The Christmas Eve Angel

The Christmas Eve Angel

He walked with a limp that slowed down his pace

He was unshaven and appeared out of place

He was allowed on earth for just one night

and he hoped the task would make things right

He had been called to visit a little boy who some thought soon would die

To deliver a gift that he had never seen

and travel to a place he had never been,

The wind roared as he walked into the cold winter air

tugging at his parka he grabbed at his hood and tucked in his hair

The only guides he was given to find the address was a star above an old abandoned shack.

a Christmas globe that sat in a window sill and the name of the child, being Jack,

They told him it wasn’t too far just past a dead end sign

He managed to find the house just fine

Looked at his watch and saw it was about nine

When he arrived at the front door he saw people praying in a circle their heads hung low

He knocked on the door watching a young woman approaching quite slow,

“Come in, “ she said “We’ve been waiting for you to arrive.”

“You must go upstairs and sit with our son as he is barely alive.”

He walked upstairs and knelt by Jack’s bed

Jack smiled and the angel put his hand on the boy’s head

Jack came bounding out of his room, the colour had returned to his cheeks,

Something they had not seen in many months and several weeks,

Someone said our prayers were answered and he was the one.

They heard the angel whisper “ I have sacrificed myself to save your son.”

 

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Angela H. Penn © November 2011.

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Still Able

For those of you fighting conditions and ailments remember the term disabled contains the word “able” which means you still have many things you can and will do. Tap into the energy supply you still have by exploring what drives you and what you are passionate about. Funny thing about being labelled with something, is that it is only a label, we choose which path to take with it. You have power, you are a warrior! (c) A. Penn Asgarda owner October 4th, 2011.

When the Caregiver Needs Care Giving?

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For ten years I worked in the psychology field under many titles and with a wide variety of individuals.  I was a group home worker, team leader, special needs teaching assistant, mental health worker, addictions and crisis worker, psychiatric rehabilitation worker and an early intervention worker.  Although these jobs did not always pay the greatest I was not working to merely collect a paycheque, I was trying to make a difference in these people’s lives.  I worked with a variety of individuals some that were deaf or visually impaired, handicapped people, children with special needs ( behaviourally challenged, ADHD, autism, etc.), persons with addictions, bulimics, anorexics, the sexually and or physically abused, homeless people and a few I forgot to mention.

My duties were many: some required heavy lifting, house cleaning, counselor, confidante, bookkeeper, grocery shopper, cooking, etc.  In essence, I was kind of a Mother to these people as I cared for their needs psychologically and physically.

The satisfaction these jobs gave me was enormous and at the end of every workday I would go to bed happy and content that I was being of service to people that really needed it.

Now, a year or so later I find myself alone, trying to look after myself as I did for so many others, not so long ago.   This past May I was diagnosed with three conditions ( Fibromyalgia, IBS and Rheumatoid Arthitis) that have substantially reduced my energy levels, caused me pain on a daily basis, also limiting what I can do physically.  I was living in the state of what I call ” I  am invincible” for over four years, being told by my doctors that I was just stressed out.  I believed them and proceeded to keep working but less hours than I had been working previously. I started meditating, even walking daily with my dog Molly.  These seemed to be working fine, until one day I was simply too exhausted to get out of bed and when I finally did try to get up I was gripped by dizziness and fatigue.  I even blacked out once in public and once at home.  At this time my doctor assumed it was a sinus infection and after three rounds of antibiotics I did not feel any better.  I was told it was then a virus and I demanded to see a rheumatologist who concluded after examining me and x-ray results that I did not have a mere virus but Fibromyalgia, IBS and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I researched what, if any, services were available to people like me that are not over the age of 65 for primarily the house cleaning and found that there are not any unless you qualify for AISH.  This was not a benefit I was able to qualify for as I am not deemed to be that bad according to them and rightfully so.  Those benefits are for people that are often dying or have much more serious conditions than you have.  ( quoted from an intake worker at the AISH office).  Medical EI. is not an option either in my case.

I have spent nine months looking at hiring people privately to assist me with house cleaning so I might be able to better manage my medical conditions. What these people expect to be paid is not within my financial means most of the time or others cannot  commit to assisting me in the long-term while others never even made it to the interview to meet with me in person.

Many people that know me are aware that I do not give up very easily.

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My journey has led me to the writing of this blog.  After speaking to many professional women in the helping professions who are no longer working or are working reduced hours, struggling with Fibromyagia I have found we are all in a very similar position.  It has become a common joke among us as to who is to look after the caregiver when the caregiver needs help?  If we cant get help now and our conditions will eventually become worse as we get older, then what?

I spoke with a nurse about what do I do with this Fibromyalgia as I basically run the household, who is going to do it?  She laughed at what I said and told me that most women that have Fibromyalgia always ask that.  How will the husband and kids manage now?  How will my close family members deal with this?  Who is going to look after the sick aunt now or how will we survive without the loss of my income?  Yes, this condition is a major life change but the lack of understanding and support of one’s family is far more crippling.  If you have been the one that did it all, how can we expect them to do it?  Or even be taken seriously now.

As women, we are nurturers and helpers, not to exclude men here either, as there are many also trying to deal with their Fibromyalgia that have cared for others with similar work experiences as myself.

The message we are all receiving here is you have this, and now deal with it.  If I would have had the same attitude where would the people I helped and cared for be today?

I am not bitter about any of this but it does concern me, where is this help for me, and the next person, and the next?

I am blessed that I do have a husband that works more now to support us but often at the end of the day he is not in any state to help me at home either.  My family tries to do what they can but not consistently either.

I have decided that the Fibromyalgia sufferers need a voice, an advocate, and I am going to do exactly that with my business.  I need to expand Asgarda Coaching and Mentoring Services to include advocacy, as we need to attain some rights just like any other person dealing with any other condition.  We need to educate people on what we deal with.  Just because we look good on the outside does not mean we are not suffering on the inside.

The government and health care systems in our country need to acknowledge us at some point, why not start today!

Maybe I will be the ripple that causes a wave.

Twas A Magical Evening at the Greenhouse

Twas a magical evening at the Greenhouse.

The first thing you notice is the smell of the plants, something living, the scent of fertile dirt.  At this time of the year it catches you by surprise as snow has now covered what was once, merely months ago grass.   The ambience was tranquil among the trees decorated in shades of blue, gold, white, purple and green.  Everything gleamed in the traditional colours of Christmas whether it was lights or stockings or glass ornaments, even the purses and scarfs glowed.  One could walk into different areas and the colour of these areas would all be the same.  I was particularly smitten with the blue section, the aqua tree and it’s ornaments, the shade of peacock blue that mixed in with the aqua were beautiful along with the glass blown vases, candle holders & coffee mugs that adorned one table.  The richness in detail was magnified by the baby blue and midnight blue paintings and sketches that covered the walls in this area.  The waft of blueberries sent me back to my childhood when my Grandmother and I would go berry picking together.  This memory made me smile.

The essence of pine and sandalwood seemed to follow me no matter where I went, until I sauntered into the baked goodies.  Any die hard dessert person would have thought they were in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  After several samples of almond bark, cookies, cakes, and pies I decided to try some not so sweet offerings such as the perogies and sausage that were around the corner from the desserts.  Shortly after, I ventured to the Minnie’s Café which is named after the resident female cat, where to my delight I soon discovered the complimentary coffee, which mixed with the sugary desserts seemed to further energize me and heighten my senses.

As the evening progressed I sat down near the fountains and listened to several classical versions of Christmas songs performed by two very talented young ladies.  I found myself sipping my coffee and singing a note here and there, sometimes humming in unison with the musicians.  I thought about why I had not been singing anymore, when did I abandon this activity and why?  I was even amazed that I sounded so good and then it hit me of course it is Christmas time and singing has always made me feel good about my life.  Singing is a part of who I am, as is my desire to write.  My X-mas spirit had waned a great deal in the past few days with some recent developments that had disappointed me and I needed a day to digest these matters.  I decided that this had to stop.  I am in an environment that is peaceful, I am enjoying myself here and I felt that inner glow rise up in me and shine.

Soon after, I was greeted by a local resident of the Greenhouse by the name of Charlie who seemed perfectly content to not only jump on my lap from out of nowhere, but linger for several minutes where he rubbed his chin on my arm and shoulders.  It was only later I learned his name was Charlie through one of the employees at the greenhouse.  He was a friendly little gent, gray in colour and was a tabby, not much older than 8 months.   I wonder if maybe Charlie was an angel, perhaps a sign that God was listening and felt the sadness that I had been dealing with in the last 24 hours.  Had Charlie been sent to comfort me ?

To all a good night and may the magic of the season bring you many blessings~ xx

Does your spirit need a boost?

Ever have one of those days where you are just in a weird funk and you need a boost?  I keep a folder in my email that is called From the Heart and I  read some of the things my dear friends and loved ones have sent to me..  or I go to a special shoebox in my closet and read all the cards I have from people I love… this makes me feel so very blessed and loved.. A. Penn (c) 2011.

Someone once said that love can conquer all things.  That did not make sense to me but it does now.

Today let us remind ourselves that there is much love around us and we should be grateful for all that we do have.

Love & light

Angi