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Tag Archives: Mosaic Moon

  • Caregiver Events with Frances Kakugawa

    FHK_MM_WD Author Frances Kakugawa and her two caregiving-focused books, Mosaic Moon and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz. (Author photo by Jason Kimura)

    Providing daily care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or other long-term illness can be a brutal experience. Author and inspirational speaker Frances H. Kakugawa is well-acquainted with the struggles of caregiving, having served as caregiver for her late mother, Matsue, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's. During this time, Frances found that poetry and journaling helped bring dignity to the caregiving experience. A retired educator, she is now an advocate of the power of writing to enrich the lives of children, the elderly and those who care for loved ones with long-term disabilities. Through her writings, workshops, school visitations, readings and speaking engagements nationwide she helps others discover how to view caregiving as a fulfilling experience rather than a burden.

    The award-winning author of 11 books, Frances offers monthly writing groups in Sacramento for caregivers and also conducts workshops on poetry and memoir writing and lectures throughout the country. At least once a year, Frances returns to her home state of Hawai‘i to offer caregiving workshops for the public.

    This spring, the following opportunities to hear Frances speak are available on the Big Island and O‘ahu:

    Hilo:

    Thursday, March 6, 5pm
    Presentation offered by the Alzheimer's Assoication
    Aging and Disability Resource Center
    1055 Kino‘ole Street
    Call Chris Ridley, 808-443-7360, to reserve a seat
    FREE event

    Saturday, March 8, time TBD EVENT CANCELLED
    Puna Hongwanji

    O‘ahu:

    Friday, March 14, 8am to 4:30pm
    Third annual St. Francis Hospice Grief Conference
    Ko‘olau Ballrooms and Conference Center
    45-550 Kionaole Road
    Registration required: $130 online / $150 by mail
    Register Here

    Wednesday, March 19, 4:30-6pm
    Workshop: “The Art of Caregiving for Someone with Memory Loss”
    15 Craigside Retirement Home - Solarium
    15 Craigside Place
    FREE Event
    Limited space, please register. Contact: Jody Mishan, 295-2624 or jmishan@hawaii.rr.com

    Frances' books on caregiving, Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry and the award-winning children’s book, Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, will be available for purchase at her events and can be found at local bookstores and online at www.bookshawaii.net and other online booksellers. Wordsworth Dances the Waltz was named a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient in the category “Crossing Generations.”

  • We Did Not Go Gentle

    When it is all over
    I will shout so all can hear.

    “We put up a great fight, didn’t we?
    We didn’t just sit back and cower with fear,
    We didn’t just sit back and curse this thief
    As he quietly stole into our lives."

    This final poem in our series of posts to bring attention to National Alzheimer's Awareness and National Family Caregivers' Month is from Mosaic Moon. Author Frances Kakugawa continues her imagery of Alzheimer's as a thief, one to be fought against bravely, and with dignity.

    In addition to the graphic posted below, we created a video to go along with Frances' reading of this poem at a presentation for the Hawaii Child & Family Services organization. To see more videos for Frances' readings, visit our YouTube channel or her blog.

  • Please Don't — How Can Writing Help Caregivers?

    November is both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers’ Month. To commemorate this occasion, every week we will be posting a poem by Frances H. Kakugawa, author of Mosaic Moon and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, titles aimed at helping caregivers and families cope with the stress of caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    On the surface, it's hard to see the connection between writing — much less poetry writing — caregiving and Alzheimer's disease. Frances explains:

    What is there when poetry appears on paper, and after? There is the reality of what Alzheimer's disease is and how caregiving forces you and your loved one to live in the center of this disease. In our pursuit of using writing to understand this disease, our loved ones, and ourselves, the reality of what this disease does is not forgotten nor swept under the art of poetry or song.  It forces us, along with our loved ones, to reinvent ourselves and to continuously examine what it is that we are inventing and for whom.

    In "Please Don't" (from Mosaic Moon), Frances acknowledges the fear that Alzheimer's brought into her home.

  • The Lie — Caregivers and Coping with Alzheimer's

    November is both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers’ Month. To commemorate this occasion, every week we will be posting a poem by Frances H. Kakugawa, author of Mosaic Moon and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, titles aimed at helping caregivers and families cope with the stress of caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    Frances views writing as a valuable tool for caregivers, a way to find release. "Writing requires no special tools, only a pen and your voice." It is a safe place for caregivers to express their innermost thoughts, even the feelings of anger or sadness that we may find shameful to reveal to others.

    My hope for caregivers is that my poetry and the poems and stories of those who have contributed their work to my books, Mosaic Moon and Breaking the Silence, will give you comfort, help you feel you are not alone, and encourage you to join our voices in preserving the life that must go on during and after caregiving. Only then can we confront this thief that comes into our lives.

    The following poem, "The Lie," appears in Mosaic Moon, along with more of Frances' work and contributions from members of her caregivers' writing workshop, led by Frances for the Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter.

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