THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: FRIENDSHIP is in the Heart of Every Caregiver

I’m up at our family cottage on a lake in the mountains of Quebec.  Yesterday it rained, so naturally I gravitated to the bookshelf in the corner by the fireplace.  I found this 1910 copy of “The Gift of Friendship and Other Verses”. Let me share with you one verse that perfectly captures, for me, ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: World AIDS Day 2016

The blank page stares up at me, “World AIDS Day 2016”. That will be Thursday. It’s not like it used to be when life was much more urgent, desperate. I think of the dead. I still sorely miss my friends, friends from our twenties and thirties. Gone. It’s like Remembrance Day, but I don’t like ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: Generosity

As heard on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning today Wood Haven Country Lodge in the Kawarthas opens its heart next weekend to women and children from area shelters, offering them a get-away in the busy holiday season.  David explained to Matt Galloway that when his partner died of AIDS several years ago, he decided to extend an ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: No offence to ‘black dogs’ but I got real today

Bright and early this morning, before I could slip into dishonesty, I volunteered to my diabetes specialist that I was depressed.  Actually it was more like joining in conversation with her as she wondered aloud if any ‘black dogs’ were about. There’s always something cathartic about admitting this after circular self-arguments about whether I am ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: I’m back, breaking my blogging fast

Facebook, with its at-best superficial ways of linking me to my world, has taken me away from greater reflection possible in this blog so…I’m back – on my journey here. The past few weeks I have been involved with the Youth/Elders Project, a joint effort of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the 519 Community Centre and ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: GOOD FRIENDS VS BAD FRIENDS

Good Friends vs Bad Friends Telling the difference between good friends and unhelpful friends is especially important for caregivers.  Caregivers simply don’t have the dual luxuries of boundless time and energy to invest in friendships that are not reciprocal.  So, here’s a quick guide to recognising good friends and toxic friends. BAD FRIENDS For caregivers, ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Awesome Wedding and a Lifetime of Friendship

This past holiday season was particularly wonderful for us on account of Nick’s excellent pain management as well as the celebration of love in our family.  But the icing on the cake was the wedding of our old friend, John Bilder. It was about 1999 when we first met John. Like most Moms, I was ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: ONE SIMPLE, POWERFUL WAY TO SUPPORT CAREGIVERS – My Guest Blog Post on The Mighty

In times of hardship or pain, looking at the people we love can be powerful medicine. Parents and caregivers need to be on the receiving end of the loving gaze of family and friends too. Here’s what got me thinking about eye contact: I happened to notice a billboard with a photo of a beautiful but destitute ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Thirty years later…

In his book of aphorisms, Human, All Too Human, Friedrich Nietzsche described “marriage as a long conversation” like this: When entering a marriage, one should ask the question: do you think you will be able to have good conversations with this woman right into old age? Everything else in marriage transitory, but most of the ...

Dead Wild Roses: The Un-Friend Zone

We’ve all heard plenty about the so-called “friend zone”, which is where a person you want to date, just wants to be friends, and somehow that’s unfair and bad and mean.  Let me tell you about its converse, the Un-Friend Zone. A while back at work, we got a new deskside support/IT guy.  He quickly ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: I’m Thinking, “This is Going to Hurt!”: On ‘How Not to Deal with Grief’

From my friend Betty Ann on her Facebook page: “This article deeply moved me…as I suspect it will for any of you who have been impacted by the kind of grief associated with multiple loss, deaths due to overdose and or HIV/AIDS. Rather than just clicking on “like”, can you write a few sentences in ...

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Meet Sujata, Russian Blue beauty

  Sujata, the name given to her by the previous human in her life, Kevin, is Sanskrit meaning “from a good family origin”; “Su” means “good”, “Jatakas” means “of good origins” or “well born”. The breed was also known as “archangel” in its early generations. Sujata has been hiding whenever I’ve given her the opportunity ...

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

A love story. Get your hanky ready. * If you want to watch a longer version of this story, check out the video below.

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Alert to possibilities

Friendship can come in the most unexpected ways. (So do snacks.) Alltop is one big snack of humor!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Talking About Friendship…

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Please Look At Me

When I am in any kind of pain, I want people around me to look me in the eye. Here’s what got me thinking about eye contact:  a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a dermatology clinic chatting with the resident and a young medical student.  It was all very jolly until the ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Can Paid Caregivers Also Be Friends?

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. Albert Camus Professional caregivers are trained to avoid personal relationships with their clients.  There are lots of good reasons why this policy is standard in health care agencies: emotional investment ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Meaning of Friendship

Some friends are for life.  Some friends stick with you through thick and thin.  Friendship is a really, really big deal for everyone, but especially for our loved ones with disabilities or age-related vulnerability.   It may be that someone with a cognitive impairment cannot carry on a conversation, let alone forge and maintain friendly relationships.  ...

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Love this!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Gift of Friendship or The Caregiver Ties That Bind

I’m up at our family cottage on a lake in the mountains of Quebec.  Yesterday it rained, so naturally I gravitated to the bookshelf in the corner by the fireplace.  I found this 1910 copy of “The Gift of Friendship and Other Verses”. Let me share with you one verse that perfectly captures, for me, ...

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Beautiful!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Social Connectedness: An Op-Ed

One thing I know about caregiving is that it cannot be done well by one person alone.  We need friends, family… we need support.  And that support is really only very effective if it is coordinated.  So, to that end, I have given a lot of my time and energy to promoting a Vancouver based ...

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

An amazing story of best friends, a man and a crocodile:

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Prom Night and Father’s Day

Skimming my home-town newspapers’ web sites I noticed that this is Prom weekend for some of the high schools in the area. Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I’m not sure if the two occasions shared the same weekend in my time. Some quick math, all in my head mind you, and I realized that it’s a ...