We cannot choose what happens to us, but we CAN choose how to respond.  Like many people, Alzheimer’s happened to our family.  I chose to respond by photographing a flower a day.  Maria Shriver chose to found the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, so she found this week to be a good one to shine a spotlight on my “Flowers for Mom” project by honoring me as her Architect of Change as seen here.  Her belief is that we all have the power to be Architects of Change in our own lives and our own communities.  Needless to say, I am deeply grateful for this gift and appreciate knowing that the way I have chosen to respond to Alzheimer’s is in some small way moving humanity forward.

Just as beauty abounds in the flowers I find daily, people imagining what CAN be are also all around us if we simply pause to notice.  Sara Beck, is one such individual.  Twenty three years ago she gave me the gift of being the godmother for her daughter.  Marsa is a neurodiverse girl who learns differently, walks with difficulty, has had more surgeries than I can count on two hands, and brings great joy to those around her.  Rather than focus on the road blocks facing adults with differences, Sara has become an advocate for Marsa and others in our community by providing her volunteer leadership to Triumph Services, a new organization in Alabama that provides a holistic approach to support that includes developing independent living skills, training for employment, and working on community integration in addition to providing counseling.  Triumph is life changing not only for Marsa, but also for families, employers and other area citizens as evidenced in this video.

 

Flowers for Mom as unique as Marsa, photographed in the Beck’s yard

 

While we would prefer that Hurricane Florence remained at sea, the Eastern United States has been hard hit by her winds and water.  We are now witnessing American heroes who are responding and engaging in what they CAN do to assist with the resulting devastation.  There is so much more that will need to be done, and undoubtedly there are other caring, conscious, connected, and compassionate people who will rise to the challenge.

 

Flowers for Mom photographed in Wilmington, NC on Mom’s birthday prior to Hurricane Florence

 

It’s your turn to think of what you CAN do.  Be an Architect of Change!  Make a Difference and Move Humanity Forward.

 

Flowers for Mom Vol. II June 16 – passion flower

 

Thank you to all who came to the “Celebrating Nature through Art” show to support the Black Warrior Riverkeeper at the beautiful Harrison Galleries in Tuscaloosa.  For more of the story, check out this nice article in Alabama Living about “The Healing Power of Nature.”

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