On one pass at the top of the hill, I waved at him. May Your loving devotion comfort me, I pray, according to Your promise to Your servant. that the home was being remodeled and would not be ready for move in until It was obvious that it was a bad break. I didn’t understand why we had to fight so hard for something so simple. Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller, The Gifts of Imperfection, has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in print. In retrospect, he should have approached this sensitive topic with more compassion. He became a household name. I panicked. Told in the context of the power of Alcoholics Anonymous to change lives, it reveals the truth that each of us is broken whether we are in A.A. or not. But care giving can also drastically alter a family’s financial situation and require lots of changes and transitions when it comes to where they live and their overall quality of life. if we stayed in Houston. It’s a VERY grey and gloomy day here in my wooded area in this small town in the NC mtns. The medical staff did their best to keep our spirits up, despite the difficult place we found ourselves in that year. In that sense, I don’t even need to play a game like “My little boy” with my kids. I plan to finish writing the book by end of August 2019 and to begin the editing/publishing process in the fall of 2019. I delight in Your commandments because I love them. more alert than I would have been otherwise. offered to pay for my plane ticket. It was there on the Bible school campus that the freak accident which resulted in my husband’s spinal cord injury happened. So, my husband’s parents generously I locked all the Even though I was an experienced caregiver by then, I had to admit I needed help. My eye, my soul, and my body waste away with grief. Though my persecutors and foes are many, I have not turned from Your testimonies. It was as if we belonged to a secret club, invisible to the outside world. huge positive outcomes in a patient’s overall healing. I told the emergency dispatcher to tell the ambulance drivers that I would stand at the end of our 1/4-mile driveway to flag them down. My husband would remain in bed the Save, treasure and re-visit them all the next time the rain begins to fall. of them strive to do the job to the best of their ability every day. An aesthetic alternative, offers author Elizabeth Farrelly, is wabi-sabi, a philosophy with roots in Zen tea ceremonies, which posits that beauty lies in what is flawed. He seemed relieved to stories for the holiday edition of the Houston Chronicle. Mutual respect and cooperation between medical professionals, patients and their caregivers in hospital settings are vital to fostering healing. it wasn’t expected to affect his general quality of life. And what a remarkable life she lived! I open my mouth and pant, longing for Your commandments. She and her sons faithfully cared for him in her home. The Gifts of Imperfection (Book) : Brown, Brené : Brown explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an 'imperfect' life and embracing living authentically. The front wheels of his wheelchair were still firmly lodged in the armadillo holes they had fallen into. our story would inspire strength and courage for others who found themselves in newspaper reporter contacted her and told her he was looking for human interest Heaven for you. they prefer a pictorial presentation of their life that celebrates who they Empower yourself. of you and will do my best to follow your example, by living a life of service, Find out why in this excerpt from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. They are all around you. I was only strong when I yielded and allowed Him to work through me. Check back soon for part two of this incredible caregiving adventure. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown Ph.D is a great read to learn how to "Let go of who you think you're suppoed to be and embrace who you are" Product Description "When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. If traditional Blessed are those who keep His testimonies and seek Him with all their heart. This is a book of poems by JeffRey Phillips. God was teaching Paul about humility. A tragic car accident back in 2007 left her grandson in a coma, brain injured and confined to bed or a wheelchair for eleven years until his death in 2018. RESTORED. You just have to look for them and thank God for each one. In art books, it is typically defined as "flawed beauty". The testimonies You have laid down are righteous and altogether faithful. daughter moved into a bedroom upstairs in what was originally an attic but was later converted to three bedrooms. patient deserves respect and proper care while in the hospital. Once inside the bedroom, I walked to one side of his hospital bed, without speaking a word. But I became alarmed It had always been a difficult relationship, but increasingly, it felt like a war zone. I’ll love you forever and can’t wait to hug you AND Jesus when my time We had nothing to lose and so much to gain. I am lowly and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts. This is content is specifically designed to meet the needs of full time caregivers who provide personal care for injured or ill family members—whether in a private home setting , in a care facility, or serving the needs of others as a healing professional. It had been an eventful year. They both worked full-time, (she as a nurse in hospitals and him I also hope Remarkably, a doctor spending a few extra minutes to listen to patients and caregivers, can change the paradigm outlined above in dramatic and positive ways! we were not going to be able to survive financially Pursue creative interests. special leg sling attached to the Hoyer lift I used at home to move him. It seemed like an eternity before I finally saw the vehicle turn the corner on the county road that ran in front of our property. They then foster-parented over thirty other Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. stunned for a few seconds while processing his question. after person stood by her chair in front of the group and shared how they met The fact that Essie got to hear the story before she moved to Heaven If you have been a long term caregiver, do you wonder sometimes if  you are damaged beyond repair? story to her out loud, and she eagerly agreed. The opening lines of the conference program discussed the … The same is true for family caregivers vs. non-caregivers. The counselor was relentless. In my excitement to photograph this breathless beauty, I chopped off the top of the arch of the window. READING AGE 16+ Dream_writer11 Romance. The story also includes his current life with his lovely wife, Tonia. where he’d stay for nine months. If you as a caregiver need hospitalization (and your loved one cannot be left alone), things can go downhill fast. You have access to something I didn’t have back then because it didn’t exist – an Internet connection. Also, some of the medications he was on included warning labels about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun. In early September 1997, my full-time care giving days came to an abrupt end. https://www.dignityhealth.org/articles/How-the-Power-of-Physician-Empathy-Helps-Patients-Heal-Faster. Learning about computers intimidated me. to put them on, adjust them, or take them off without help. pastor examined the ex-rays closely. for children. wide and smiled. May my plea come before You; rescue me according to Your promise. I was most excited about the new “galley” style kitchen. Both the blog and the book are based on the ancient Japanese repair method known as “Kintsuigi”, which means “golden joinery”, or mending broken objects using gold dust mixed with lacquer. That education and the discipline I gained as a college student still serves me well to this day. I constantly take my life in my hands, yet I do not forget Your law. I wrestled with the 200-pound chair, attempting to follow his instructions. I am severely afflicted, O LORD; revive me through Your word. Editor’s Note: The 2019 holiday season is now behind us. Labor Day weekend. This can cause other serious medical issues. It was originally built as a two bedroom, two and half bath and was custom designed for lots of wide open living spaces and full wheelchair access. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. So, if they didn’t realize their error and turn around in the next few minutes, I would need to run back to the house, an 1/8 of a mile trek to call them from our land line again. This was all a bit overwhelming for me, a 25-year-old lifelong city girl who had never lived more than a few blocks from “civilization”. Listen to your intuition and give yourself permission to identify and pursue your passions. We can benefit by educating ourselves. to decorate the ward he shared with a dozen other patients. too, requiring back-up physicians to cover for them,  and stress levels of both patients and medical agreed. twenty-four hours I would be away from home. Thus, it makes sense that this is most certainly not an accordion book, per se. Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing can make them stumble. that the old farmhouse was not. He performed on the Ed Sullivan Show more times than any other entertainer. Not the roof over your head, the job that you have or the food on your table. I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. In a schizophrenic moment, I froze. The rehab personnel After my husband’s surgical incisions had healed enough to move him,  they transferred him to the rehab center. But I was always concerned on hot summer days in Texas that he would overheat. I thought about all the major life challenges our family had faced over the past several months. I did not have the skills nor the knowledge necessary to address this complex challenge. I then ran outside to the end of our driveway near the barn where my husband was sitting. video, or by whatever means is at your disposal while they are able to do so. Ringo started a home for homeless children back in the 1960’s. I hope the trend of compassionate care and positive patient interaction continues to be the norm. Yes. It becoming a caregiver. his initial resistance to the idea of admitting my husband the doctor finally Please try again. The Beauty of Imperfection. Finally, in the second week of September, the ministering to children. Focusing on the positives in life leaves little time, energy or space in our souls for the negatives. But it was rent free housing on lots of beautiful land. We tend to be compassionate people with patients. SPECIAL NOTE: If you lost a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that our prayers are with you and your family. Most of the time, my husband’s physical (or mental) health worsened right before (or during) a family celebration. specialized medical rehab center there after his initial accident. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted, I could barely see straight. I will always love you, Daddy! Worse yet, we allow ourselves to believe that we have no future beyond the walls of our home. More on that My lips pour forth praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My mind was numb, my body ached. Particularly if they are already on the I Essie moved to Heaven on October 14th, 2019. A bulky hand-held video camera that used tiny cassette tapes to record footage. into eternity. He helped me learn the skills needed to deal with this new challenge. not occur under any circumstances. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. Like the disciple Paul in the Bible , I was proud and thought I could handle anything on my own without asking for divine help. she left this earth. The Beauty of Imperfection, The Dick Contino Story, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 2, 2012), The Beauty of Imperfection: a Unique and Personal Look at a Superstar, Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2012. But after everyone left, as I watched the last car leave my driveway, the full gravity of the responsibility that was now mine alone hit me. and loving all those whom God puts in my path. Then I can answer him who taunts, for I trust in Your word. We agreed. If cremation is chosen, where do they wish for their She kept asking me the same question each time we met. The understated beauty of nature and how it can bring happiness is being portrayed during "A Practice Of Slowing Down", which is running at Offbeat Box, until Feb 22. why without disparaging the majority of medical professionals who care deeply He One of those people had driven with a friend all night from She and her late husband, Basil I made several broad circles from the top of the slope to the bottom of that section of our land. people who stand between our loved ones and overworked or stressed hospital May the arrogant be put to shame for subverting me with a lie; I will meditate on Your precepts. After installing and inspecting kitchen appliances and making sure the water well still worked, the yard was cleaned up and mowed. My personal choice would have been to major in English with a secondary degree in psychology. Whether you are new to caregiving or have years of experience in the role, are you tired of crying in the darkness when what you really want is to embrace laughter and light? I searched my heart. For example, Having some college credits vs. zero got my foot in the door, despite not having earned an actual degree. When I needed support the most, the nurses let me down. We hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you will find this post both educational and useful! I considered my ways and turned my steps to Your testimonies. bedridden and in need of Hospice care in early September. following the wake, my sisters drove me back to the Sacramento airport. told me I could call them at any time of the day or night if I had questions And don’t forget to share a link to this post with anyone you know who is in need of spiritual encouragement. Our pastor served as to perform our daily routine. That This was critical because neither our farmhouse nor the barn were visible from the road. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, The Beauty of Imperfection is your roadmap to restoration of body, mind and spirit. We can’t protect our They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken Your precepts. We were not alone. When will You execute judgment on my persecutors? In addition, as we allow ourselves to be restored to health and wholeness, like a repaired piece of pottery, the places in our lives that were that were once broken become stronger than they were before. Three times, God said “No”. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Rage has taken hold of me because of the wicked who reject Your law. We lived in a dorm room on the campus of the Bible college where they were superintendents. The Beauty of Imperfection was originally intended to be one book, but has since morphed into a three book series. To lift him in his motorized chair several feet off the ground meant lifting a combined total of around five-hundred pounds. Besides, I argued – computer science was NOT my chosen field. We lived all over the U.S., in four I calmly repeated to him something I’d learned from the book. Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now I keep Your word. Originally built Doors of opportunity with major employers could open to him. Remove my scorn and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies. I would need to lead them to where my husband was sitting. Your ‘found’ beauty made me smile. Somehow, God gave me the strength to spend the first hour and a half after I returned home getting my restless husband out of bed and into his wheelchair. Find tips, tools and resources to help you in your caregiving journey. Are you a full time caregiver who feels broken or fragmented on the inside? It was engraved with the following inscription: The weekend before we planned to move in, our spirits were at an all-time high. I remember experiencing bittersweet emotions during that time. He needed to I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me. (I didn’t know if this was true, or if it was a way to get out of having to do the job.). Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments. In the decades that have elapsed since then, I’ve witnessed a gradual change for the better in most medical facilities. know if I would be able to fly to When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever. week, I drove to Dallas and hopped on a flight to California. caught a red-eye flight back to Dallas, arriving at sunup. They had just It was akin to what I imagine prison inmates serving life sentences must sense when meeting their fellow prisoners for the first time. When I tried to straighten the second leg, we both heard an agonizing bone on bone grinding noise. About halfway home, I started to swerve across lanes due to sheer exhaustion. Expect miracles! More so when hospitals are short-staffed during holidays. With Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller The Gifts of Imperfection —which has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages, and Forbes recently named one of the “Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life” —we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world. We were finally on our way to the hospital. My heart sank. 913 likes. By learning computer-aided drafting, he could get in on the ground floor. And we are not the only ones—it is something that many families with injured or ill loved ones and their caregivers experience. Dealing with grief is tough under normal circumstances. A few years after my husband’s initial accident, a second freak accident took us by surprise. the community who wanted to contribute time and effort to the project. “They’re ALL going to be there!”, she exclaimed in a loud One day, I think I counted about thirty people or Labor would be practical and spiritual ways. idea what it’s like. Not only that, but we I worked as a temp for several large oil and gas companies in downtown Houston for about two years. was the only facility familiar with his case and medically I quit my job right before his release from rehab so I would be able to care for him and our daughter full time. We put earnest money down on a home we planned to lease with option to buy. Likewise, He used The reason I share these stories is to show the lasting impact that harsh or negative actions or words from a medical professional can have on patients and their families. I had performed this task for my paralyzed husband many times in the past few years, without incident. need during the night, their eyes seemed to glaze over. Armed with a huge figure out what to do from there. It is then that we can fully avail ourselves of the mercy and grace that help us navigate the ups and downs of caregiving on a daily basis. Learn new skills or develop old ones. the year. The men from church got tired of patching and repairing the old house every month. No matter how careful Like me, Paul had a The old saying, “Home is where the heart is” certainly When I got to the bottom of the slope, I looked up and was shocked to see his wheelchair siting there, EMPTY! But his over the top angry outburst was about to propel me out of the house. I tried to sleep, but was only able to doze fitfully, with one eye open, on high alert as It stretches medical professionals to their limits. A book by the same title is now in-work. I hate and abhor falsehood, but Your law I love. I’d never left him alone this long before. The tiny “cow town” near the farmhouse had a population of about 3,000 people. As I read the story aloud, tears began to fall, including my own. All Your commandments are faithful; I am persecuted without cause—help me! push the alert button on his behalf if needed. At the very least it will keep you focused on moving in a positive direction. Though the ropes of the wicked bind me, I do not forget Your law. If so, a choice lay before me. He heard the cry of my heart and answered my prayers in both I will keep Your statutes; do not utterly forsake me. began to gather in the living room where her hospital bed had been set up by Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding to learn Your commandments. in the 1930’s, the house already had wide doorways and a wide hallway. A caregiver’s job can seem never ending at times. He is absolutely magical on stage, garnering standing ovations every show. As caregivers, it’s easy to limit ourselves by thinking small. We give up on the idea that we will ever be able to expand our horizons beyond our role as caregivers, We forget that someday, our care giving days may come to end and we’ll need a transition plan to re-start our lives, We forget that care giving for most people is a season of life, not a life sentence, Believe that we can change our lives for the better, transferring in and out of the wheelchair, Trust God to provide what you need (not necessarily everything you want) in His perfect timing. I had called them It was only a matter of time before it would become uninhabitable. What started as an average day on the farm turned into a heart-pounding caregiving adventure. precious 90-year-old mother-in-law, Essie Ringo. She was so excited the day the workers framed out what would become His subsequent Army problem and prison sentence made major headlines. and peace. The to work. I discovered this truth as a result of this and dozens of similar incidents I encountered as a family caregiver. I !” I am a friend to all who fear You, and to those who keep Your precepts. Fourteen years of absence from the workforce due to full-time care giving was a huge gap in my resume. The focus of both this blog and the book are to explore what it means to apply the concept of Kintsugi to the repair and restoration of  broken hearts. In Western religious traditions it’s understood that we’re all imperfect, and that while we can improve, human perfection just isn’t possible. Order my steps in Your word; let no sin rule over me. My zeal has consumed me because my foes forget Your words. Often, they But they illustrate the frustration and friction that can occur when things go wrong. Regardless of race, creed, experience level or backgrounds, we understood intuitively the challenges that families we met in rehab faced. The attitudes of everyone involved can make or break the holiday spirit when facing the prospect of an unplanned hospital stay. much I love Him?” Tears welled up in my eyes and slowly ran down my cheeks. Either the driver hadn’t seen me, or dismissed me. “Do you know the first thing I am going to do after I get to Everyone wins It even had a barn and pastureland with plenty of room for Kintsugi for Broken Hearts teaches us that like a broken piece of pottery that is mended using the Kintsugi method,  if we as humans choose to allow the broken places within our hearts to be repaired and restored with spiritual love, and light from our Creator, we become more beautiful for having been broken. You are my hiding place and my shield; I put my hope in Your word. But sometimes is nonetheless critical to do so while your loved one can still make important As I did so, one leg straightened without a problem. I’ve attempted to update this blog several times since the last post in January, but have not been ready to do so until now. The hospital’s electrical code didn’t You never know where it might lead. I most certainly will.” She closed her eyes and drifted into a deep sleep with a faint smile still on her face. and spring flowers to the farm. In fact, it’s a grueling lifestyle. Before the pandemic, local groups met mostly in person; now there are groups that also meet “live” online. By not removing his problem, but instead helping The spring of 1992 At that time, I weighed in at a mere 115 pounds, so getting his chair out of the holes was a real challenge, even though it was a power chair. Should I turn off the mower, or not before running uphill to find out what happened? As hard as it may be, I believe it is vital that we have It was the late 1980’s. I had failed every math course I ever took and was certain that learning computers involved math. Yet, within the walls of the rehab center, we shared a common reality. But don’t get me started on that topic! immune system into a downward spiral. AN UNEXPECTED I resisted the idea with everything in me at first. It had been in storage for seven or eight years and needed a lot of elbow grease to clean it up and get it ready for installation. I recounted my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your statutes. headed straight for the funeral home where we had a private viewing and said qualified to help us. She was responsible for my husband’s post-surgical care after he was stabilized, but before his transfer to rehab. His expertise as a community leader was on full display. from our little rural town in East Texas, back to Houston. No matter what it took. From this day forward, I will treasure this beautiful picture one corner of the room. This is a rather long list, as the Ringo family has Turn away the disgrace I dread, for Your judgments are good. Give me understanding that I may obey Your law, and follow it with all my heart. Eventually, I had enough experience to land a permanent job at the local natural gas company. I am Your servant; give me understanding that I may know Your testimonies.

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