Exactly one week ago I hosted our first Love and Open Arms meetup. Words cannot express what the morning meant to me. In fact, I have spent the last seven days reflecting on our morning and all that transpired. My dear friend Elizabeth captured a bit of our time together and I am so grateful to have these photos. If you are on the Alzheimer’s journey, I hope that you will feel our support through this recap. What a beautiful and brave group of women.
Christa Rose created the most gorgeous arrangements. I was honored to have these throughout my home. She used vases that belonged to my mom so it was extra special.
Every single woman that walked through my door was so warm and loving. There was an instant connection because we all travel a similar path.
It was such a pleasure meeting Kathryn. She knows the ladies from Tiny Tags which is one of my favorite companies ever. In fact I never take my necklaces off. There is something about being on this journey that instantly bonds you together.
There was so much love and kindness in everyone’s eyes. And each woman on their own path but finding comfort and understanding in one another.
What I adore about this photo is that it captures what was really happening throughout our morning. Real and honest conversations. People connecting and feeling understood.
And while we had plenty of tears, there was so much joy and laughter. So good for the soul.
I want to personally thank each and every one one of these brave women who showed up to share, be heard, and feel connected. What struck me the most is that every story, every journey is so unique, but that didn’t prevent us from immediately bonding. I miss them all already and look forward to connecting again very soon.
These totes were filled with a few goodies including a “Bring the Joy” wristband as well as ideas for what to do with someone living with Alzheimer’s.
I wanted to share this with all of you, too. Simple things that can turn a frustrating day into a few minutes of joy. So many of these really helped me as I navigated the journey with my own mom. You can click on the link above to print your own copy.
My beautiful friend Sarah wrote this book and provided one for everybody who attended. Her story is not only captivating but hopeful and inspiring. My mom and Beauty (her mom’s name) shared so many similarities. Sarah is still walking this journey with her mom. You can follow her on Instagram (@beautyinalzheimers).
Minted gifted the women these beautiful notebooks. Each one says, “Bring the Joy.” Whether it’s documenting the journey or simply jotting down joyful experiences throughout the day, I hope it’s a journal that they will fill with love.
I was on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day because I loved my time with these women. No matter what journey you may be on, I encourage you to find your tribe. Fellowship is a powerful thing.
Elizabeth captured this which melted my heart. This framed photo was sent to me by my friend Jill just after mom passed away. We treasure it and have it in our pantry so that we can see it every day. Thankful for mom’s example of love and open arms and hope that this community continues to thrive as a place of joy and comfort.
A huge thank you to the following people who helped make the first Love and Open Arms Meetup so special:
- Photography – Elizabeth Johnson
- Flowers – Christa Rose
- Notebooks – Minted
- Broken Beauty – Sarah Smith
You can read more about our journey with Alzheimer’s here.
So beautiful and heart warming. By gathering these women together in your support group, you are giving them the greatest gift of new friends who know exactly what it is like to walk thru this journey. I’ve been involved in two separate support groups for other reasons and the support of other women and knowing you are not alone is so important in walking forward in life. You are so kind to share this, even though your precious Mom is no longer here, it shows your strength and your compassion for others/other women. Truly amazing!
What a lovely day! So helpful to gather people together to share their stories. Good for the soul.
God bless you for your efforts. Your mama is so proud of you. Hope to see you on March 8th!
Love, Nancy ❤️
Amy Curran says
Courtney, my mother does not have Alzheimer’s, but has dementia. If you do another one, would it be all right if I came? Thank you!!
Thank-you again, Courtney, for arranging a morning gathering that has made me feel comforted, stronger, and less alone on this journey that most people don’t understand at all. Sarah’s sweet book and my Minted journal are daily reminders of all the incredibly kind strong women I met that morning.