Animal Health, Autobiography, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

Just a Little Chuckle

I’ve been taking care of Someone with the flu which is an experience that has just left me speechless.  It is the opposite of fun. People with Lewy Body have a weakened immune system and can easily catch anything or everything.

I had a minute to take a shower yesterday and as I was getting my clothes together to take into the bathroom, I grabbed a shirt that was inside-out.  As I was fixing the shirt, the seams reminded me of a day back when…

About nine years ago, I was in the thick of getting the Canine Distemper Virus treatment protocol together with Dr. Alson Sears and Ed Bond.  I was being constantly exposed to dogs with the virus and I could not afford to bring it home nor to spread from dog to dog at the vet clinic we were working at.  (It is very contagious and was deadly.)

One of the ways the Canine Distemper Virus is spread is through tiny droplets floating through the air from a dog’s sneeze.  Owners were bringing in their dogs with bronchitis, not sure if it was Distemper, and while a dog can have both at the same time, Distemper and bronchitis, you want to avoid that!

I was constantly showering with a mild bleach solution and changing my clothes all the time.  I could not risk the sneezes being on my clothes, in my hair or on my skin, especially when I was going to help with a litter of puppies or a dog who didn’t have Distemper. It was a precaution all rescuers should take but many don’t.  It is just too much effort to do what I did but it was the right thing to do.

One day, I was standing in line at Walgreen’s to pick up a dog’s prescription*.  It was really busy and I had not yet gone into the clinic.  I had just taken a shower at home.  All was well, I thought.

I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I looked around.  A woman in another aisle wanted to speak to me. “Honey,” she said in a very hushed, gentle voice, “I just wanted you to know that your shirt is inside out…”

I thanked her for caring enough to let me know and then explained to her that my skin was just super sensitive and that I had intentionally put it on inside-out so the seams wouldn’t bother my skin. (I chuckled to myself. I must be a sight for sore eyes!)

I didn’t tell her the part of seeing hundreds of hundreds of sick and dying dogs, working on the treatment to help them and having to take so many showers–and with a solution that would kill the virus since soap and a shower would not–since I knew her eyes would probably start spinning.  It was too much for me and I was living it intentionally until we could save dogs, now available world-wide.

So, as I was turning my shirt seams back inside yesterday, I was transported back to Walgreen’s and while I can’t remember the woman’s face, I do remember how sweet she was and how sore my skin was!  I shook my head and laughed a little remembering back to the things I had to do back then. No one really knows the struggles we went through to get the Distemper serum and protocol perfected to save their dog.

In fact, I was in a vet clinic recently and watched from about five feet away as a woman come in to get three serum injections for her dog with distemper and some antibiotics. The vet handed them to her and she hugged him and thanked him for saving her dog.  I stood there and watched.  All of the work and sacrifice from our small volunteer team and special angels that helped us along the way to keep the dream of finding a way to stop this deadly disease was still at work saving lives.  I felt like a proud parent–with a little worse-for-the-wear but now healed skin.

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If you have a dog who you suspect or know has Distemper, please go to Kind Hearts in Action to find the nearest vet to help you.

 

If you have a family member who has Lewy Body or is having difficulties that seems like a very unpleasant form of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s combined, you may want to do some research and/or find a doctor to help you: Lewy Body Dementia Association

 

If you want to help me with my work saving and helping animals with special needs, please send an amazon e-credit to a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com OR you can leave a gift on my Go Fund Me which helps the special needs dogs that I care for as well as Someone: Just click here: Help Jane Help Others.

 

If you would rather mail a gift card–all are much appreciated–generic Visa, fast food like Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s or any others, please send them to: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386

 

Thank you for caring.  Especially for caring.

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Photo: Bunny on her new Kuranda bed with ‘her’ Bunny.  She was so happy, she was laughing!  Bunny’s birthday is coming up–she is going to be eleven and is a natural survivor of distemper which is very rare.  Unfortunately, she lost the ability to stand on her front legs and needs human help to walk with a mobility aid (or as we call it a belly band) or a donated doggie wheelchair.  I really love the GingerLead mobility harness. You can order it in different widths/sizes.  It’s been the only brand I’ve used for years now–after trying many.

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Shop Amazon through my link and help Rescued Animals!  Just by using the link below for your shopping, amazon processes everything, you don’t get charged any extra and amazon gives a tiny percentage back to my dog rescue, the Rescue Ranch, to help with expenses.

Bookmark/Save this Link please–and use it over and over again:

https://www.amazon.com/?&_encoding=UTF8&tag=rescranc-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=d1c5b8cf4f461c68dcbe83a34957a399&camp=1789&creative=9325

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*Did you know that there is GoodRX pet card and other prescription discount cards can be used on your pet’s medicines?  Instead of buying the medicines at your vet, you can ask that they give you a prescription or you can place an order online and have it faxed to your vet to sign.

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Autobiography, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

Submitted Under a Pink Moonbow

The last of the doctors’ letters came in on Friday.  After incorporating his comments and input into Someone’s Medicare Retroactive Reinstatement Request, I finished writing and organizing and copying (one sheet at a time) onto three-hole paper at 9 PM on St. Patrick’s Day.  Since I believe in the luck of the Irish, I thought that that was a good sign.

Fed Ex overnight was too expensive so it went out Fed Ex Ground.  God willing it gets there today and it reaches someone with compassion.  The more I wrote and the more documentation that I had to acquire and add in, the more it made sense to approve this request.  It was a constellation of errors as well as Someone’s cognitive impairment that complicated everything and really, what happened was invalid–but it happened and nothing gets undone unless someone points out the problem!

I took some time after it went out to walk and play with each of the dogs at the Rescue Ranch.  They have been so good and understanding.  I also wanted to just clear my mind and get some fresh air.  Over a month working on a computer screen really took its toll on my eyes.

I looked up at the night sky.  I just wanted to say, “Thank you,” to God for just allowing me to get through this past month or even a little more.  Beloved Charlee and beautiful Pasha passed on while I was beginning to write what would be ultimately occupy a two inch binder.  I felt like they were angels helping me continue on in a way.  They were here, they knew what was going on, they passed on because God called but animals are very smart and very aware.

There was a beautiful, soft pink ring around the moon that was out a bit and around the “glow” of the moon.  It was stunning and beautiful.  I had never seen one in my entire life.  By the time I “ran” in to get the camera, it was gone.  Someone saw it, too.  “Oh, wow!” he said. Eight hours later, as I was finishing up walking the dogs (with breaks in-between, I was very much limping by then, the pink ring appeared again–so after admiring it, I went online and looked up the meaning of it on the computer.  (The pics on the internet do not show the true beauty of this phenomenon.) It is a sign of very good luck and it is very rare.  Some consider it a “moonbow” like a “rainbow,” but more rare.  That made me smile inside and outside as I tossed yet another squeaking football on a cord.  I was really thankful that I got to see one once, never mind twice!

I am convinced that God hears our prayers.  Maybe the answers are not what we want, maybe they are; maybe they happen immediately, maybe they are delayed.  Whatever the case, the binder is now in His “hands.”  If it is meant to be approved, it will be.  If not, it is at least assembled into a complete history and format that an advocate can understand and take it one step further.  Sorting through hundreds upon hundreds of documents in a box would take too much time–this way, it is easy to follow the chronology and the things that went wrong and definitely calls for relief, hopefully sooner than later.  Someone is having complications from hernia mesh surgery #1 and #2 so this is very important to get fixed so he has insurance plus $108,000 in claims were un-paid and there are lots of unhappy providers calling.  How do you explain this life?

Thank you to those of you who have been patient with me and in understanding that I had to be single-focused during this time.  Of course, there was unlimited time and care and love put into helping Charlee and Pasha but I could not write letters or focus on email or reading or doing anything else.  Even taking a simple shower, an idea would come to me or in my sleep–so I kept paper and a Sharpie next to my “bed.”  I had to be completely absorbed but not consumed by the subject at hand or I couldn’t do it.

Give me a day or so to clean up the piles of paper and drafts and tabs and paper clips and and and so I can see my desk again and then I will start to come back to life.  Until then, angels know that I love you and pray for you and that you are never far from my thoughts and heart.  There are few of you active these days but I honor you all with all that I am.

To God goes the glory–

Sending Love and always Hugs from the Herd

Jane

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IF you can help, our amazon account is now at zero.  Please send any e-credits to a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com  This is a critical resource for us right now for everything dog!

Note:

Angels,

We need kibble VIP and in bags less than fifteen pound bags (my limit right now*)-and flavored (not plain) rawhide chews or non-rawhide bones like Dreambones (see our Amazon wish list and wet dog food that is like a pate’ not in chunks/stew (which seems yummier to me but is harder for them to eat and requires hand-feeding each one):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/357TZN5MD849U/ref=cm_sw_su_w

to get some ideas.  (I will update the list this week so check back on the weekend.  One angel dropped off Walmart’s new kibble, Vibrant Life–which was a big hit–mixed with some chicken nuggets or like tonight, some Whopper patty pieces! Thank you!!!)

Amazon E-credits allow me to order what we need in the moment and to have it delivered to our mailing address in two days!  Special needs dogs don’t just “wolf” down (no pun intended) bowls of kibble.  They need chicken broth or…beef broth, meat, veggies, soft food, etc. etc. etc. mixed into it–then a time-delay so it can soften.  Feeding special needs dogs is a whole ‘nother animal (pun intended).

*The end of last year, I hurt my knees (badly) on a wipe-out running to help Someone–nothing broken or torn other than a piece of bone floating around in one and lots of soft tissue damage. I was on crutches, now in prescription hinged, knee braces.  My knees are still healing. I can pour out kibble (dry or wet) or give out Burger King, McD’s or Wendy’s burgers–plain–or mix the two together when time allows.  (ALL gift cards always needed and welcome!)

Thank you for caring. Especially for caring.

 

IF you want to help generally, I have a Go Fund Me open which helps the dogs and Someone.  Gifts are deposited directly onto my debit card to be used right away:

https://www.gofundme.com/manage/gofundmecomicantbreatheblogfeb2019#

 

Grateful. Always.

shamrock03

Two versions of an Irish folk saying…

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“You’ve got to love like you’ll never get hurt, You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, You’ve got to come from the heart if you want it to work. “

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“Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt; sing like no one is listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

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Mailing Address: Rescue Ranch 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386

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"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Just Gotta Laugh, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

Still Belly Laughing Years Later

Note: Always click on the link in your email to read my stories.    You may even get more details than in the story in your Inbox. After I publish, for some reason, I can proof-read better.  

I need to scan the pics that were sent to us after the fact by Someone’s half-brother, G, about this incident but I am going to skip that for now. They would interfere with my telling of the story–the whole story–if my readers just skipped to the “end.”

(For readers just joining, “Someone” is my significant other, who would prefer to remain nameless because he is kinda embarrassed that he has an early-onset brain disease.)*

Years ago, when those little bags full of tiny greeting card glitter inserts came out, in the shape of hearts or snowmen, pumpkins or shamrocks, G’s wife was obsessed with them. Every greeting card, letter, holiday card, even presents that she sent to anyone had a generous handful of them enclosed.

At first, it was a pretty, occassional inclusion, we thought. But as time went on and they became more problematic than pretty. When we’d open a letter, a package, a set of printed photos, they would fall out all over the floor, into the dogs’ fur, our clothes, get into the carpet, in the tile cracks and more.  We’d have to clean them up and instead of enjoying her letter, we’d spend each time cleaning up “her” mess.  The more this happened, the more frustrated we became.

I couldn’t imagine how much this was costing G’s wife!  Each package was about $5 in the card section of the store and she was doing this often. I wrote to her and asked her to please keep those lovely surprises for other people, but she would not listen.  We continued to be bombarded by more and more designer glitter.

One Thanksgiving, before Someone was sick, about twenty of us were all at a relative’s home and after dinner, the men were sitting around talking in the den.  Grandma (Gma) nearing 90 and I just happened to be there, too, babysitting some of the younger cousins while others were clearing the table for dessert.

“Are you getting that glitter (c**p) in your cards and letters from G’s wife?” Someone asked the table.  “Ugh.” said one.  “OMG,”said another.  “It is the worst, ” said Gma. “We’ve asked her to stop it but she thinks it’s funny,” said one of the other wives walking by.  The wheels began turning in Someone’s brain that very night.  It had to stop.

We drove home and Someone began planning and brainstorming about how to get the message across to G and his wife that the entire family despised her glitter “surprises.” It was no longer pretty or cute but kind of naughty-not-nice, especially after people asked repeatedly for the behaviour to stop.)

Someone began assembling parts for his masterpiece of masterpieces.  Whenever he did something, he always did it to succeed and to be the best that he could.  (To this day, when ever we want to laugh or even bring up glitter, we laugh for a very long time.)

The wheels were turning.  He bought several of those beginner magic cans of peanuts with the coiled snake in it (he wanted the “snakes”;  five POUNDS of fine, multi-color glitter;  a bunch of other parts that would assemble into the prettiest Christmas present that G and his wife could not resist opening and mailed it mixed in with their regular presents. I can’t remember exactly how it was assembled but it was complex and ingenious and totally harmless.

On Christmas morning, we got up early and just sat at home drinking hot cocoa and playing with the dogs and waited for the phone to ring.  We weren’t sure if it was going to work or if sending it through the mail would upset the glitter launcher. The suspense was a nail-biter.  Then about 11 AM, the call came.  G and his wife weren’t mad but they were certainly shocked. It was so unexpected that they were belly laughing with us, too–but I could tell that G’s wife wasn’t totally thrilled especially about the aftermath.

They told us what happened.  The pics they sent were of the rug and the cats and their hair, sofa…  I remember hearing that it was even inside their socks!.

Sitting on their shag carpeting, G opened that Christmas present–with his two long-haired cats right by his side–and his wife on the chair right next to him (with very long, curly hair). When G pulled open the top of the box, pounds and pounds of fine glitter went up in the air and came down ALL over the room!  It was in their hair, in the cats’ fur (not in their eyes and they did not inhale it–it was clear that they had ducked and the glitter was just down their backs–then they happily rolled in it so it was then all over their tummies), deeply embedded (for a long time) in the shag carpeting, in their clothes, furniture, more.  It was one of THE best brother-to-brother gags I have ever seen and Someone was the mastermind behind it all.

Needless to say, we never once got another card with the little glitter snowflakes or hearts or whatever in them again.  Neither did anyone else in the entire family!  (They all thanked Someone once the story and pics got around the family.)  I think the message was received more than loud and clear with no harm done.

We still continued to vacation all together and visit and talk regularly–until Someone got sick.  Gma, Someone’s biggest fan, passed away at 95, just before Someone’s official diagnosis.

As for the rest of the family, all but our first “Someone is sick” call, all calls now go unanswered; my email requests for them to just send a card to keep in touch–to spend time with each other before there are regrets–now fall on deaf ears (not uncommon in these situations).

There will never be another gag like that.  Someone ended on a high note–which will keep us still belly laughing for years to come!

Make lots of good memories while you can.  They will carry you far!

Sending love and hugs from the Herd and their people!

Jane

 

 

Poppy.veterans.day

IF you want to help me continue my “mission” caring for special needs animals, and there are lots of them at the Rescue Ranch, please help in any way you can.  Thank you!

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How to Help

Send Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
*
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, like McD’s, Burger King, Taco Bell (yes some dogs will only eat cheese and or chicken something or other from there), please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
*
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
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Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when I am posting there again–probably mid-March.)
Grateful.
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*For more information on Lewy Body Dementia (or Disorder as Someone prefers that I refer to it in public, especially if I have to explain his behavior or deficits in a store), please go to lbda.org
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To Adopt, Rescue, Foster, Volunteer to help any type of animal imaginable (practically), please start at petfinder.com and type in your zip come and animal you would like to help.
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Ada.April25.2013.DingoQueen.A
Big Ady Ada collected all of the big dog Dingo bones–
we always had to redistribute them when she wasn’t looking!
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“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.” — Osho
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PS  The delay in sending out the insurance Retroactive Reinstatement tome last week, is working to our advantage.  The other two doctors’ letters will be in, I thought of something I missed, and some more articles that I could include to further explain what happened.  Hopefully mid-week, it will be in Fed Ex.  I am still trying to be laser-focused until I have the Fed Ex receipt in my hand!
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DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NOTIFICATION OF NEW STORIES/BLOG POSTS! Just go to the top of this page and click on the black section with the white lines–a menu will open!
Amazon.logo
Send an amazon e-card to use to help the special needs rescue dogs at the Rescue Ranch! Just click on this link and use the email: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com for the To/Delivery address.  Thank you for caring.  Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0145WHYKC/gcrnsts/?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&tag=rescranc-20&linkId=I2QOVRMWZNQYBADR
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…and
PLEASE Do Your Amazon Shopping Through MY DOG RESCUE LINK ON AMAZON…everything stays private to you and is processed by amazon, just a small percentage (usually 2-4) goes to my animal rescue organization, the Rescue Ranch.  Thank you!  Link to start shopping: https://tinyurl.com/AmazonforRescueRanch    (Please bookmark it or keep it handy to use all the time!)
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"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Just Gotta Laugh, Uncategorized

It’s Always Something

Thankfully, this past week, I had listened to a Deepak Chopra show on PBS about the spiritual laws of the universe.  (I keep the screen off on the TV and listen to the sound while I work.  While I don’t agree with everything he says, I love to consider all different points of view.) I remember him saying that everything happens as it is supposed to and that we are to only live in the present–not carrying anything from the past or expecting anything from the future.  “Food for thought, ” I thought as I mulled it over.  His three or four hour lecture was fresh in my mind.

I have been working all week on a project that was over 400 pages and needed to be Fed Ex’d PDQ.  I kept reading it and reworking it–about eight times–to cut out any repetitive sentences, thoughts, or even paragraphs and got it down to 265 pages.  That would cut down on the copying charges, the weight of the Fed Ex and the time that someone else’s tired eyes is going to have to read it!

With three hours to spare, it was time to leave to copy it and send it out.  Four of six doctors had responded with letters that I needed and records to support what I was writing about. The others I asked couldn’t do them until next week but I really needed to get this in today–or so I thought.  (I told Someone to get dressed and to get in the car at least a few hours in advance.  I took five to actually get him sitting in a seat.)  “Oh,” I said, “I need a credit card.”  The machines are now automated.  You can’t just pay cash at the counter after making copies.  “I’ll get it,” Someone said.  “Great.  Then, let’s go,” I said.

We drove there and I got everything set across the counter, Exhibit by Exhibit, to copy. Someone kept putting the card in the “reader” and it kept coming back.  “I don’t know why it keeps rejecting the card.”  “Let me see it, ” I said.  It was the correct bank card. Then Someone said, “It is a 2018 card.  The new one doesn’t come until the summer so it should work.” Oh.

My Someone has Lewy Body Dementia.  It is not a disease with a steady decline so you kind of know what to expect day to day.  LBD changes hour by hour, day to day.  While physically weaker, some times, Someone is “himself.”  Other times, there are clear signs that something is wrong–some things I will not talk about until he is no longer with us.  I don’t want him to lose his dignity but know that no one could ever prepare for this disease.  It is a mind-bender.

Well, we took the document and the card and headed home.  There is nothing you can say in this situation other than, “Well, I’ll get the right card and we’ll come back tomorrow.”  Now, I know I need to watch for another level of impairment.  I know I would have destroyed the old card and double-checked it before I left to go out.  How he found an old card I will never know.

On the way home, headed for McDonald’s for doggie burgers, Deepak Chopra’s voice was telling me that everything is as it is supposed to be.  Let nothing upset you.  Expect nothing.  Thankfully, I don’t get upset easily so other than a little extra stomach acid rumbling around,  it doesn’t matter.

“Tomorrow is another day,” my mother used to always remind me.  Maybe there is something I forgot to include.  Maybe one of the doctor’s who didn’t get included will send their letter earlier than next week.  Maybe maybe maybe.

It will take a couple of hours now to feed the dogs who won’t eat dog food or can’t eat dog food but not having the burgers, would mean I’d be up all night into the morning. Taking care of special needs dogs is so outside the normal “pet,” or even fostering, experience. They feel like eating–or drinking–one day and then not the next.  I have to have all types of things available for them to eat–sometimes, they only want my cheese sandwich or my cheese pizza–then I have a juice box for dinner!

When you get frustrated, just remember to stay in the moment.  Things are going the way they are supposed to. Let go and just go with what is happening. (I sure pray lots of prayers, most that I learned way back when and read prayer cards for reinforcement and at the same time, too, as I’ve been told, to praise–say, “Thank You,” for all things, even those that haven’t happened yet instead of begging for things yet to come–or not. Even the hard things, the things you wish weren’t, the things you are glad about.  All things.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

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IF you want to help me continue my “mission” caring for special needs animals, and there are lots of them at the Rescue Ranch, please help in any way you can.  Thank you!

You can:

Send Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
*
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
*
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
*
Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when I am posting there again–probably mid-March.)
Grateful.

^^^^^^^^^

“Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.” ― Deepak Chopra

 

^^^^^^^^^

“If you could really see that tree over there,” Merlin said, “you would be so astounded that you’d fall over.”
“Really? But why?” asked Arthur. “It’s just a tree.”
“No,” Merlin said, “It’s just a tree in your mind. To another mind it is an expression of infinite spirit and beauty. In God’s mind it is a dear child, sweeter than anything you can imagine.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do Good" Opportunities, In the News, Lewy Body Dementia, RR Dog Stories, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Thank you, Alex Trebek: Your Life Makes a Difference

While I’ve been “holed up” writing the tome of all tomes to get my Someone’s Medicare restored, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on a lot of deep subjects.  

I set aside two weeks to write a complex Reinstatement Medicare appeal and to gather all of the medical documentation from hospitals and ask doctors to write letters to explain what happens with his illness. Someone has a terminal neurodegenerative disease (brain) and used the wrong words to try to get something accomplished. Instead his intent was misunderstood and Social Security cancelled his health insurance (retroactively) for one year (on top of it all) instead of cancelling the excessive monthly surcharge retroactively for one year. (Someone was right about the surcharge being wrong, BTW).  The cascade of people who were paid–and now have been unpaid–is staggering and will take more months to straighten out…

In those two weeks set aside for my writing, two dogs became critical, and then became terminal–and my two weeks of isolation to work became a month now. I take whatever time is needed to help them transition. In those moments, nothing else matters but life and death.

First, my beloved baby Charlee passed in my arms. After he was buried, brave, sweet Pasha took a turn for the worst and headed to heaven. She was just buried.  She spent nearly a week laying on my bed and in the last days, she just wanted to lay on top of me, her head on my heart.  Life is just suspended for me in those days–those precious days–and in talking and singing to the animals soon to pass, I get to reflect on a lot of life and after life issues.

Heart.white.red.border

Never lost on me is how precious life is and our time together.  In literally the space of a breath, one passes on to the Great Beyond–and while I truly believe that there will be a joyous reunion some day, the time between now and then is at first sad because we miss our loved ones who have passed on. But then, realizing that the sick are well again, that the paralyzed can walk and run again, that the elderly are young again–that we are restored to our best whenever that was–and free of our broken bodies–makes missing them a little easier to bear and in fact, always makes me able to smile through my tears.

So today, when I heard that Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the television program, ‘Jeopardy!’, has been diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer, I winced. It is one of the worst diagnoses to hear–right up there with a Glioblastoma brain tumor or or or.  He will be in my prayers.  I pray that he has a strong faith or finds faith. Faith will carry you over and past all the fear and pain–if you can just keep “looking up.”

Mr. Trebek has a wife and grown children who will help him now but he will have to pass on alone–but not in fear.  Never fear.

What I have seen, having been with so many passing animals as a rescuer and caretaker of special needs animals–and some people who were my friends and family or even neighbors–is that we are alone for less than a millisecond, for when we leave our bodies, all of our loved ones are within ten feet or less of our bodies. (Yes) We can see them before we pass, just waiting to welcome us and show us what our life after life will be–and it is all Love and all about Love–as our spirits separate from the body.  If you have lived a good life, good in the meaning of trying not to do bad, no one should be scared to pass on.**

Alex Trebek and ‘Jeopardy!’ have a special place in our lives.  Someone used to watch the show with his family growing up–both at his grandparents’ home and at his parents’. Now, slowly slipping into a terminal case of early-onset Lewy Body dementia, the one daily and very conscious thing that he still wants to do consistently is to watch ‘Jeopardy!’  He wants me to sit with him and we answer the questions out loud–whether we are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter–and we laugh at some of the answers we both can blurt out!

What matters is that we are doing something together, that we are playing a game that requires Someone to use his brain (and memory), and I know that six times a week, that the memory of sitting and “playing” Jeopardy on those days with Someone will eventually become a precious memory for me. They will give me something to smile about through my tears, long after Someone either is no longer able to consciously engage with me or on his own journey to the Great Beyond.

Thank you, Mr. Trebek, for making a difference in our lives.  It may seem like you are just hosting a TV show, but to us, you are helping us through a difficult time in many ways.  I will always be grateful.  You will always be a “smile” in our lives.  You have made a difference with yours and that’s what really counts in the end.

And for those of you going through a life after life journey, too, there is a simple but profound song that I play on my laptop sometimes when I am writing.  It makes me cry but it also makes me think. We all should be living like we are dying every day–for tomorrow–even the next hour or minute–is not guaranteed.  I can testify to that many times over from what I have seen in my own life. Life can be over in the next second. Don’t let that be lost on you, please.

Sent with much love and prayers–

Gratefully,

Jane

Live Like You Were Dying   (song)
To Listen to the song on Youtube:
He said
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”

I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”
He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again

And then
I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
Skydiving
I went Rocky mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying”
Songwriters: Craig Michael Wiseman / James Timothy Nichols / Tim Nichols
Live Like You Were Dying lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management
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For anyone who would like to help my efforts caring for many special needs dogs who have no where else to go, the Rescue Ranch Herd as they are called, please help any way you can:
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Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
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E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
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Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
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Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when Charlee and Pasha’s stories are there.)
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PS  Does anyone have a selfie stick they are not using for an Android?  Someone has a new fascination of taking selfies of himself and of sleeping/cuddling dogs.  He is struggling to extend his now-starting to-tremor-hands far enough away from his face.
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Note: I am on the last couple of days before I can submit this Medicare document, so please forgive my complete “withdrawal”–from living practically!  Next week, I will be able to respond to emails, send Thank You’s, etc.  Just know that while I may be using all of my energy to finish this document–it is so intense that I can’t distract myself.  I need to be laser-focused.  Know that you are never far from my thoughts, prayers and always in my heart.  Truly.
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**For those of you who are wondering what to do if you haven’t lived a “good” life, I believe that it is never too late to turn your life around.  It is all about Intention–even if you have done things that you are not proud of or that hurt someone no matter how long ago, doing things now that are “good” or kind or compassionate–and really do them with loving intent to do good–will turn things around, and cancel out in a sense, what was done in the past.
Of course, making amends with the person you actually hurt or did wrong against, would be the best but planting seeds of good–small, medium or big–will make a difference and turn things around. And if you fall down again, get up again and keep doing good! In the very end, you will be asked to judge yourself–I believe, in front of God–and the peace of knowing that you have nothing to fear at that time, is priceless.
For more on Lewy Body Dementia (early-onset means you get sick before you are elderly), please go to: lbda.org the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
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