveled into the past this morning.
Figuratively, of course.
We are working on a video to be shown during Diakon’s 150th anniversary celebration next year.
The script I wrote includes scenes of the Rev. Philip Willard—essentially the founder of Lutheran Church operation of what would become the Tressler Orphans Home in Loysville, Pennsylvania—coming to the small Perry County hamlet and meeting with the Tressler family. For ease of filming and availability of horse and carriage, those scenes were shot just outside Gettysburg on two other dates.
Today, we were permitted onto the grounds of the former Tressler home, sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s for use as a youth development center, to film exteriors of some of the historic buildings.