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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia
By Josh Planos

Hogeway Residents

When Yvonne van Amerongen received a phone call from her mother two decades ago, relaying that her father had died of a heart attack—sudden and painless—one of the first things she thought was, Thank God he never had to be in a nursing home.

Van Amerongen was working as a staff member at a traditional Dutch nursing home at the time, getting a front-line view of what she never wanted for her parents.

That call from her mother spurred Yvonne into action as she became committed to making nursing homes more livable and less of a departure from reality for their residents. She envisioned a setup as far away as possible from the nondescript buildings and polished floors of her workplace, where everything carried the scent of a dentist’s medical cabinet. Over the next 20 years, she worked to secure the funding she’d need to make the idea a reality. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | alzheimer, dementia, education, elderly, enlightenment, family, health, mental illness, nursing home
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Highly Unlikely Pair Of Friends – Ingo, Belgian Shepherd; And Poldi , One-year-old Owlet
By Ivor Block

Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career towards photographing animals and wildlife. In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends – Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal communication, animal companion, animal compassion, animal wisdom, communication, family
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Letting Go: Moving On After Loss
By Casey Lee

I grew up in a picturesque family with two parents madly in love with each other, two beautiful older sisters, and a comfortable middle-class Midwestern upbringing. Because my sisters are respectively nine and eleven years older than I, they were married and had children before I reached that point in life; I was the Maid of Honor in both of their weddings and enjoyed every moment of being there for them during these monumental moments in their lives. My parents prided themselves on being doting grandparents, and I devoted more nights to coloring “My Little Pony” pictures and watching cartoons with my nieces and nephews than I did to partying when I was an undergrad.

Despite these happy times, my sisters were gone from my life by the time I turned twenty-two. There was not a tragic car wreck, a devastating battle with cancer, or a freak accident. In fact, as far as I know, my sisters are both healthy and happy as can be, but they have no contact with my parents or myself. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | family, loss, relationships, siblings
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Life Goes On
By Sean Cameron - 18 Years Old

Everyone says divorce is hard. They have no idea. I remember as a kid hearing about parents getting divorces and getting scared that the same thing would happen to mine. I would see it on the television, or see my friends heading to their father’s house for the weekend. So I made sure I kept a close eye on my mom and dad. I was always on the look-out for any signs of arguments. I would make them promise me over and over that they would never get a divorce. I knew it was immature and silly, yet I couldn’t help but worry. However, my parents always seemed so happy together. And of course, my mom and dad promised me they would never be apart. So what did I have to worry about? I guess even parents can be wrong sometimes… Read more

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COMMENT (1) | divorce, family, healing, relationships, self growth
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Expert Series: Family Type-Casting
By Dr. Barbara Sinor

We tend to create similar situations in our lives until we become aware that the same experiences keep “happening to us.” When you recognize a particular negative circumstance seems to repeat itself over and over, or a certain type of person re-enters your life several times to your dismay, take a hard look into your childhood and search for the pattern or script which may be embedded in your subconscious mind which invites the same unwanted experiences into your life. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | family, relationships, self realization
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Passing It On
By Delores Liesner

My dad was a quiet and gentle man – kind of a woodsy All-American hard-working man. His hands were muscled, showing his strength, but his eyes revealed a gentle soul.

He had a grocery store in our living room during and after World War II, and an appliance store in another home’s garage, later moving it to a rented store in the nearby town of Norway, Michigan, and for years he harvested cedar and pulpwood. Daddy travelled a lot so any time I got with him was special, but the times I had with Daddy in the woods influenced me the most.

No matter what other challenges were going on in my life, with other family members, at school, or any other area of life, Daddy was able to help me to feel loved and valued. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | family, heritage, inspiration, parenting
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Worth The Wait
By Bev Schellenberg

It’s taken a long time for my two children to meet my family: 13 years and 10 years respectively. That’s because my family’s been dead that long. My mother and brother died when I was pregnant with my eldest child, my 13-year old daughter. Years before that, my father died of cancer.

For two evenings my children spend time with my family as we sit at our dining room table. “Here’s a picture of my mother and father when they were young,” I explain as I take the old black and white photos from the envelope.

These are what remain from my life with the family who raised me: stacks and stacks of mostly untitled photos that span 50 years, many years that I wasn’t alive. For years I’ve dreaded going through the pictures, afraid I’d remember what I wanted to forget, or perhaps that I’d forgotten what I’d hoped to remember, and have no one to ask. But now it’s time to sort, to accept and to embrace the past. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | family, parenting, self growth
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Betty Shirley
By Sandy Caldwell

I remember when I was little and would visit my grandfather in his big house. I would make my way up the stairs to the hallway full of family pictures. There in the middle of the wall was a grand portrait of a beautiful woman with dark wavy hair, big black eyes, full red lips, high cheekbones and a look of longing on her face. That was my grandmother, Betty Shirley. Although I have never met my grandmother, I am influenced by how she lived her life.

She was born Betty Jane Smith, an only child deeply loved by her parents. But when she was in her early teens, she lost her mother…that didn’t hold Betty back.

When she was older she headed for Colorado, not knowing anyone or where she was going to live or work. She just fell in love with the place. She thoroughly enjoyed skiing on their great snowy mountains and was taken aback by its beauty.

She found a job working in a resort running their small train up a mountain to the zoo. She lied about being able to drive a stick shift so she could get the job. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | family, inspiration
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Black Humour And Other Happenings At A Jewish Funeral — Part Three
By Diane Schachter

My dad’s funeral was on a Monday in 1996, in Winnipeg.  It was a graveside service on an overcast fall day.  I didn’t shed many tears at the funeral.  I think that I had already said my goodbyes long before his burial.  Still, as I saw my dad’s casket being lowered into the ground, tears trickled down my cheeks.  In Judaism, the casket is minimalist and is made of cedar.  No rich or poor in burial; we are all equals at death.  Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | family, humour, relationships
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My Big Brother
By Derek Thompson

It is still hard to take in that my brother, David, has died. Not just in the hospital again, or having switched the phone off for two days because he doesn’t feel like talking, but irrevocably gone. I am the last of the line and all the family memories come crashing to a halt with me.

Sibling rivalry seems such a gentle term for the battles we fought and re-fought in an effort to establish separate identities. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | family, relationships, siblings
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  • Joe Longo: Love this photo
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  • nk: Lavora, I am exactly here in my marriage – trying to turn it around. Rgds, N
  • Suzanne: Hi Martin and Cathy. Watched your documentary. You are a wonderful family. Everyone has their struggles, no...
  • admin: Thank you for letting us know. The link is now set to the their new WEB page. We have our dog from them.
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  • Karunakaran: It’s very nice.
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