Living With Dignity

Living With Dignity

Dealing with an aging and ailing parent can be heartbreaking.  If you have dealt with this situation, you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you have not, unfortunately it will probably happen in your future.  I wrote the piece today over the past several years as my Father has aged.  He has been in and out of the hospital, home, and a short-term care (rehab)/long-term care facility over the past two years.  With his condition, we have had to seek out outside help and care.  It is so very hard leaving a parent in the hands of someone else, but just necessary for their safety in many cases.  In today’s world, there are dependable professionals and then there are those not so dependable.  The emotions that overcome you as you kiss them goodbye and head of the facility can be overwhelming.  Even if you know it is the right place and safe place for them.

The most difficult thing is knowing and seeing the man that was a strong worker, the man that could hook a worm blindfolded, the man that could give you right advise always, or the man that could cook a roast like a five star chief, can now barely get his socks on, barely walk alone, or has difficulty shaving and bathing.  I realize, as you do, that this is a true, but sad part of life.  However, this does not make the hurt and pain any better.  As I have experienced all of this and had to go through parenting my Dad, I truly believe the most important thing has been treating him with dignity.  No matter what he can or cannot do, he absolutely deserves the respect for living this life as hard as he could.

My Dad’s situation has been different from my Mom’s situation.  The Alzheimer’s took my Mom mentally and physically a little piece at a time.  We treated her with dignity although the situations were very difficult.  We were just more in a necessary control because she just was not in reality.  The key there is we, my Dad and I together.  However, my Dad is really bright and on top of conversations and thoughts, but his body is just failing him.  I have included him in all decisions.  I have kept him up on all family business, decisions, and happenings.  I have ask his advise about issues.  I have shown him the respect of having control of his own life.  Most of all I have gained so much from our conversations about life and just being.  Those are moments and times that are sacred.  I hope today you can understand that you are not alone in going through this life process.  Read with me and see if you have experienced the same feelings, and if you have not been through this yet, I hope you can gain hope in knowing it is ok to have these feelings.  Also know there is help and others to lean on.  It takes a village to care for the caregiver—reach out to your village!

Living With Dignity

Sometimes I feel I want him to live more than he wants to live.

Live for yourself.

Don’t give up!


I just want you to live so you can come home.

You can be with us to laugh and smile.

To feel the breeze, touch the sun, and sit with the dog.


I get mad at him.

The guilt arises about everything within my heart and  mind.

One guilt thought leads to another.


Why have I not done more?

Why am I not doing more for him??

How could I leave this man?


He has held me when I was scared.

He has always loved me.

He has lifted me to greater heights than I knew I could go.


Why would I have some else care for him?

The guilts turn into pain.

Pain of loss and grieving.


I get mad at You God.

Why God would You let existence come to this?

Why would You take the dignity out of his life?


God, I have to place blame.

But I know this is not right.

He taught me that You love us always and only want the best.


It hurts to see one that you love go through pain and struggle.

It hurts when the solutions are not comfortable.

Your heart and soul burst open with pain.


I only want to remember him as my strength.

The one who was always there to soothe me.

The one that taught me faith in You God.


I want to remember him as the one who said, “Don’t cry, it will all be ok.”

“This is life and we move forward.” he would say.

He would conclude with “We are strong because of who we are and all we have been given.”


Well this type of living is a bitch!

And I don’t like it!

I want to scream and yell!


I wish the monsters deep in our minds would never come out.

I wish the glitches in our synapses would always work.

I wish our body parts would always do what our brains wanted.


I wish this life would not suck us dry,

Leaving us empty cavities of pain,

Oblivious to who we are.


Most of all I just wish I had my Daddy back.

But I know deep down he may want God more.

I have to accept this as truth.


If he chooses to go or not to with You God,

I know he is the man I have loved.

He is the courageous one.


I will give all I can to provide him with dignity.

He will be respected for the strong man he is.

He will be shown respect by me for the father he has been.


He has shown this bitch of a life who is boss!

He gave his all to this life!

He will leave life with a character that will never be replaced.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Caregivers take on a whole new world when caring for their parents.  It may not be a parent, but it could be a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even a sibling.  Just know someone else has experienced questions, doubts, concerns, and worries just like you.  But most importantly know that God is with you in and through this phase of your life.  He knows your true heart about helping and being a servant.  This is life’s way of teaching us real dignity.  Blessings and love this week—-and some hugs too!









The Constant Light

The Constant Light

The valley and the mountain tops—we have all been there.  We have sometimes even been on the side of the mountain going up and down!  It seems no matter where I am at in this scene, God always provides constant light for me.  The light of others reaching down and pulling us up or encircling us at the top!  As we climb or decline, they are always there.  The light of their souls touched by God, touching us.  You never know who it may be, and some times  you will really be surprised who it is.  It is so comforting to know no matter the shadows that appear or the tall trees that block the light, can never stop the light of these others.  No matter where you are in this scenario, deep in the valley, on the side of the land, or on the mountain top, reach hard for the light.  Stretch till it hurts in order to reach the light!  Let it seep into your inner core, so the next time you can be the constant light for someone else!  Don’t waiver, be strong, and be constant in displaying your constant light of love!

The Constant Light

When she dropped to depths that were too low to return,

She laid in the valley.

Alone, heart ache, and sorrow.

The horizon and light were hard to see.


She could not find the desire nor hope to move much less climb.

Relationships were always difficult.

Being the only one, she could only practice outside the family.

And she had not practiced well.


She sought self and stepped deeper and deeper into the shadows of the valley.

The roll down the mountain made it easier to escape into the depths.

Then just as darkness began to take over,

She felt the touch.


Not the touch of one, but the touch of many.

One hand caught her finger and with mystical strength pulled her upward.

Then another took her whole hand.

Another grabbed her arm and another her shoulder.


Slowly, but strongly, they lifted her up from the depths.

Up the mountain.

As she looked forward up the mountain,

She saw the brightest light pulling all of the sacred souls forward.


Soon they all peered behind and saw the valley.

As her eyes gazed she saw many lights around the souls.

She was warmed and her heart grew lighter!

Her love stretched beyond her body.


She realized nothing was worth not being with these sacred spirits,

Spirits filled with God.

They were her constant,

Because God was their eternal light.


The valley of humility gave her fear,

But the courage of her soul mates gave her peace and hope.

She would never be ignorant again.

The valley would never capture her again.


Next time when she reached the valley,

She knew confidently to reach toward the mountains for the lights of her partners.

She might go there,

However, her hand would move forth for those that loved her and walked with her each and every moment.


Humility causes us to better understand we need others.

Humility is redemption.

Not from some evil source, but from ourselves.

Humility is the self allowing service from God through the hands of others.


The valley is necessary.

The side of the mountain and the mountain top are necessary.

But the Holy Spirit in others is more necessary.

For they are God’s constant light lifting our hearts up from the valley.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

As you are moving on the mountain and valley journey this week, be open to the love lights and faces that come your way.  I feel we ignore and simply look over living in that constant light.  We hurt, we are in a hurry, we are caught up on self, or we are tending to so many others that we miss those reaching out to us.  Don’t miss the constant light of blessing that you are presented with this week!  Never let the light die!!







Dear Wise Friend

Dear Wise Friend

Happy Valentine’s Day!  With it being Valentine’s Day, I could just not help but think about love!  Most of us relate this day to romantic love, because the day is really marketed for that type of love.  Of course, the origins of the day itself was not for a good purpose.  Thank goodness the day has evolved into one of real love!  And an all-encompassing love—agape (God love), philia (brotherly love), and Eros (romantic love)!

My piece today was the love I and another dear friend felt for each other.  This friend and I were able to enjoy coffee and gardens, yet engage in heated discussions about politics and religion, still hugging and loving at the end of the day!  We were able to stretch each other in our thinking and spiritual growth.  You know—that person you feel like you have known your whole life, but actually you have only known a short period of time.  When these people come along in your life, you immediately know it’s a blessing!  As we travel these paths in life, we do have friends that come and go according to were you along the journey.  But you only get a few of these jewels that touch your life in such a unique way.  So, take today to honor, send love, or think about the jewels you have experienced in your life.  If none are coming to mind, then it is a perfect day to discover or find a new dear wise friend remembering there are all types of love out there!

Dear Wise Friend

It is as though our souls were once together on two stars far away.

Yet our minds and spirits have shared a beach for such a short period.


How can people meet for the first time and have known each other for a life time?

I have never known this world without you Dear Wise Friend.


Even though our physical beings have not always worked together or played together,

We have always been together by our spirits.


The cheer in your voice always lets me know this a blessed day.

Your warm hug reassures me that I am safe.


Dear Wise Friend your honest words help me to grow on this journey.

The light that you possess is so deep and strong that everyone who touches you

goes away with love and spirit.


I really do not care why or how we came to be after so many years.

But I certainly know to have a companion as yourself on this journey is a treasure.


Dear Wise Friends are true treasures.

The soul that speaks to your soul when others are not brave.


The one who is not afraid to question humanity.

The one who gleans character, uniqueness, and peace.


A treasure hidden from those that are too blind to accept the truth.

The one that lifts a prayer for everyone in need.


Dear Wise Friend as our lights burn even brighter with each leg of the journey,

I have comfort knowing my treasure has always and will always be having

you beside me—


My Dear Wise Friend.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman


I could not let this week go without thanking my Dear Wise Friend.  I am eternally grateful for all of the learning and growth I experienced by knowing you.  May your life be blessed and your journey be joyful.  My prayer for everyone today is to know and experience love!  God bless you and your family this day and week as you celebrate love!







Journey of Patience

Journey of Patience

I just cannot wait!  I have waited too long!  Please just get on with it!  Have you thought or spoken these words? I sure have.  When life and circumstances get slow and bogged down, I get so impatient.  I just need the circumstance to be resolved and over.  I know in my life, I have sometimes made some big mistakes because I just could not be patient.  The wait creates pain in the way of thoughts of what is going to happen or what might happen.  The wait creates great anxiety.  Even after all the studies I have gone through and all the literature I have read explaining the benefits of waiting, I drive myself crazy!  I have to put my brain’s stop lights on and remember the experience is the whole purpose of the circumstance.

It is necessary to bring to the forefront the purpose of this situation.  The situation is not there to give me pain, it is there to teach me some very valuable life lesson.  I believe it all comes back to not living in the moment.  I become obsessed on the past or anxious about the future, which can ruin the entire life experience.  I am just so blessed that God is so patient with me.  I am given time to process the full experience.  Even though to me it seems like a life time, the time is really very short!  As you examine your situations this week and your patience runs short in some, try to examine the situation and look for the lesson.  Be open to the learning about yourself and others.  Truly live and love yourself and others in the present!

Journey of Patience

How do You do it?

Why do You allow me in again and again?

I make a mistake.

You say you are forgiven.

I immediately make the mistake again.


I know this is grace.

I know I am wrong.

I know I can do better.

But to You, none of this matters.

You see me as a special child worth saving.


You are patient with my growth and with my setbacks.

I become confused about my situations.

I beg to be removed,

But You say look,

And see what you are learning.


I yell at myself.

I yell out at others.

I yell at You.

Because this is not what I planned.

And after all this You still take me back.


The words themselves sound so calm,

Especially patience.

But they are anything but that.

Anxiety causes the fears to arise,

Which lessens my patience.


I beg and beg for this time to be gone,

But You say have patience child,

The lesson will be learned.

You must go through to see the joy.

You must experience to share your faith.


A day flies through.

Week moves from week.

One month turns into another.

Until you see the year,

And you cannot put a point on where you are.


I know You have the direction.

But You need me to be patient.

Please bring it to me sooner.

The solution or the answer.

Please relieve the pain.


This patience is so difficult.

But most of all thank You for not giving up on me.

For not letting me fall,

But for lifting me up.

For comforting me.


Patience is the hardest part of this journey.

I forget to live now.

I forget to be where I am.

Grow my heart to understand,

And grow my life to accept.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Traveling your path this week try to work on your patience.  Even it includes the checkout line at the grocery or Target!  You may meet a special soul there that needs your love, or another soul may be your savior for the day.  Look for how your patience grows your life.  I pray blessings for you and yours this week!  May your life be enriched this week by the blessings and patience of your journey!