Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

I Needed Help As A Caregiver: A Personal Story

January 28, 2019

One minute Bernie was sitting on a tall stool in a store and the next minute, as she leaned to one side to see what a clerk wanted to show her, her feet became caught on a metal footrest, she lost her balance, and dropped helplessly to the concrete floor. I was seated beside her, saw it all unfold in slow motion, and was unable to catch her or break her fall. It was frightening to watch.

Tests in the emergency room showed no broken or cracked bones, but Bernie was in agony. She cried out in pain each time she moved. For ten days she was wheelchair-bound. For weeks she moved only laboriously with a walker. She needed around-the-clock care.

I stopped going to my office. I started doing all the cooking, the serving of meals, the cleanup afterward. I did the laundry and the household chores. I undertook the nursing responsibilities and the coordination of medical appointments and physical therapy.

I had a little backup support, but not much. And, to be honest, that was okay—I wanted to be the one who was there for Bernie. I know her. I love her. Who else could do this caregiving as well as I?

Then something else happened. Over the course of days and weeks, my energy started to wane. I couldn’t ever seem to feel rested. My spirits drooped. I wondered how long this episode in our lives would continue. I wondered how long I could keep doing all that was required. Would things ever get better? How could I regain my sense of composure and optimism? What about the work waiting for me at my office?

Daily-Inspirations-brandIt was a couple of weeks before I thought of something so obvious that I felt embarrassed I had not considered it. Two years prior I had created a resource for people just like me—family caregivers in need of encouragement and support. Titled “Daily Inspirations for Caregivers,” it arrives each morning via email, 365 times in a row. I signed myself up for a subscription. It felt funny doing so.

It had taken me about a year and a half to create all the short videos, the audios that used my own voice, the one-page writings, and the photo-thoughts built around my camera work. Throughout that time I had visualized providing family caregivers with something to look forward to hearing, seeing, reading, and pondering every single day. I wanted to share with them something that might give them confidence and hope. I wanted to add a spark to their day. I wanted to help them persevere, to find a sense of stability.

You know what? I learned—unexpectedly, unintentionally, gratefully—that “Daily Inspirations for Caregivers” works!

It was such an unusual experience, receiving messages in video format that I had forgotten I had created. My words and my own voice soothed me, lifted me, and gave me courage. When I longed for assurance and insight for doing this caregiving work, there it was, waiting for me, like a gift.

Bernie has healed now and most of my caregiving duties have receded. I have cycled through the entire 365 inspirations. Looking back, there were a handful of videos that especially spoke to me when I was in the midst of my struggles. These are their titles and the links for you to see them:

If you’d like to sample more of these inspirations, I’ll happily send you twenty days worth with my compliments. Just let me know your first name, last name and email address at jmiller@willowgreen.com. Or call our office at 260.490.2222.

I’d like to think they’ll work for you, or for someone you know, as well as they did for me.

Newest caregiver resource is reduced 60% in price

November 13, 2017

The idea behind “Daily Inspirations for Caregivers” is simple: we help family caregivers start every day well with beautifully-crafted messages that arrive by personalized email for one full year. It is a loving way to help yourself or a caregiver you know benefit from the empathy, encouragement, and support provided.

Each morning brings one of four kinds of inspirations:

  • •  A one- to two-minute video incorporating nature photography, original music, and Jim Miller’s voice.
  • •  A two- to three-minute audio by Jim offering a single positive caregiving message, often calling upon the wisdom of experienced family caregivers, many of them well-known.
  • •  A one-page writing by Jim about one aspect of caregiving that offers advice, encouragement, and support.
  • •  A photo-thought that incorporates one of Jim’s photographs with a memorable, affirming quotation.

Family caregivers report feeling better informed, more confident in their role, and hopeful about the way ahead. Recent feedback has included:

“Thank you for the words, the unpacking of those words, and the extraordinary photography to help illuminate the message. It is a tender and gentle gift to the heart.”
Janie C.
“Without fail I look forward each day to what I will be receiving from you, and I am never disappointed. You have an incredible ability to share the wisdom of yourself and others in a way that is always fresh, relevant, and impactful.”
 Paul J.
“I think I have not come upon anyone who has written from the heart so thoroughly, quietly, and humbly. All the good and ill of your life you have kneaded together into the perfect life-giving loaf of Love.”
Dai-En B.

If you’re a professional in a healthcare practice or a health-related organization, you can provide “Daily Inspirations for Caregivers” as a way of encouraging and empowering family caregivers of the ill, the injured, or the incapacitated. As you enable the more positive spirits of caregivers and consequently their care receivers, you promote healing and health all the way around, including with your own staff members.

Better yet, if your organization purchases subscriptions for individual caregivers, the cost is reduced even more, depending upon the quantity you order. The cost can be as low as $5.00 each.

Contact Cat or Jim at 260.490.2222 to learn more or email us at orders@willowgreen.com.

Monet’s Garden

February 12, 2013

Lily-pads-quote

I once had the pleasure of spending a week at Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. Six other photographers and I had private access to the grounds each morning and evening, before and after the public was allowed inside. The noted French artist created these gardens in the last half of his life so he would have subject from nature to paint without needing to travel far out in the countryside.

While I was there, I attempted to make a few images in my camera that were reminiscent of his impressionist style of art. Then I forgot about them. Recently I retrieved a few of those images and coupled them with quotations from his letters to friends. I find his ideas about nature, the world, art, and life resonate with my life today. Perhaps they will resonate with yours too.

Nature-quote

Path-quote

Garden-quote

Giverny-quote

Flowers-quote

Baudy-quote

Colors-quote