Mornings With Melissa

Episode 3:


Oh I”m in a terrible psychological muddle.  Melissa is sick and the doctor ordered her not to be near anyone or any patient with such a terrible high fever, AND a cough. I have to admit and have fought so hard not be the one who needs the caregiver. But that had side expresses that, one caregiver per person needed, but the proper amount one way or another, is not arguably, one caregiver per person being tended. Now that we have that settled I want you to know that I tried to work hard and do our work, but it is no fun without Melissa.

Having to face the same daily torture, with no loving and sympathetic support is a fearful journey. I feel sympathetic towards her, and hate to fill her with the angst of my plight, but how can I protect her when she is protecting me? Melissa and I are responsible for joining our past lessons, and bringing them to our newly shared journey, which adds meaningfulness.

Melissa has become so important in my life. She keeps me going through the toils and troubles of being so afflicted and constantly are there to sooth a mind full of fear and discomfort. I can’t imagine life without her at this juncture, so I will not imagine anything more than the truth, and the truth is I miss you come back soon.


I complain a lot about living through these moments of Horror and Fear. Melissa is tired of hearing me say that and said in a strong teacher voice, “So, now that so many things are getting better and you are involved with your writing again, I bet if the hit man came to give you your wish and stood in front of you with a gun, you would not say yes to this plan of y ours, right?

You know she has hit pay dirt and you brace for the turmoil you can or cannot take a part in. Of course, on special days where life rolls along, grinding a melody out the sandy trail ahead, the Hit man will not be summoned today. Not today Melissa, not today.

Please feel free to leave us your comments and thoughts.

Morning’s With Melissa

Episode 2

Yesterday was Melissa’s Day off.  She’s a careful driver and on her way now. Children in our neighborhoods have started school ending their summer vacations. I hope her drive has not changed the lovely empty morning streets she has enjoyed thus far, because of the maddening crowds that returning to school do cause.

Melissa comes this morning all puffed up. She says, “Morning’s suck,” she repeats in a controlled steady growl. I think for myself and begin to silently agree wholeheartedly. I think morning’s stink too, but if you are tuned in, it will give you a message. You should wade through, and hope you see joy and relief later in your the day. I would like to share some more morning thoughts in a condensed form, which will serve to inform, but will cease before I begin to wallow.

We are happy to see each other and begin writing down a few topics we have in mind to share. I start with thanking her for her help with the lovely Ice cream party we shared with the Movie Group. The movie group is a group of six couples, twelve people in all. For many years we have taken turns choosing a movie that we will see on our own, then the hostess chose a dining spot, and then the group will get together to enjoy deserts and movie discussions. Skip and I enjoyed seeing everyone after a very long hiatus. I say a huge thank you to Melissa and praise her skill mixing the afternoon, Iced Tea, Iced Coffee, conversations surrounded by love, the passing of time, and the joys of gathering together once again. I continue to praise her, but she just blushes and says, “Stop already”!

How could I possibly stop before I mentioned with great love and giving her heart felt hugs for helping me several weeks before the gathering to put all of the photographs of my paintings, some I enhanced by my love of using Photo Shop, and along with some of my writings, and observations of my deepest human thoughts, as they shape the realities of life. Melissa and her super sensitive collating skills of data in sequences brought me to the realization that she had created a beautiful book, using my love of producing artistic pieces of joy announcing me as the author, Illustrator and simultaneously giving me a bit of fame to claim.  At this moment of creating this special blog I am highlighting the sharing of Caregiving and Caregivers, and letting you know that it is not just bringing the patient a glass of water.

I am telling you this because I had many physical issues, which I could not overcome on my own. I did not understand the need and therefore, I had to create the path to renewing my body and mind.

Melissa instinctively knew how to handle each step we encountered and what to do in order for the healing of spirit and mind. Go on this journey with us as we teach each other.


Please feel free to leave your comments as we look forward to read them.




(Episode 1)

Melissa is my enlightened caregiver and I am her patient. When our family decided that it was not safe for me to be wandering and fending for myself, the search across the San Fernando Valley began. Agencies sent people for the caregiving position. My response to all of them was, “No Way!” One was so large she could not fit through the door. Another one waited in the rain to be picked up by her husband who never came. For all I know she shriveled up and floated away. A friend of mine of many years, my Lovely Brendie, found Melissa. Thanks to God, Mornings with Melissa, an important, and life giving relationship, was born.

Melissa is kind and has strong caregiving skills that she has gathered over the years. She is dependable, and her skills and knowledge is shared freely with everyone who tends to me. She puts a warm spirit all over the house, sees to the watering of special plants that would heretofore not be able to be present without her care. WE have a bird family in the yard and Melissa feeds them our breadcrumbs. As soon as Melissa goes into the kitchen, Mr. Bird flies to greet her. Melissa is welcomed by everyone for her love, warmth, and understanding of life.

Yes, you want to know what Melissa does for me. When you wake up tomorrow pen and paper should be in your hands, or placed near by. Start your written notations of everything you do for yourself. Think back a few days and add some things you remember that would have been much less frustrating with help. Your list should be long. Now it is my turn to tell all. I was chosen to suffer from a disease that not even the devil could have concocted. The Spells are horrid and cannot be explained in any way I can think of, except to put my foot in my mouth and say perhaps childbirth is something you cannot describe and each person’s pain is different. My spells come and go at their will. I do not know when they will come but I know it’s too often. They course through the body and must have a roadmap, because they are right on task and never deviate.   What Melissa does for me, is eases me through each session and lightens my load. Without Melissa, the devil wins and who wants that?

Thank you for reading so far, and when you share your comments with us, they will become so important, in helping all of us to develop growth as we share our skills


Growls and Grins

Growls or Grins, it’s the state you’re in.

Roommates for 58 years, through many growls, grins, and tears.

Happy days and dreams are sure, but just make certain you have plenty of ice cream.

For some of us, ice cream is the cure, and for some of us it is the curse.

Either way, just be sure you’re in line first.


By: Sheila Clapkin

Dixie, We’ve Come A Long Way Since Elementary School


Dear Dixie,

I have wanted to say hello for a long time and Barbara magically came up with your address. Skip and I are trying to make it through each day. He finds it very difficult to walk and I have broken bones from Osteoperosis. Oh well. Then I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and that is horrible.

But then again the magic of life still wins and we awake to a new day with new challenges. Gosh we are getting older and older. When we were all young, I never gave aging a thought.

I hope you are as well as can be and enjoying what you can. I used to paint and write blogs, but if I can get my hair up in a bun that does it.

Something interesting: They make dresses that are really pajamas and have a robe that looks like a jacket over the pajama dress. So there you have it. We can wear our P.J.s to dinner. Lovely huh?

I love you dear long time friend forever!

Sheila Levin Clapkin


Precious Memories Flood My Soul



Precious Memories Flood my Soul.

On such a quiet morning scenes unfold. Is it a memory or a dream that I am experiencing? I see Mother, Father, family, friends, home, and remembering a warm fireside glow.


I lie down under the apricot tree, without you, but with memories following me, spiraling free. How they come and go at will to fill me is a mystery.

Sights and sounds come marching through.

Passages and extracts from the past cross my mind’s path.

The preservation of my memories not only resides in my head, but in the cells of my body. I carry them gratefully.

I wish that you could hear what memories I hear and what I see. I wish that I could hear and see what you see, so that we would be able converse about them and honor their being.

Let us share precious memories, precious scenes, signs, and settings.

Once again let us lie under the apricot tree and feel our memories fill our minds, starting our hearts to throb with remembrances abounding in our precious, sacred recollections

Time is passing and we are inspired to fly across the years and once again enter our heart and soul zones, which have filled nearly to the brim with wonders of wonders to share.

A comforting thought is that I know you will always be there and you know I will be there for you in our precious memories.



Dear Friend



Dear Friend,

I want not to like you!

I actively work, and plot not to like you,

but, to no avail.

I like you.

I like you a lot.


It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t


She received a gorgeous slip for her 16th birthday and learned women wore slips inside and under outer clothing to smooth the look of the outer clothes.

She thought that it was much too beautiful for her to wear, so it slept for 52 years in a bottom drawer until yesterday. It awakened fully on the hips of this 78 year old woman. 

The woman twirled and glided across the floor wearing the slip among other tidbits of clothing, creating a miraculous change in thinking. 

It is a dried up old slip saved for half a century and revered as a treasure. Today was the debut of the slip. It was just a rolled up forgotten rag and today it has become a center of interest, therapist, and a way to change and reposition the tales told, therefore a way to change the flow of thoughts. 

Once upon a time this slip was too elegant for the receiver and today it has turned the tide in such a positive direction. The receiver of the gift, so long ago, has carried it into the present as a positive boast upward into self-acceptance.

So now once again it is what it is, until it isn’t.


It’s Tough Being Me

It’s tough being me,

But who else can I be?

None can be me, but me.

The me that was then

Can never be again,

Gone and replaced

With Gratitude and Grace,

In a shawl of linen and lace

There you can see the me that was me

And the me I am trying to be

Someone wrote in my book, “You were kidnapped from who you were.”

Who wrote this?

Indeed, could it have been me?

If it were me, I’d climb a tree and wave a flag.

How very observant and how very important to finally know what needs to be fixed. Give me back!


The Time is Now








“Do not aim for perfection. Do your best and let it be.”



I saw the ghosts today. One comes early morning, the other in late afternoon. There is a new one today. She/he arrived near noon, thin as a rail and sits in the chair at the side of the copy machine. She/he does not move. I know I am not crazy because others in the office have seen them, too.

I work in the office of an old building where there has been a Scrap Metal and Iron business for nearly a century. We are located near downtown Los Angeles, California. Lisa and I are secretaries, and I think one of the ghosts is a former secretary named Miss Cummings from seventy-five years ago. She is preceded by a smell of powdered roses, like a perfume from long ago. She is a shadowy thing that brushes against the desks and sometimes rattles the doorknob to the bathroom. She has on adorable clothes with a lacy collars and ruffles on bottom of her shin length skirt. I can’t really see her well, but I know when she is here. The powdered Rose smell precedes her.

The Ghostly man is shadowy as well, but we see him more clearly than the others. He is announced by the smell of cigar smoke. There are no smoking signs everywhere, so naturally we were upset if in fact it was someone smoking on the premises. He is dressed in a dark suit, tie, and a large hat signaling the forties. He goes directly to the boss’s office, rattles around and checks every corner of space, then goes out into the scrap yard. The well-dressed cigar smoking man seems satisfied and is gone until the next time. Oh, yes there is a next time. Ask me about it

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