An Inspiring Road Traveled – Safely.

Last week I was in Evansville, IN to speak at the Mid American Institute on Aging Conference.  This well organized, annual event featured Teepa Snow, the renowned OT specializing in Dementia Care techniques,  a wide variety of experts in all things aging and a dynamic closing talk by Diana Nyad whose topic was Never Give Up – she swam from Cuba to Florida at age 64.  As I listened to speakers and attended workshops, I realized how critical it is that caregivers of older adults find ways to connect with other caregivers.  I was exposed to so many ideas and techniques that really could have helped me and my mother during those long days (and nights) of care.  Isolation and the lack of knowledge of resources are the biggest challenges facing the Sandwich Generation.  Teepa Snow spoke of finding moments of joy – seeking them out, noticing them and enjoying the fleeting nature of these moments.  As I told the stories of caring for my mother I felt her presence and knew that she was cheering me on.  It was a brilliant experience for me and the accolades and hugs I received following my presentation lifted me higher than I felt possible.

My plane landed at Detroit Metro Airport at midnight. I had parked at an off-airport lot and I wasn’t looking forward to the bus ride to the parking lot – likely the sole passenger at this late hour.  I walked through the airport, found the bus stop and saw the Red Bus.  There were no other passengers, just the male driver.  Not my favorite situation.  I said a quick prayer, had my cell phone in hand and smiled as the door to the bus opened.  The driver was writing on his clipboard when I recognized him.  “Mark?”  He looked up and a huge grin spread across his tired face.  I had worked with him many decades ago at a Detroit radio station and we shared a wonderful trip to the parking lot, catching up and swapping war stories.  In the blink of eye he delivered me safely to my car and waited to be sure everything started up.

A perfect trip – great messages delivered and received.  A safe journey, an old friend and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction.

4 thoughts on “An Inspiring Road Traveled – Safely.”

  1. Breeda,
    As a member of the planning committee for the Mid-America Institute of Aging, I wanted to say thank you. As I listened to you, I remembered so well the moments I felt like I was all alone caring for my father with Alzheimer’s. What I realized is that my tears at those moments helped to grow my soul. I even had my picture taken with your sandwich, which gave my family a good laugh. Blessings to you, Dennis Gunther

    1. Thank you Dennis. I appreciate your comments and I am so glad that you enjoyed my presentation and that I was able to connect with you. I’m delighted that my Sandwich will now have a special place in your family archives! All the best,

  2. It sounds like it went wonderfully, and not only did your audience have a positive experience, but you did as well. They could not have picked a better person to give this talk, and i could have used this advice when i was a caregiver. I think these lessons can apply to many parts of life, when things get challenging. )

    1. Thank you Beth. Life lessons are learned everyday, if only we keep our minds, our eyes and our hearts open.

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