International Intrigue and Outreach

For the month of January I used an inexpensive paid Stumbleupon application to steer potential visitors to my blog and tracked the results. Some information, like the fact that the highest usage age category of Stumblers is 17-25 years old, was expected. Other stats for instance; there were six hundred travelers from 69 countries outside North America who spent between 4 seconds and 22 minutes viewing this site, were surprising. There were visitors from every single continent and countries that have always sparked my imagination.

The top three categories searched by viewers were Self Improvement, Women’s Issues, and Quotes. Of the 890 women that visited the site 50% clicked like, as did 33% of the 680 men. All of this, has brought a burning curiosity to my homebound mind, that has nothing to do with numbers of blog subscriptions.

First, I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to think about something other than the latest evidence of continuing daily decline in my beloved ‘girls’.  AND I DO want to improve the relevancy of this blog, so that it is inspiringly authentic about end of life care-giving issues.

I would love to hear from you. I wonder about who you are and what your lives are like. I am curious to know what you DO find on the internet that furthers your self discovery and understanding about the world. I wonder if some of you are housebound like I am, and use the internet as a way to feel connected to something larger than your own troubles. How do you experience care-giving, either as a provider or recipient of care? What nourishes your ability to stay present, and do all that is required without losing yourselves in the process?

It occurs to me that I would like to start an international dialogue about promoting living and dying fully with awareness, dignity, and peace. I hope anyone who stops by, whether a regular reader or guest, will feel free to share an insight or two about themselves, or an experience they have had in an effort to promote human understanding about this birth life death life continuum. Although I am looking for shared participation rather than opinions/philosophies, all are welcome. Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself today, may you uncover peace and blessings in your journey.

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"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 bakka2thesource a collaboration of musicians and artists.
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10 Responses to International Intrigue and Outreach

  1. Amy Lapetina says:

    Dear Beth,
    I wish I could give you some insight but I look to you as a model for how I want to be as a caregiver. You are kind, caring, attentive to all of your mom’s needs, her advocate; her everything. You are giving her the ultimate gift and we are the lucky recipients of your wisdom.

  2. smacken2008 says:

    Some 28 years ago.
    Watched my Dad care for my Mom at home.
    Right up to the end.

    I was woefully unprepared for it.
    But got to visit at least once a week bringing their one and only
    grandchild which made all of us smile.
    I remember the day she passed away at home.
    I rushed over in a blizzard without a clue what I was supposed to do.
    Said my goodbyes then had no idea what to do next.
    So I went outside and snowblowed about half the street.
    Dad supervised the Hospice folks and the Coroner and all the transportation.
    Somehow I think we both did exacly what was required in that time and place.

    Then 21 years ago it was Dads turn.
    We fished, laughed, snuck in a few Gin and Tonics and faught cancer for a few months, but I think we both knew it just wasn’t to be.
    Again he was the leader. Preparing everything in advance. And we began Hospice. Only lasted a couple days.
    By now I knew what to do.
    Just Be There
    When your there, you will do what is required at that time and place.

    Shovel some snow or perhaps bake something.
    You will know what to do.
    You just don’t know that you will know.

    But you will.

    • Thank you for sharing this, you made the hair on my arms stand up. I admire your clarity and knowing what is important. When I get really scared and stressed, I re-stack, move, and carry wood (my snow shoveling I guess). Hope you are planning a visit soon.

  3. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Beth, Very nice to ask for this kind of input from your readers. When reading Amy’s comment “Just be there” made me think how simple that is. My dad was in an out of the hospice and he passed away in what I thought was a short time. When we asked him what he would like it was always the same “clean sheets and a sandwich”. I stayed with my mom in her house for about for 4 weeks. I wish I had already been retired so I could have stayed longer, but my younger brother was there so I could go home and be with my family. But the simple things like making a fried egg for her (which she couldn’t do any more) and me finding her favorite Biscottis at the store so she could dip them in her morning coffee. Sitting with her in the kitchen within earshot of the Celtics game on the TV which she could not see anymore. But to hear her comment and seeing her smile as a 3 pointer was made. I learned more about her childhood and WWII in the Dutch East Indies during those evening talks than in my entire life. By this time, I knew how to ask the right questions that would jog her memories. She was sharp as a tack and there were others who came to the house who would bathe her, vacumn and deliver meals on wheels, and they too had special moments with her.These are folks we would have never had the pleasure of knowing had her physical situation been different. When I travelled home after my dad first fell ill, I became ill and exhausted. Things were quite different when my mom died. Talking about these things initiates or prepares a comforting healing process in the heart and body. Thank you.

    • Robert, I am touched by the depth of your sharing. I laughed along with the little things, my mom sure does enjoy these as well. It sure is a different way of knowing a person we always thought we knew. It sounds like a very special time for you, and one that in part, has made you the sensitive and caring person you are today. I only hope when looking back, that the wealth of memories you seem to hold will be a similar resource for me. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Michael Lessard says:

    I mimic Amy’s comment. Beth, you always somehow, some way, see a silver lining to a dark cloud. I only hope I can salvage some of your wisdom , come my time. Don’t you ever stop being you ! The world could stand to have a few more like you.

    • Thanks Mike. I am trying to learn to accept what you and others see in me, that I am sometimes unable to see in myself. You know I too am here for you and honor your story as well. Your parents are very fortunate to have a son like you.

  5. Pamela Janz says:

    I love this idea…and the subject certainly affects all of us in one way or another….I love the Tibetan Buddhist viewpoint that death is a normal part of life and its important to confront death and think about it and even do exercises that get actually prepare for it….as far as caregiving goes….it is a scary thought on both ends….Being a single supporting and person without children…I wonder how I will survive whern Im not able to work anymore….and I think there are more single, childless people then ever in our society….It seems that we will all have to take care of each other. I also fear my parents aging which is happening at the present …rapidly it seems….How can I be involved in the help they need when every bit of energy and most of my time just go to my basic employment..It leaves very little for caretaking….

    • Pam, First, thank you so much for putting this out there so clearly. It is scary to me also, when I think of myself at our parent’s stage of life. I DO remain hopeful that we WILL find ways to help each other as best we can and that there will be others who are younger and stronger who will want to assist us in that journey. I love hearing that I am not alone in both my fears, hopes, joys, curiosity, and wonderment of what comes in the way of healing if we are open to the experience. I love you with all my heart AND you are a wonderful daughter to BOTH your parents.

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