Thanks for your patience and grace.
This weeks show is about timeliness, order, patience, healing, compassion, connection, and grace.
The song: Precious Lord was written by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, all copyrights are reserved.
Enjoy the show.
Be blessed. Not stressed. Why?
Because yours and their lives depend on it.
Aminah Amarachi- Your host
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2021-2022 © JITMOIA Podcast by All Paths Lead Home, LLC/SLE (TM) – All Rights Reserved
S1E20 - “Spirit Lives On: Staying Together No Matter When We Were Last Together”
Intro Music: Royalty Free
Promo: BuzzSprout Services
Precious Lord, Take My Hand…(c) Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey. All Rights Reserved.
A song our Mama used to sing…By Thomas Dorsey...just came to me as I was getting ready to record this show…how fitting when you know why he wrote this song. Thanks, Mama...
Grand risings and runnings, family, and welcome back to our Joy in the Midst of It All podcast show. I am your host - Aminah Amarachi.
Before we begin our journey, I would like you to join me in…
Taking in a deep Breath…A release of any and all your pinned-up stress, or stressors, about whoever and whatever going on in your life, at home, at work, in traffic, and in the world. Go ahead, if you feel like it, take three years' worth, and then move on…in peace.. cleansing breath…
Then, I would like to thank you for your grace and understanding, as I did not release a show on August 25, and only on this recent Monday, September 5, 2022, did the realization as to why I didn’t, even though I enjoy and look forward to podcasting, as my way of supporting family caregivers on theirs and their loved ones' journeys, my shanana wasn’t moving me in that way.
Now, as I may or may not have mentioned, before now, the last time we were all together as a family was only less than three months before our Mama’s Psalms 139 contract was complete. In that short time frame, I was ordained, and celebrated a birthday, all in one weekend, with family and friends (The actual last time I saw and hugged my Mama was that weekend). I then proceeded to wrap up life in another state, while coordinating a large team of interpreters, for a large conference, and finalize all that I needed to do to prepare to move back home to support our parents, on that fateful day.
So, stay tuned to learn why regardless of the endeavor, including a podcast show, or any other project you might be in the midst of, the choice that Spirit made for me over these past ten days was both heralding and healing, and so I harkened to Spirit. And, I am grateful. Most grateful for this.
Now, let’s continue our journey…
“Spirit Lives On: Staying Together No Matter When We Were Last Together”
The year: 2009
The date: Try a solid three-week period leading up to when the Lily of Our Valley - Our Mama and Dede’s Beloved fades into God’s Garden.
YEP…Another CALL, Yes I Did Say it…ANOTHER CALL…Now, you know why we put that cordless phone that the funeral home found clipped onto our Mama’s waistband (batteries removed of course) in the casket with her. She had Jesus, and every other family, friend, and loved one, on her main line. Yes, Lord, go ‘head Mama tell Jesus and everyone else, what you want.
Somewhere around the first of August 2009, less than a month before I was to return home to support our parents in ordering their home and affairs, and support Mama with taking care of Dede, who had been taking care of her, when my phone began to ring, while I was at work. Looking back, I am grateful for a time when our company still allowed us to have our personal phones in our workspace. Why? Because if I hadn’t had it with me, on those days, our Dede might have been financially taken advantage of, and I would not have been able to get Mama’s emergency calls on those days.
Day 1 - I answered and immediately could hear and sense her frustration, fear, and fighting spirit all rolled up into one big stress ball. “Mama, what’s wrong?” “Your Dede forgot to feed me.” “What?”...(In the back of my mind, I thought…Alzheimer’s…he thinks that he has already made their breakfast, served, and fed Mama, yet has forgotten)...let’s just say that was the first of many moments in which I am standing in a conference room, at work, trying to navigate a long distance call that involved calming Mom down, and reminding and talking Dad through making them some breakfast, or taking care of some other need that Mom had for herself or their home.” Remember, our Dede was our Mama’s caregiver at that time. Now, chew, brew, stew, or spew on that. A caregiver who now needs to have a caregiver. That’s two folks now needing to be cared for. And, that is why I remind every caregiver, no matter the size, age, relationship or stage of the person you are caring for PUT YOUR OWN OXYGEN MASK on FIRST. That includes SELF CARE or you will find yourself needing a caregiver, or not if you die before the one you are caring for. That’s a NON-Negotiable.
Day 2 (Not in sequential order, because it was all a blur, yet they felt as if they were coming back to back stacked on top of one another to me at the time) - Another CALL from Mama, who at the time was also navigating a crisis with her own health challenge and was not able to be with Dad at home. She was spending 21+ days at a physical rehab facility.
Mama was concerned that she would not be able to afford the rehab care she had been receiving, after the 21-day allowance that was paid for by the public health care insurance that she had..yes paid into when she worked. It was on this call, with both my sister and I on a three-way, Yep...you remember them...that my mother said a phrase that she had NEVER used EVER in my life, and only in hindsight did I realize that she knew what we all would soon find out…that God had been preparing her to be called home, and as such so she had been trying to prepare us in the only way she knew how, while navigating her own fears, and her own resolve with what was to come.
Thanks, Mama. Even in your knowing you loved us enough to try to give us a heads up. Precious Lord...Go read the lyrics and find out why Thomas Dorsey wrote that song. That phrase that Mama used was, “Oh, Boy.” She used it after asking us if would we be home, as usual, for our annual celebration of Dede’s birthday, in August (Happy Heavenly Birthday, Dede), and us reminding her that this year would be different because I was moving home over labor day weekend to support them, thus, we would do our family celebration that weekend, instead. She repeated that phrase two more times on that CALL. Like I said, hindsight is 20/20. She asked the same question two more times and then asked us “Are you sure?”
I, too, have had my moments of If only we had figured out what she was really asking of us and had come home a week earlier, we would have been there to see her, hug her, sing with her, love on her, and Dad, one more time before it was the last time, September 5, 2009. Yet, I am comforted in knowing that staying together is a state of mind, in our heart, a warm place in my heart, even when we can no longer physically sense or be with our loved ones.
Day 3 - Yep, you do the math as this is all still within a ten to fifteen-day window of time, all in the same month - August 2009. ANOTHER CALL….to DAD. We called him to check in on him, since Mama was not with him, only to learn that the person that was trying to take financial advantage of our Dede had convinced him to get on a bus, go to his bank to withdraw funds, and give them to that person.
Thank God for sisters, a Brother in love, bonus Mother in love, Aunts, Uncles, and the local authorities. Why? Because on that day, my sister and I, both of us at work, and long-distance, spent time on the phone with Dede, while simultaneously calling any and everyone we could to get someone over to where he was, that Tilly (AKA the ATM) before he lost his financial shirt to some folks that meant him no good. Oh, Yea, and on another day, they showed up at our family home to try to coerce him to give them money, and, by the time our uncles arrived, Dede was standing at the front door in nothing but his underwear. Yet, again, by God’s grace, on these and every other occasion, as these were the only times, our relatives or local authorities got to our home just in time. Dede was fine.
Stay tuned for more right after our first spotlight moment.
Today's first spotlight moment is a call to action. That action is to go through your Rolodex(c) (ole schoolers), digital phonebooks (new schoolers), and paper phone books...Yea, you know who you are...and clean them up. How? By calling every number in them that is a family, friend, or otherwise valued connection and saying, “Hi,” “How are you? Then enjoy a five or ten-minute grace-filled, and if need be forgiving conversation with them. Get each other’s latest contact information so that you can update your phone books, physical always, as a backup, and digital if you so choose, then make a commitment to at least call, write a letter (Yea! For the good ole days), text or video connect with them once a quarter. If you’re feeling really bold, make plans to grab some fresh air or lunch together. It need not be hard. It need not be a struggle to connect with each other beyond what’s piped over our airwaves. Take a break from that and get back to face-to-face, phone to phone, video to video connection. Energetic connection. Why? So that we do not lose our huemanity H.U.E.M.A.N.I.T.Y. and become like the very robots that we do not appreciate being passed off as people as if we are replaceable. We’re NOT. Time is precious. And, hearts healed and filled with love, compassion, and care always triumph. Even over robots. No matter what APPEARS to be going on in and around us. Let’s connect.
Welcome Back Family
The final CALL…from our Mama, came just a day or two before she went home to God’s glory. I remember that she was very concerned about Dede and herself because she was there witnessing the beloved of her life’s mind be taken over by Alzheimer’s, and the effects it was having on their life, in a way that left her fearful about what would happen to her if this unwelcomed conditioned - Alzheimer’s - took any more leeway with their lives, going forward.
Then came the SHIFT…remember SHIFT happens…take that as you will...when the day before I was due to drive home, or two, we asked her, “Mama, do you want us to come, now?” She replied calmly, “No.” “Mama, we will be there tomorrow.” “Are you gonna be okay?” “Yes.” Then somewhere in that conversation, or in one later that evening, I recall her saying, “I’m gonna wait until my Baby girl gets home.” By Baby girl, she meant our youngest sister who was away at college and who was headed home that Friday evening, September 4, 2009. My other sister and I finished our call with Mama, finalized our packing, and prepared to go to bed, get some rest, and be ready to get on the road early the next morning, September 5, 2009, to drive me back down home to care for them. Now, for those of you new to our show, go back to Episode 5, tune in, and learn why this phone call, along with my ordination/birthday weekend were the last times that we saw and spoke with our Mom. The direct link will be in the show's transcript section.
Season 1, Episode 5:
Though in the world’s linear time, we judge, browbeat, and chastise ourselves and each other about timeliness, I have come to understand that though there are times and places for a linear time, alarm clocks and be one time, there are way more opportunities to bask in the seamless, stress-free flow of God’s timeliness. You know, that right on time. In God’s time. No alarm clocks are required. We may not always immediately understand why we set a goal, make plans for attending an event, or plan to produce a podcast on a certain date, and then it doesn't happen exactly when we plan. Some folks call it Murphy’s law. I choose to call it God’s way. Well, it has been said that God enjoys a good laugh at our plans. Why? Because within every endeavor - building a business, being in relationships with folks, traveling on the highways and byways, trying to get somewhere to some appointments, or producing a podcast - God is always in the midst. Thus, even when we think that WE did something in OUR time, Smile/Hmm...let’s be aware enough to know that it was ACTUALLY in God’s time. Everything occurs as it is to when it is to occur just as it was meant to occur…including my ten days of processing the last ten to fifteen days of my Mama’s journey here on Earth, and the residual impact it has had on me, and my sisters, and family even when we were going along over these last thirteen years, not knowing it, until for me at least, recently. Thanks, again, Mama, Happy Heavenly Memorial Day.
Time is both timeless and precious. It is a gift that we often don’t realize that we take or have taken for granted. We spend a great deal of time trying to capture, recapture, manipulate, manage, cajole, squeeze it, stretch it, and maneuver time to our will, when in truth TIME JUST IS. It is moments wasted in disagreements, arguments, and upsets refusing to visit and see each other. You name it, about everything under the sun...polarizing relationships, which in one, three, or five years later we won’t even remember what our disagreements, arguments, our haughtiness, and our destructive misuse of time were even about. We won’t even remember how we lost time in our living, loving, and relationships.
Time is a reminder that this too shall pass - our highs, lows, and in-betweens…our lessons, blessings, and loved ones…our trials, tribulations, triumphs, and even our tears. Yes, there have been many many tears over these past few weeks. Good, much-needed cleansing tears, for me, my Mama, and my family. It’s all good.
Spotlight Moment #2:
Our second spotlight moment is my Mama. I’m spotlighting my Mama. Why? Because without her and Dede, and all of our ancestors before me, there wouldn’t be a me to be her to share this message as part of my ministry that God called me to with you, through this podcast. She ministered to us with her song, her love, her hugs, her joy. She ministered and advocated for us in education, in standing up for who we are and letting us know that it is more than okay to always keep our thinking caps on, and learn something new, daily, that we can share with others for the best benefit of all. She taught us to use our voice, even when sometimes it might feel as if it falls on Deaf ears (not being heard). Everyone has that choice. It doesn’t mean we are not called to be the voice amongst the wind. She taught us to stay in touch with family and loved ones, even though challenges of her health journey often trumped her and us about being able to physically go, attend, and participate in every gathering. It didn’t mean we didn’t love our family. It didn’t mean we didn’t want to see and be connected to loved ones. It meant her care took precedent. She taught us that her Spirit will forever live on in each of us, her loved ones, forever. Thanks, Mama.
Here are my take-away, tip, tool, and toss.
Time can not be bottled up, nor stored. It can only BE…and you make choices moment by moment how you will BE in and with time, and those you love and care for…with the first being yourself, and then allow the rest to spill over onto everyone else in the overflow.
September, metaphysically, is the month of ORDER. Order my steps, Lord...Uhmm. So, as we move into this Fall season, let’s embrace some much-needed and deserved time to order yourself - in spirit, heart, mind, body, home, finances, life, and affairs. Why? Because once ordered, a level of brain and emotional energy is released that reduces our stress, and gives way to the real reasons we have been blessed with time…to live, love on, and laugh, with each other, together…before it’s too late…
Phone calls, family photos, and recordings….
Make it a collective family project to get all of those digital photos off of your phones, tablets, and other digital storage devices, and put them back where they belong, in photo albums, in picture frames, and in collages. Pull out the cassette tapes, VHS (Laughter...you can now get them converted into DVDs...it’s all good), and eight tracks. Yep, we still have those, too. Make sure you tell the young folks what those are. Then gather together over the coming months to love, laugh, and even cry together as you care enough for each other to offer each other, and yourselves, forgiveness, imbued with grace. Do that while using up boxes of tissue, and looking back at those photo albums, collages, picture frames, and videos. Share those stories with your young ones, seasoned ones, and all in between. Release three plus years of pinned-up stress, fear, worry, and anxiety over all things, in order to begin anew. What a great way to show time how grateful you are for it.
In closing, I’d like to take this time to thank you all, both my seasoned and new followers, for spending your time with me on today’s Joy in the Midst of It All journey podcast show. Now, take a moment to tap the button on your favorite podcast streaming platform to tune in (see the drop-down menu on the podcast website to select your preferred platform.) Then click follow (or subscribe at no charge) and finally rate the show. Depending on the streaming platform that you use, whether you are on your smartphone, desktop, or laptop, you may or may not have to create a user name, and password, and then log into some of the platforms, then look below the podcast show summary (and maybe each episode near the show notes), in order to click on the stars to rate the show, type up and submit a review. That lets me know that you are listening...tuning in and enjoying the show. And, it also lets me know things that I may want to pivot about the show. Not change who I am, yet add to or modify how I structure the format of the show. It also lets the world know that I have a show and gets it out to more and more caregivers, so thanks in advance for your support.
You will also receive updates when a new episode is released. We release an episode every second and fourth Thursday of the month. OK. Or when my shanana and timeliness are aligned. So, go ahead and tag a family caregiver, or a few, if you know them, and tell them one thing you have learned today, or from any previous episode, that will support you, and maybe them, in moving through the caregiving journey with more ease, no matter who or how God has chosen for you or them to offer your gift of caregiving to your loved ones.
Then, blaze a trail on over to my podcast website, on Buzzsprout, for the show notes, transcript, and any links, and if your heart so leads you tip me what I like to call a “Cup of J.O.E. (A jolt of encouragement and support),” over at my Buy Me a Cup of Coffee website link. Understand, though, I do prefer a great cup of tea and lemonade...you know down south we called that... an Arnold Palmer...for sure... You will see the link in the show notes. I am still building it out for your benefit. This is all a process and a journey even for me. Thanks for your patience.
I am your host Aminah, and I want you to be blessed and less stressed...Why?, because yours and their lives depend on it. Have a great day.
Outro Music: Royalty Free
Tags: Order, Time, Together, Memories, Support, Caregivers, Precious, Care, Forgiveness, Family, Love, Grace, Compassion, Care, Self Care, Oxygen Mask
2021-2022 © JITMOIA Podcast by All Paths Lead Home, LLC/SLE (TM) – All Rights Reserved