Tag Archives: The Bow-Tie-Guy

Living In The Past?

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc

One of the most important components to being a Healthy Caregiver is to know your strengths, weaknesses, while realizing that asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

I am learning that the same rule of order applies for people like myself who are in after-caregiving.  When the Caregiving journey ends, we look for outlets, we look for a path, because in after caregiving, our roads can tend to be filled with steep hills and deep drops.  The hardest of the roads are those round-a-bouts, were you think you are going somewhere, yet you just spin around and around to you realize that you are on the same path.

Reaching out for help while you are in after caregiving, is just as important is it is when you are in the midst of Caregiving. Yet the risk is harder because this ask, it is all about you.  I’ve had to learn the hard way that I can’t do this after-caregiving gig by myself.  Living in the past is hard: Living in the moment is the only way to go.

To many people to publicly thank, but special recognition to my friend Betty, all my siblings, Denise, Kathy, Abel, John, Ernest for encouragement and support.  A new chapter awaits me and is just around the corner.  Now back to writing and continue the path on  how to better care for myself, and live in the present, because in the end, living in the past does not change it, living in the past affects the present.





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Care|Mind: Empowering Caregivers

Join us on Wednesday June 17th on Health Café Live.com at 7:00 pm as we visit with Dr. Oscar Rodriguez from Reassure Analytics, Inc.  It’s ‘funny’…with all the technology we have today, we know in an instant what a friend is having for lunch, yet we don’t have technology that can help caregivers take better care for their loved ones! Passionate about patient care, technology and education,  Dr. Rodriguez intends to bring all three together to help caregivers around the world care for their  loved ones with the development of their app called Care|Mind.   Listen in and learn how Dr. Rodriguez is creating Healing Ties all around us!

To listen live on Wednesday at 7:00 pm simply click here! 

Healing Ties Radio is on demand at iHeart Radio by clicking here!

Healing Ties is also available on UK Health Radio by clicking here! 





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Finding Solutions on Healing Ties Radio

Join us on Wednesday April 22nd on Health Café LIVE.com  at 7:00 pm (EDT) as we visit with Doris Haas, RN from Atlas Care Management and Life Enthusiast, Betty Rosse. Both aging specialists, Doris and Betty help individuals and families find solutions to real life issues during the aging        process.  Through her work in Professional Care Management, and as Dementia Care Specialist and in Elder Care Mediation, Doris has as a first hand view of the aging issues.  Noted public speaker   Betty Rosse, presents on aging through the lens of Law of Attraction.  You don’t want to miss a     conversation with Betty and Doris!    Tune in and learn how Betty and Doris are creating Healing Ties all around us. Cannot listen live?  No Worries!! Healing Ties is available on demand at iHeart Radio and now on now on UK Health Radio, too!

To listen live every Wednesday at 7:00 pm simply click here! 

Betty and Doris_Ties_4_22_2015

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Going For A Ride on Christmas Eve

 Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

 Holiday HugsOne of the many things that I have missed this holiday season is the rides TLO and  I took to see the beautiful Christmas lights up and down Ocean Drive in Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida.  Usually our drives were filled with lots of chatter, or gossip, depending  on your point of view.  Yet one thing that we did during these rides that I miss the most is simply holding hands.  There is so many ways to express love, yet there is nothing more basic, more real, than to hold hands.  That gentle touch which bringshands comfort in so many ways, is missing this holiday season.
Christmas eve was always our special night.  Whether our pocket books were flush or not, we always made that evening, our evening.  We would sit down and plan for weeks about what posh restaurant where we would make our reservation.  Yet no matter20111225-083458.jpg where we decided to have dinner on Christmas eve, we always made plans to end the evening with a drive down Ocean Drive to see the Christmas lights.  Of course a nice ice cream cone was in order too!
I have not taken a drive down Ocean Drive this holiday season.  Yet I think I am going to take that ride on Christmas eve as a way to remember…as a way to celebrate our life together, as a way to create my own Healing Ties, but most of all, I am going to take that ride just to be thankful  for having the experience of love and being loved.  Caregiving is over for us; but love endures forever and love does make the ride worthwhile.
To all who are grieving this holiday season, I wish you peace, comfort and lots of Holiday Hugs!


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Holiday Progressive Blog Party with Caregiving.com

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

blog_party_2014_350Welcome to the 2014 Holiday Progressive Blog party with Caregiving.com.  This is the third year that ‘The Purple Jacket’ has participated in the progressive holiday blog party; this event is always a great way to connect with old friends and new ones who are on their Caregiving journey. One of the many great things about being part of the extended family at Caregiving.com is the ability to connect with people from all over the world who instantly understand your caregiving plight.  Caregivers have this innate ability to understand each others journey, even when the paths are different.

There is still time to join Caregiving.com holiday progressive blog party by clicking here! 


Christmas 2011

For those who are visiting The Purple Jacket for the first time…Welcome! For those friends who have been here before, it is great to see you again! I know many of you realize that this years Holiday Progressive Blog Party has a much different meaning for me.   So with that, here is a new description for The Purple Jacket.

The Purple Jacket is a real-life Caregiving blog about two people who were partners in life, Chris MacLellan and Bernard Richard Schiffer. Richard lost his battle with cancer on March 9th, 2014: Cancer was not the winner, Love was the winner! Now that our Caregiving journey has ended, The Purple Jacket is dedicated in memory to Richard, and to all Caregivers who have lost the one they loved, because in the end, Love, Care and Commitment is the same for any two people who are joined together as one.

Now, I am learning to be a caregiver to myself.  This new journey I find myself on is filled with some of the same bumpy roads, yet with a different twist or two along the way.  Yet what is constant is the continuous love, care and support I receive from all my Caregiving friends from around the world and I thank Denise Brown and my extended family at Caregiving.com and Aftergiving.com for that comfort.

What am I up to now?  Well, I have a new radio show, ‘Healing Ties’ from “The Bow Tie Guy” on Health Cafe LIVE.com and on On Demand at  iHeart Radio.  (You’ll see all the information on the main page of the Purple Jacket) I am starting to blog again on The Purple Jacket and on AfterGiving.com and later in 2015, I will be leading some groups cruises for Caregivers and those who like me, are no longer Caregivers.

But one thing is for sure, no matter where my next Caregiving journey takes me, my roots will always come back to my extended family at Caregiving.com, for without you, TLO and I knew that we were never, ever alone!

Follow the YOU TUBE link below to a video tribute to Richard for Aftergiving.com…I hope you like it!


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Blog Party and joyful holiday season!


January 2014





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Re-Branding The Purple Jacket?

  The starting point of all achievement is desire.  Napoleon Hill

I often get asked; ‘Why did you name your blog, ‘The Purple Jacket?’  The short answer is the symbolism of ‘The Purple Jacket’ is about life changing events and how life changing events can affect our life.  My life changing events happened around weight loss, weight gain and then around Caregiving. Yes, I actually do

The Purple Jacket

Yes, there is a Purple Jacket; circa 2006

own a Purple Jacket, and for quite some time now, the purple jacket has been about the only thing in my life which as stayed in the closet!

cjm-big (2)

Yep, that’s me in 2002

When I purchased The Purple Jacket in 2005, I had just lost 85 lbs over a two-year period.  Purchasing that jacket was out of character for me, not only was  it an expensive, spur of the moment purchase, there was nothing in my wardrobe which even  came close to looking like this jacket.  Wearing that jacket as a life changing experience: I just loved wearing that purple jacket on special occasions!

Before Richard made his life transition in March, he made me promise him that I would take better care of myself.  I am really 10401392_10152689856867819_6644878810826409650_ntrying to take better care of myself,  however some days are better than others.  Like many of us do, I deal with stress by eating.  Sure, I’ve tried a diet here a diet there.  I’ve been on the bike and on the walking path, each time I tried, that little voice in the back of my head seem to take control.

As I create a new path in life,  I wonder if it is not time to re-brand the blog? Re-branding the blog does not mean that I will give up on wearing the Purple Jacket, but in order to wear that jacket again, I wonder if it is not time to create some ‘Healing Ties’ in order to do so?

So as my faithful readers to the Purple Jacket,and listeners to my new radio show, ‘Healing Ties’ if you could answer some quick questions in our poll about re-branding ‘The Purple Jacket’ to ‘Healing Ties’ I would be most appreciative.

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The Essential Conversation Project

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines ~ Robert H. Schuller

We have all had to have difficult conversations with our loved ones from time to time.  If you are like you, I bet you had wished you had a road map to have one of these communications.   For example, how to approach your Mom or Dad about not driving along longer.  This is just one example of the many difficult conversation many families face on a daily basis, but how do we have those conversation is a key to their success!

So, if you are looking for a little help and guidance on how to approach those difficult conversations in our life, then join us LIVE at 7:00 pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 26th with Dr. Amy D’Aprix and Resa Eisen, MSW on  “Healing Ties” Radio show as we chat about ” The Essential Conversation Project.”  I am confident that Dr. Amy and Resa just might have a tip or two on how to approach those difficult conversations!

To listen to the show live at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, simply click here! 

Listen to ‘Healing Ties’ on demand on iHeart Radio by clicking here.






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You’ll Be Okay!

Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important that your own ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Earlier this month, I was asked by my good friend Denise Brown from Caregiving.com and AfterGiving.com  to share a video for today’s family caregivers that comforts with three words: You’ll be okay.

While creating this video, I learned that I  was comforted, knowing that by sharing my after caregiving journey might help someone else, just like me,  who is also in the grieving and healing process.

Loss is so personal, so real.  No one can really tell us how to deal with the loss of a loved one, yet that old cliché, ‘time does heals all wounds’  is true! However wounds heal at their own pace and in their own time, and in your time…you’ll be Okay…. because it does get better! 

To see my ‘You’ll Be Okay” video for AfterGiving.com, simply click on the heart!


heart cloud

Click on the Heart to see Chris’ ‘You’ll Be OK” Video for AfterGiving.com


AfterGiving_Logo2If  you cared for a family member or friend? Please feel free to participate in  AfterGiving.com You’ll Be Okay campaign.

Like me, you will be glad that you did!





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Healing Ties Radio Show





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Love Is The Winner


By Mary MacLellan-Stough

Three magical words that make a heart flutter.
Will make someone’s heart melt like butter
Just hearing those words uttered.
Life is full of ups and downs
And at times the see-saw seems weighed down.
Then someone comes along and touches your heart and soul
and takes your breath away.
When you wish upon a star
Your loved one isn’t very far.
They are closer to us than you will ever know-
Tossing pennies from a far
Letting us know how loved we are.
The hugs we feel when no one else is near
The dimes, the parking places we find
Remind us we are not alone as we fear.
Those hugs we feel, they are real,
The soft whispers in our ear
Next thing we know we shed a tear.
The world keeps moving-life goes on
But we keep trying to be strong.
The signs are there, we just need to be still,
Then there is a yellow butterfly, which gives you a chill.
They come when we least expect them, but need them the most.
The timing is never right when a loved one departs
But their physical journey here is over, time to start a-new
In a place that is all brand new.
No pain, no suffering-all sorrow is gone
Replaced with happiness and a glow
That one day we all will know.
Imagine the reception when we arrive
Our loved one(s) will be there to greet us home.
We are never alone on this journey here on earth.
Richard is up there watching over you Chris.
“Put in a good word, tell everyone hello.”
Until we meet again TLO ❤ ❤ ❤
With Love to you from me
Your younger sister I will always be…Meo


Mary MacLellan-Stough


This poem was beautifully written by my sister, Mary MacLellan-Stough and will appear on the back folder of our  Celebration of Bernard Richard Schiffer life in both Fort Lauderdale and St. Louis


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