Tag Archives: may to december

The Lamp Shade

Humor can take the edge off a number of situations, especially when dealing with serious health or care-giving issues.  For those who have followed our blog, you’ll know that we often use humor to get through many difficult days.  Reality is what it is; hard do change, sometimes equally hard to deal with.

Moving can be stressful too, yet in a different way.  Sooner or later, the last box will be unpacked, the last picture will find itself on the wall, everything will find its place!  Even a miss-placed Lamp Shade.

Upon the arrival of the furniture and the mounds of mess and stress that followed,  I was left to ponder about caregivers who are often under stress and burdened by their task at hand.  You see, sometimes in the heat of care-giving,  we can lose sight of the fact that the one who is being cared for is… ill.

When your ‘patient’ says something out-of-turn, don’t blame the ‘patient’… blame the disease.  When your ‘patient’ does not feel like eating, don’t blame the ‘patient’…blame the disease.  When ‘the patient’ is just not feeling up to doing something, don’t blame the ‘patient’…blame the disease.  Caring is a daunting task and the caregiver often loses themselves in the process, and you know, that’s OK because it’s not ‘the patient’s’ fault…it’s the disease.

Just as Lamp Shades protect the bright lights of the bulbs of which they cover, care-givers do the same as they protect and ‘shade’ those for who they care for.  When the light burns out, we don’t blame the shade, we blame the bulb. When illness plays havoc with our loved one, we don’t blame the patient, we blame the disease.

Image  When we are focused on the task at hand, mindful that it’s the disease, not the patient…every ‘lamp shade’ finds its proper place, with love, tenderness and commitment.

We are blessed by the good health reports we are receiving in Florida and look to continue to bring great ‘shade’ to those around us!

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Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

A Word from The Little One

Tonight at dinner we were chatting about our blog as I have been asked to write an article for a national publication on Care-Givers and Care-Giving in April (more to come on that exciting news).  The Little One wanted me to share these words with you this evening…

“Thank you for reading ‘The Purple Jacket” I hope that in reading Chris’ account of my fight with esophagus cancer  that you don’t give up hope, share in the joy and comfort that you can reap from this wonderful thing, a dedicated caregiver. My siblings have pass on; not only is he my caregiver, he is my partner I would be all alone with out his dedication and love.  Even though cancer has struck me, for the second time, I find joy and compassion being with my partner and caregiver.  Go through life with a strong will, even at those darkest times, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.   Bernard Richard Schiffer 2.5.2012.


Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket


Barbara Streisand once sang…’People Who Need People Are The Luckiest People In the World.’ We are all attracted to different people and for different reasons; life would be boring if that was not the case. Love and attraction are so personal and hard to describe.

What does age have to do with love?

During a telephone conversation Tuesday evening with a close friend in Indianapolis, I came upon a word that I rarely like to use…”intergenerational.” The word just popped out of my mouth as we were discussing ‘The Little One’s’ marked improvement over the last week.

While I have never been big on buzz words, acronyms or labels; there are plenty of descriptions used to describe ‘us.’ “May and December” is probably the most common description, yet there are plenty of unsavory descriptions, too.

What really is the issue here?

Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are cheese!

What is important to recognize is that the roles that we are currently experiencing in our life could easily be reversed; I could be the one with cancer and he could be the one doing the care giving. Age really has nothing to do with it! Of course we understand the physical limits age can have on the body, yet that does not take away the determination of the soul.

I do not expect anyone to really understand this ‘intergenerational relationship.’ Heck, there are many relationships that I do not understand. ‘Those who don’t like what they see, don’t have to look’ is what a famous philosopher once said to me. (RIP-RJO) What is important to remember is that the only two people who really know what is going on in a relationship, are the two that are in it. Everything else is pure speculation

The best description I have ever heard in regards to love is spoken in one…simple…word. Unconditional.

To love someone unconditionally breaks down barriers, enables trust and ensures commitment. Cancer or no cancer, it’s all about giving of oneself to the love and care of another.

Love and acceptance are music to the heart and soul…those are the labels that we can all live with!

So, what does age have to do with it?


Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket