From Frank … I’m feeling thankful this week.
It’s good to be back after a week away, I feel more energized to resume my role at the Village and as a caregiver for my 92-year-old mom, whose dementia has progressed rather rapidly since her stroke last summer. My short time away did wonders and reminds me how important self-care for caregivers is.
I’m already thinking of Thanksgiving and all that I am grateful for. My thoughts go back several years to a decade I spent caring for my dear aunt Catherine who suffered from Alzheimer’s. That experience taught me the importance of choosing what to focus on. I deliberately looked for things that brought joy, rather than sad things such as her inability to speak. I recall simply enjoying the feel of her hand in mine and feeling her finger keeping beat with the music (even Alzheimer’s could not rob her of her love of Michael Buble’).
While the lesson of Aunt Catherine is to look for the joy, even in times of sadness, I do think its okay allow myself to feel sadness sometimes. Ironically, it allows me to to be more in touch with other emotions. Now with my mom, I really feel the happiness that comes from being able to connect with her.
I’m also grateful for the new people I’m able to meet through the Village. Even though I’ve lived here 20 years, I’m always delighted to discover new neighbors. This week I met a new member on Newark Street – a forty-year resident of our neighborhood. And yesterday, I met two new members. One moved from New York into Woodley Park and another from Seattle to Cathedral Heights.
Each is interesting, excited to make new connections, and looking forward to engaging in new experiences through the Village. I feel privileged to meet these new neighbors, I’ve never felt more connected to my community. Without the Village, I’m not sure we’d have ever met.
In the coming month, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with new and old members. I hope you’ll check out the calendar and join us for an event. I can promise that you’ll meet wonderful people!
A Village Thanksgiving at Lillies
The Village is planning a Village Thanksgiving at Lillies, the restaurant on Connecticut Avenue near the zoo. More information on the website and in today’s newsletter, but let us know as soon as possible, if you’ll be joining us. We need to make sure that we have a sufficient number of participants by Monday, November 7th.
As November rolls around, what are you thankful for? I really want to know, so please email me at Frank@CWPV.org and tell me. I’ll publish the list just before Thanksgiving (anonymous sharing is fine).
Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Village