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ShareTheCaregiving: a program of the National Center for Civic Innovation

Dianne Rhein and her Morning Glories


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    Dianne Rhein

    I am glad some of you, including especially Claire, Lisa and Paula encouraged me to get this (STC) set up sooner rather than later. I felt awkward about it and wasn’t too comfy being a center of attention and focus. I had some sense I needed to be practically on death’s doorstep to have a valid reason to ask for help. I felt such relief upon leaving the kick-off meeting -even a sense of euphoria – and my daughter Emma was amazed to learn of all these loving friends available to assist as needed.

    I have appreciated the donations of funds for medical costs, gardening help, food preparation and shopping, meal deliveries and invitations to eat at friends’ homes, pharmacy and other store pick-up runs, chemotherapy companionship, fun outings, trips to Mayo Clinic, accompanying me to doctor’s visits, household cleaning, healing Reiki touch, discounts on massage,  regular cheery notes and phone calls…these are just some immediate things that come to mind

    The process used to set up the opening gathering, which Lisa facilitated, was very loving, embracing, energizing and affirming-I think I can say we all felt that way. The environment was a comfortable, nurturing one and the bouquet of flowers Lisa bought with funds from Claire was such a loving, creative touch.  I was so humbled and gratified to hear of the ways I had impacted on others so much that they were willing to help me and my family as my care needs increase.

    In truth, I too would be willing to assist any of the Morning Glories at any time to the extent that I could.  I also felt a sense that others felt that too – the potential for this network to assist others in the network or beyond as life unfolded.  I also found comfort in hearing how some thought this could also benefit them in their lives right now -part of the facilitated process that went very well.  I felt more the Circle concept of giving and receiving – which I am most comfortable with. The form people could fill out at the meeting or electronically was very helpful as a guideline but not encumbering or limiting or too bureaucratic-feeling.

    I’ve been heartened that people continue to be of help – sometimes they just call or e-mail me directly, and then I let the coordinator know. It’s best if this is a rather informal process – at least at this juncture. I know with time more will be needed from the Morning Glories and other of my support systems, including hospice down the line.

    Why Morning Glories?  I have always loved morning glories, especially Heavenly Blues.  I have a garden alight in the morning with multiple colors of morning glory flowers – those tough survivors of deer, rabbits, and other natural varmints. Seemed like a good name for my Circle of Care.

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