Thank you President Bush

Thank you President Bush

Thank You President Bush ~

I couldn’t take my eyes off the train carrying President George Bush (41) home from Spring, Texas to College Station.

I was obsessed with every detail of the ceremony – from beginning to end. The number of times they played -Hail to the Chief- and thinking his family must cringe knowing they are one step closer to burying him next to his loving partner and daughter with every note.

I thought how Amazing it was he picked every little detail about his funeral, and I laughed thinking it really was Trains, Planes and Automobiles to the very end!

I was touched how he even picked out the food his family would have on the train on the way to College Station and when he arrived, and they played the Aggie Fight Song, I as a Texan, burst into tears.  My heart burst with JOY that he was home with his wife and daughter!  Let’s face it, it was inevitable that I would cry, and I did get tearful when his son George W. Bush cracked at the end of his eulogy and watching James Baker do the same, I was fighting back what was my underlying feeling this whole week – sadness.

Sadness for someone who graced the offices he served with confidence, adored his wife and loved his family.  Who could ask for more in a human?

When I reflected and thought about it all, I realized WHY I was so obsessed with every detail.  Because HE had preplanned his funeral.  Now, I know we are not all Presidents and we don’t have the budget for this grand of an affair, I can say this was a final lesson he was teaching all of us.

Be prepared. Have the conversations. Don’t be afraid to tell the people you LOVE that you LOVE them. And have a vision about how you want to be celebrated and how you want your family and friends to feel about your life and legacy.

That was one of the many reasons I created LOLA. Because I want people to say, “I want my life to be celebrated this way and I want my family to feel loved to the end.”

Be Thankful for Nursing Home Angels

Be Thankful for Nursing Home Angels

I was recently at a local senior home to pick up some paperwork for a client and I took a moment to stop and feel gratitude for all the wonderful people who everyday get up and take care of family members who no longer can live at home or function within a family any longer. I could see Angels in the room.

 

Most people drive by these homes and don’t think twice until they are faced with a loved one’s situation.  I have to admit I was in the same space until my dad had to enter into a home. I learned to rethink how we as humans respect each other and how at the end of someone’s life it could be the most important time of a loved one’s life where respect and dignity is so important.  There is a special kind of person who values the life of those that have become unable to care for themselves and are willing to share holidays working to care and support their patients to make them feel comfortable and secure.  They provide the buffer to families, so they can share time with their loved ones.  I can recall picking up my dad, driving him out to Boerne, Texas dropping him with friends to only turn around and pick him up three hours later to return him back to the nursing home facility to the waiting nurses to administer a change and medical support. I was exhausted and didn’t want to miss anything nor want my dad to miss anything. It was a busy time and I knew at some point, I would lose my dad ~ but it was the nurses who were the real hero’s that waited on him and helped him change, bathe and get ready for bed.  I would sit and watch and think, how thankful I was for each of them.

 

If you ever want to look into the future, stop by and walk through or become a volunteer. Many families are worn out trying to care for their loved ones in a home while working a career and raising their own family. It can be so incredibly overwhelming. So, this year, give Thanks for your today, your everything, meaning your family and friends.  The present is so important, give way to any disagreements to share time and space to know one day we could be in a place where we depend on perfect Angels to care for us and provide the buffer for our families.

 

Give Thanks to those Angels who show up and care for those that cannot speak for themselves on holidays and everyday.

 

Be present in your Thanksgiving.

Holiday Angels

Holiday Angels

Years have passed and in some ways the holidays never get any easier. 

I have made new friends, and still have great times with old friends. But as the weather begins to change and I awake each morning a little chilled I think ~ here come the holidays. I walk into an HEB and am instantly reminded of what is to be and I cannot avoid it. The wave of emotions hits as I go up and down each aisle.  I know HEB doesn’t mean to do this to me but its stings.

Rainy days with LOLA

Rainy days with LOLA

Rainy, rainy Sunday mornings. They almost make you want to sleep in and hide for the day or get some work done that is much needed. For me, I decided I needed to clean up emails. So, I poured my coffee and dug into my first email account. I clicked to go to the first pages of emails and then it stopped me in my tracks.

September 2014, I had not gone back there in a long time.

But as I started to scroll, I started to think to myself ~how could I ever forget the pain, confusion, anger, frustration and sadness from this time period in my life?

LOLA's Open Highway

LOLA Case Study

We recently received a referral from a Non-Profit Board in San Antonio. They had received news that one of their employees had just passed-away suddenly and they wanted to help her husband.

Time of Loss clients are never the same, they all start off at different places in their process and so it takes a little time to establish what their immediate and long term needs exactly are at that moment.

I called over to the husband and he was expecting my call. He was so open and willing and ready to sit down to meet. He was overwhelmed with the details of his wife’s death. She handled a lot of the bills and everyday items around the house. He was overwhelmed by family and friends and nervous about the funeral.

When we first met, we walked through his grief, and we role played when people asked about how his wife died, how he could respond.  We then looked at all of his bills and financials to see which accounts had her name, their joint names and his names on them.  He had just purchased a car for her so he was overwhelmed with what to do with the car. (moving from 2 incomes to 1 was stressing him out) We spent a good 2-3 hours together outlining a plan and what we could handle for him.

During the next 6 weeks we would meet, talk and email.  We picked up Death Certificates and helped get them out to providers, banks and vendors for him.  We reviewed his medical benefits and helped set him up for a doctor appointment to get him benchmarked.  We assisted with moving a 401K over to his financial accounts and held on the line with him and social security to submit the claim for his wife’s death benefit. We advocated for him at the car dealership and they took the car back. He needed help filling out forms so we assisted him with completing them to ensure they were filled out correctly.

At the end of our time together he quickly became part of the LOLA family.  He was getting ready to embark on a road trip to grieve and begin his new journey on the life highway. My heart was so full that we could clear the path for him.

When people ask us what we do, it’s different for every single person.  Because everyone’s needs are different.  Its more than grief guidance, its more than helping find a probate lawyer, it’s being the guidance someone needs during their darkest times.

How do you like your eggs?

How do you like your eggs?

“How do you like your eggs?”

This is my favorite line from The Runaway Bride.

How do you know what you like if you don’t know what your favorite eggs are in the first place?  I have spent the better part of 4 years trying to work through this analogy/question, because it pertains to everything in my new life. 

In 2017, when I started creating LOLA, my dream was to help people in a time they needed it most. Before, during and after a loss.

However, the business side of building a dream means:

I am living in 2 different worlds. The LOLA world where my heart is always full because I am in the depths with families, helping them during the darkest of times and then in the business world dealing with vendors, contracts and the administration of LOLA.

Sometimes finding vendors who really understand you can be difficult, it can be very much like learning what type of eggs you like. 

I recently had an AHA moment!  And I realized I needed to begin asking these questions when it came to the business side of my life. (heck even my personal side)

Has this person experienced a LOSS? Have they ever watched someone they LOVED Die and then not know if gravity is up or down?

 I realized I had a new perspective on a new-criteria I needed to start including for LOLA and myself.  If you haven’t experienced LOSS, you probably won’t ever understand me. YES, I was finding the type of eggs I like, and it is a process.

Being a business owner and widow brings many new challenges, but after almost four years I am finding out a lot about myself. When I was married to Carl, everything was scrambled eggs and in the challenging times Eggs Benedict…But now, I really Love Sunny Side Up eggs!

What kind of eggs do you like?