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We Are Family. Get Up Everybody and Sing.

Last Friday afternoon, we gathered again for what has become a wonderful annual Autumn tradition: the “family social” at The Ivey. Members, staff and family came together to enjoy live music (courtesy of the one and only John Leon Lewis!), singing and dancing, food and drink, conversation and laughter.

One of my favorite parts of this tradition is ending with our “theme song” – We Are Family by Sister Sledge.

There are some lyrics in this beloved tune that really hit home for me:

High, high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
We, no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong, oh no
This is our family jewel

Like me, you may have danced to this song at countless weddings and other celebrations without really catching how meaningful these words are. But considered in the context of my years of experience at The Ivey, the words really are perfect…

…We do have great hopes for the future. We hope that our journey is as enjoyable as it can possibly be, and that breakthroughs and cures are coming.

…In the meantime, each of us have goals and dreams that are achievable – like meaningful connection and experiences with our loved ones and each other.

…Given the challenges of living with dementia, we may get depressed from time to time, but we have the support of “The Ivey family” to pull us back up, support us and reenergize us.

…And the golden rule…oh yes, the golden rule…is oh-so-important. That is, to truly believe that you have what it takes to successfully traverse the dementia journey. That deep down, you innately know what is best for you and your loved one. And if you can cultivate faith in your instincts, then you will know that everything will, indeed, be okay.

Hopes. Goals. Support. Faith.

I dare say, these really are the “family jewels” of The Ivey. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love to sing these words loud and proud each year – with each of you. You are a huge part of my family, and I am grateful.