Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Always My Brother... a book review.

As a pediatric critical care nurse, I have seen all too often a sibling dealing with grief.

I also see first hand the lack of age appropriate reading resources that kids can relate to when coping with such a loss. I am happy to share with you a new picture book by author Jean Reagan titled Always My Brother.

  • Always My Brother

  • Author: Jean Reagan

  • Illustrated by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill

  • Suitable for ages 6-12 and reading level grade 3-6

  • ISBN 978-0-88448-313-7

This is a touching story of John and his sister who loved each other and shared many interests until his death. The pictures and the text together form a tender story of loss and the journey through grief for his sister, Becky including feelings of guilt when Becky began enjoying life again.

Parents can use this inspiring story to begin discussions with children dealing with such a tragic and sudden experience or as a start to the exploration of feelings before a child experiences death.

Kids will relate to the feelings of the character and find an understanding of their own emotions as they read this story over again. Get a copy today to use as a great resource for kids when helping them to sort through the grief process. It is an excellent read and a wonderful book to share as a family. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day is more than picnics and cookouts. It is a time for all Americans to pay tribute to those who have gone to war to fight for our freedom.

  • And today, more than ever before, we must thank those who give their lives to keep us safe and free.

Please take a moment today to remember those who have lost their lives for our country. And give some thought about how you can help those who have gone to war and come home injured from the violence of war. There are many ways to contribute to the organizations that help the veterans of our country. Time, money, and prayer are just a few.

I pray that each and everyone of you has a great Memorial Day with family and friends, keeping in mind the reason for this holiday. And a heartfelt thank you to all the women and men who have served to make me and others safe in this land that we love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Caring for Kids with Disabilities and Serious Illness

  • As a clinical manager for children who deal daily with machines, alarms, and tubes I can tell you that it is stressful for the caregivers of these children no matter how much these kids are loved. Here are a couple of things I have discovered about life with these kids:

These kids are loved by parents, aunts, uncles, nurses, grandparents, and friends. These same parents, aunts, uncles, nurses, grandparents, and friends have lives outside the center of the care of these kids and that life gets put on hold spontaneously and frequently and at the worst possible moment.

This fact means that flexibility is your new best friend. Flexibility must be at the core of those who care for these kids because these kids get sick, equipment fails, nurses call off, home care works when kids aren't hospitalized and when the caregivers show up and the weather is sunny, and the list goes on..... NO Day is the same and routine takes on a whole new meaning.

As a clinical manager, flexibility must be my new best friend as well. I may need to make an unexpected visit to a home, make numerous phone calls, attend a case conference at the spur of the moment, or any number of activities that take me away from the paper work and physician calls I planned for the day. But these unexpected events happen because we put the care of the child first.

It takes a team and teamwork to care for these kids at home. It can be challenging and hard work for less pay than a traditional hospital setting. But you know what else I have learned? It is well worth it because these kids want to be a home, they do better at home, and I love to see kids smile.

So for those caregivers, parents, nurses, and family members who care for kids with challenges in their home setting, God bless you. The child in your life appreciates it, even if they may not be able to communicate it any other way but with that smile. You make a difference and it matters.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Book out by Susan Warren

It is time to pick a few good books for your summer reading. If you have a sick child who needs you at the bedside, grab a good book to read while they nap. Reading is one pastime that doesn't require a lot of physical energy and one where you can still be near the one you are caring for while disappearing into the pages of the story. Try the new Book by Susan Warren. ( Check the tab picture of book on the sidebar of this blog )

I know you will find the book a page turner. Check out her website as well if you are interested in writing or reading other books by this author.

Are you a writer? Or want to be? Get a daily dose of "how to write" and discover the writer in you -!

Susan May Warren Soul-Stirring Fiction

This well known author has so much to offer both her readers and those who want to write. Check it out.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

You Want Me To Do What... by b.lynn goodwin

Some of you are caregivers for elderly parents, an ill spouse, or a disabled child. You take care of the most intimate details and activities of daily living for those you love along with working, taking care of your own home, and any number of other responsibilities. And most caregivers do it with a smile as they keep pent up feelings inside. Feelings of fear, depression, anger, frustration, love, sadness, and every other feeling imaginable.

  • Journaling may be an answer for you. Author b. lynn goodwin has written a book for caregivers called You Want Me To Do What?

In this book the author guides you as you find your voice and put the feelings you have about care giving on the page. Your story is unique and your situation is your story. This book helps you to validate what you feel and how much you care.

More about the book and other interesting articles and reviews can be found at

There is a wonderful review of the book by author Carolyn Howard- Johnson. This author/teacher has an informative website well worth checking into at You can also read more about her at

Check it out. If you are a caregiver, you may benefit from reading goodwin's book. Let me know how you like it.