April 3, 2020

Cochrane Parade for Seniors Home a Real Work of Heart

In such uncertain times, there are some moments that can touch your heart so deeply and provide a display of pure love, playfulness and joy! When this happens hope is rekindled, the power of the human spirit shines through and you’re left thinking “everything is going to be okay.” This is exactly what the parade of cars provided for the staff and residents of Big Hill Lodge in Cochrane on Wednesday.

I am forever grateful to my friend Sus from Motivated by Nature, who invited me to take some porchraits of her and her Mom, which led to 417 photos taken through tears of gratitude and joy. Here is Sus’s story!

Are you a caregiver for a parent, a son or daughter, a friend, or a relative?  My hats off to each and every one of you.   Although I do not know your exact situation, I do empathize with you.  The current crisis with the virus (which shall not be named) has made care giving which is already a difficult task, even more difficult.

For myself, the past 2 weeks of having my 84 year old mom in lockdown at the Big Hill Lodge in Cochrane has felt very odd and different, but I had not allowed the fear to creep in.  That all changed on March 31.  Well meaning friends and relatives were sending emails asking how my mother was doing and how worried they were about her.  Anxiety started to creep in and then wham, a Tsunami of tears hit when I heard that 3 seniors had passed away in a Calgary Seniors home.  How my heart wept for their children and family.  I then went into total fear mode with my mom and every “What if” question you can imagine came up for me. 

In total synchronicity, a friend had sent a link to me for some modalities to help with anxiety.  These all helped tremendously.  Another friend who I had met because she had been an incredible caregiver to her mom at the same lodge had called and reassured me that mom was in the safest and best place possible.  I then went out for my daily nature walk, and felt a lightness come into my heart.  Another caregiver, Michelle, who has a 95 year old father at the lodge, had organized a parade of cars on April 1 at 2 pm. At first I had been hesitant to join, but with my tear stained face, I decided that I most definitely had to be there. I called my brother’s family and they were in as well. My nephew got busy making a hand made poster full of love. I mentioned to Lee about the parade, but I was not to sure whether she would be able to get close enough to get any worthwhile pictures. Lee said that she was totally in. No hesitation at all. I got busy making a cheery sign including each of our family members and finished it that morning, April 1. No joke!

The parade ended up being a huge success.  The pictures that Lee caught are full of such love and were beyond what I could have imagined her capturing.  The residents were so excited to have all the honking cars drive by with their signs of hope and love for them and for the incredible staff at Big Hill Lodge.  The lodge is truly doing their due diligence as they are not even allowing flower deliveries to come in.  I am so blessed to have such a caring lodge treat my own mother like family as well.

It is my hope for all caregivers to have an outlet of people to talk to and modalities to help them through this time. Please know that you will have your good days and bad days and know that you are not alone with this.  Be safe and be well.