Sunday, October 10, 2010

To teach a lesson, sternly but with kindness, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It really amazes me how the Firek family’s bond strengthened during their hardship and how their compassion for human kind overpowered their anger as they followed through and participated in the court trial.

Joleen talked about how she forgave the criminals, “It was easier to forgive the boys and to simply look FORWARD. I don’t know how to explain how I accomplished that. I mean, I don’t like them. But I don’t hate them or wish them ill will. I hope one day they will pay back the world in kindness 100-fold for the horrible things they have done up to now.”

She continued, “I don’t talk about this openly in my blog or with my friends, but I think part of how I accomplished the forgiveness part had to do with believing in God. I sat in that courtroom, so tired from the past 2 years of my life (divorced, laid off, broke, exhausted caregiver) that I refused to take on one more upset. So I put it in God’s hands.”

Joleen offered advice to help others who are struggling through an overwhelming care giving situation, “There is a job position which sounds very vague and tends to be very expensive: Geriatric Care Manager, Care Advocate, Senior Care Expert, Care Consultant. We made the choice NOT to hire a Care Consultant. Knowing what I know now, BIG mistake! We had so many curve balls thrown at us within a 3 year period, we were exhausted. Not only that, but when it came down to needing a home for Dad which would tolerate violent residents (as Dad had become one), there’s no way to decipher one home from the others. Non-profits like Alzheimer’s Association are legally unable to tell you which homes on the general list are better or worse from the others; they can only give you a long list of homes for you to start investigating. Only an experienced Care Consultant knows the little differences!”

This is priceless advice from someone who is now working to help others impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. She is devoting her efforts into making a documentary about their journey with her father Frank. Learn more about their story by following her blog, Frankly Speaking: Alzheimer’s. It is filled with family, love, sorrow and hope for a better future for others!

Joleen’s parting words about her father, “He wanted so badly to make a difference and leave the world a better place than he found it; he chose to do this one person at a time. He lived his life with a Pay It Forward mentality. I believe that most people who passed in his wake knew that he was someone exceptional!”

Photo credit, Karrie Martin~Wings & Roots Photography

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