Colors of the Sky

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  Rabindranath Tagore

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“Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears”

I have always loved History.  I was listening to my wonderful Irish Tenors CD today and I heard the song, “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.”  This is a song about immigrants from other countries coming into America through Ellis Island from 1892-1943.  The first immigrant to cross the threshold of Ellis Island was Annie Moore of Ireland on January l, 1892. The song sung by the Irish Tenors is about Annie Moore.  Photo below – Ellis Island and a second photo of immigrants entering Ellis Island.

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You truly have to research things posted on the internet to get the true facts.  Several articles had Annie’s age wrong, they had her married to the wrong man and living in other U.S. states.  All false information.  Here is the true story of Annie’s life.

Annie Moore was born April 24,1874 in Ireland.   Annie arrived in American from County Cork, Ireland after a 12 day boat trip on the steamship Nevada, which carried a total of 148 passengers. She was 17 years old and traveled with her brothers – Anthony who was 15 years old and her brother Phillip who was 12. They joined their parents Matthew and Julie Moore who came to New York City in 1888.  Annie received a $10 gold piece as the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island. The picture below is Annie and her brothers when they arrived on Ellis Island.

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In 1895 Annie married Joseph Augustus Schayer (German immigrant) at St. James Church.  Her new husband worked at Manhattan’s Fulton Fish Market.  Annie gave birth to 10 children. She spent her entire life in New York’s Lower East Side. Annie died of heart failure December 6, 1924 in New York at the age of 50 years. Annie’s grave is in the Calvary Cemetery in Queens.  Her grave (photo below) is marked with a celtic cross made of limestone imported from Ireland (This marker was not placed on her grave until October 11, 2008).  Two statues of Annie were made by sculptor Jeanne Rhynhart.  One sits at Cobh, Ireland Heritage Center (once Queenstown) which was her port of departure from Ireland.  The other statue sits on Ellis Island. Ellis Island was abandoned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1954. The government tried to sell Ellis Island for years without success.  In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson granted landmark status to Ellis Island and it became the property of the National Park Service.  In 1990 Ellis Island opened to the public as an Immigration Museum.

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“Gentle, Loving, People”

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Elisabeth Kubler Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, pioneer in near death studies. She wrote books on: Grief, Death, Dying.  She was born in Switzerland in 1926 and died in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2004.  She often discussed the 5 stages of grief, to help those who had lost loved ones.  She wrote many famous quotes, I would like to share 2 of her quotes with you. 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

“There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgement; for loving unconditionally.”

Do the traits that Elisabeth mentioned in these quotes describe you and how you are living your life.  If they do, I commend you for being one of the beautiful, loving people. We should all strive to be kind, gentle, and caring as we live our lives.

Funny How Time Slips Away

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When you reach your 40s and your 50s you begin to think about time slipping away.  You realize how fast life can pass you by.  Many of us waste more of our time than the time we spend truly living our lives.

My Mother use to play her old records and one of the songs I often heard was, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” sung by the country singer Ray Price.  This song has been recorded by many great artists that are gone now, Elvis Presley, George Jones just to name a few.

There is another song, “Yesterday When I Was Young” sung by Roy Clark.  My Mother also use to listen to this song.  A couple of lines from that song go like this:” Yesterday when I was young. The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.  I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out.”

Have you ever stood before a mirror, looked at your image, and relized that young person you once were has become much older?  Your first thoughts are, “How did I get so old, where did the years go, my life is disappearing fast.”

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But, then I realize I know many Senior Citizens that do not let age slow them down.  They are out there living their lives, as energetic as those much younger than them.  They have either found that “Fountain of Youth,” or they have learned to live their lives to the fullest.  So, I think I will just follow their example.

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Looking UP

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I have been blogging for a little over a year now.  I have visited the sites of many other bloggers and met some wonderful and interesting people.  This post is not about blogs, this post is about “Looking Up” to the Heavens and asking yourself why God put you on this earth.  How can you make this earth a better place for others.  How often are you “Helping Others” overcome challenges in their lives?

I started this blog trying to help others learn how to cope with being a Dementia Caregiver.  I spent 3 1/2 years caring for, and dealing with the problems of, my brother J.R. who had dementia.  I know I was never the perfect caregiver.  Stress and constant conflict with DHS, lawyers, nurses, doctors, hospitals, and finally nursing homes caused me immense sorrow, and totally overwhelmed me.  I had no life of my own, all caregivers know, you have to give up your life for the one you care for and love.  The worse part of my caregiver journey was watching nursing home doctors and staff use drugs to control my brother the last year of his life.  They were using antipsychotic drugs that were intended for mental issues.  Dementia is not mental, it is the brain slowly dying, slowly shrinking.  I never used drugs of any kind to alter my brother’s brain when I cared for him in my home for 2 1/2 years.

My heart fills with compassion for those who have any type of disease or disability that alters their life.  Life on this earth is hard, and it is challenging, even when you are physically healthy.  We all need to reach out to those who are suffering.

Throughout my “Dementia Caregiver Journey” my strength came from God and my family.  Each morning I would stand at the kitchen window alone, looking up to the heavens. Everyday I prayed to God to help all those who need His care and comfort to make it through another day.

For A Dear Friend

Once again this morning I stood in the yard, on this Saturday morning, looking at the sunrise.  I took these pictures and thought of a dear friend, who is suffering greatly.  This post is for you Ronnie – a purple heart Viet Nam Vet suffering from agent orange and medications doctors prescribed that have devastating side effects.  Ronnie has suffered for several years with several illnesses and is currently housebound and can barely breathe.  There are wonderful people everywhere praying for Ronnie, as I did this morning looking at this beautiful sunrise.  God bless you Ronnie.

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If you watch the sunrise, it is amazing how fast the whole scene changes before you.  These pictures are of the same sunrise, just a few minutes apart.

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