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UPDATED 10.12.17

Aging Well September 28th

You have spent years together - the good, the bad, and the ugly – (who else sees you when you first wake up - it’s not always a pretty sight.) with shared stories and unspoken understandings. And you have made a promise - said or unsaid - that you will take care of each other; neither of you will abandon the other, no matter what. No matter the challenges, the difficulties, the emotional, physical and spiritual toll. But life happens - circumstances change. And the unforeseen, but not unexpected, arrives and you need to care for your partner of so many years.

You knew it would not be easy, this silent commitment you made, but the daily struggle, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, twelve months a year, may be more than you can endure. There are feelings of anger, resentment - and then guilt for having those feelings, all the while your loved one is slipping away while you know there is little you can do - but to be there. You don’t complain. You made a promise. But how long can you continue before your own body and spirit breaks when there is nothing left to give?

But there may be a way to transform this suffering - to bring light into this darkness. On Tuesday October 5th, Dr. Richard Groves, co-founder of Sacred Art of Living, will share his journey through the desert of grief and loss with two presentations hosted by MCMC. The first is “The Art of ‘Exquisite Empathy’ - Transforming Compassion Fatigue” focusing on healing the healer - whether you are a professional caregiver or one of the unpaid thousands who care for a loved one. It will be held from 2:00 to 3:00 in the Medical Office Building’s conference room adjacent to the hospital. The second presentation, open to the general public, is “Grief & Loss: Transforming the Suffering of Loss”. In this comforting and inspirational presentation, Dr. Groves will share how people move from grief to a place of healing and new possibilities. It is one of the Planetree Health lectures and will be held from 7:00 - 8:30 at Water’s Edge.

Tonight the Jazz Generations will be playing for your listening and dancing enjoyment. The horns start swinging at 7:00 and in my best Haiku “Everyone’s welcome/Doesn’t cost you anything/to Dance the night away!” (Okay, I know some smarty pants out there – maybe you? - will notice the last phrase has one extra syllable. But close counts, doesn’t it?)

We all have habits: some good - brushing your teeth before bed and others not-so-good - eating ice cream before bed (but its non-fat!). But one simple habit you can add is attending the weekly Tuesday Lecture at the Center from 11:00 - 12:00 – because you never know what you may learn. Next Tuesday, the 5th, Gretchen Jordan will travel all the way from Salem to discuss Oregon’s Long Term Care Ombudsman program which uses volunteer ombudsmen to enhance the quality of life and improve the quality of care for residents of Oregon's long-term care facilities. This is not a recruiting meeting but a chance for you to learn more about this important program.

You have all heard of Facebook and many of you may use it. But would like to learn more? (What does it mean to be poked?) For the Center’s first monthly “Tech Talk” on Wednesday October 6th from 1:30 – 2:30, Josh Price will explain the ins and outs of Facebook. And looking ahead, November’s topic on the 3rd will be “Video Conferencing with Skype” and December’ topic on the 1st will be “How to Organize and Edit Photos using Picassa”.

It was the 1958 Rose Bowl when the University of Oregon almost upset Ohio State, the #1 football team, before losing 10-7. And the winner of the free Saturday Breakfast was Sandy Gosforth, who was born in the Buckeye state. This week’s “Remember When” question is for hardcore soap opera fans. What American Television soap opera first aired on CBS, April 2, 1956 and continuing for fifty four seasons was the most watched daytime drama from 1958 to 1978 with ten million viewers each day? E- mail mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of an autographed picture of Helen Wagner.

Well, my shoes are tied, my zipper is zipped, I’m ready for another day. Until we meet again, as you care for others, don’t dismiss or ignore the importance of caring for yourself.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" — Mary Oliver

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