is fundraising to honor:
her Mom, Doreen Shepard
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FAMILY AND FRIENDS! PARTY WITH A PURPOSE! JOIN US! LET'S HAVE FUN! SING! DANCE! EAT! THIS IS MY 50TH BIRTHDAY REQUEST TO YOU!
Our Mom, Doreen Shepard, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in September of 2016. It has been a long road of learning about and caring for a woman who nurtured and comforted my sister and I all of our lives. She and Dad welcomed our friends and partners into their home. They supported me through my coming out journey with love and acceptance.
I am so grateful and fortunate that I have such a dedicated family partner on this road with our folks. I refer to my sister, Colleen Shepard-Minnich. She has mastered remembering the details of financial and medical advocacy. Colleen has the patience for the unpredictable path of elder care. Our life partners, Beth Blissman and Chip Minnich have been compassionate listeners and sounding boards. Beth has been through this as her Mom, Peg had vascular dementia. So I appreciate her wisdom.
For my 50th birthday, I am having a fundraiser to benefit the Alzheimer's Association and Windsong, Cleveland's Feminist Chorus. Through the Alzheimer's Association, I have accessed the many resources for counseling, family support groups, and online tutorials about this disease that has been growing more common by the year.
One of the most important things I have learned is that music is a wonderful way to calm the mind and build new neural pathways in the brain. When we are young, we can connect our life experiences to music. As we grow older, we hold those connections in our long-term memory. Even those with severe dementias can tap deep emotional recall. Songs associated with these important personal events can trigger our memory to the lyrics, notes and rhythms. This can soothe the chaotic brain and helps the listener to focus on the feeling.
Nothing has opened my mind to the possibilities of music as Windsong has. This ever-evolving group of women has been singing since 1979. I missed singing with the church choir and my friends, Linda and Patti suggested I join Windsong. I was intimidated walking into a room of women who were brought up with singing, playing instruments, and being educated in music. I soon found that this group was diverse in their knowledge of music making, and it was ok that I didn't know the difference between a high C or a low C. We sing songs of sisterhood, family, love of our Earth, and inclusion. It's all integrated into a harmonious message of social justice. We have a good bit of fun too! This wonderful group of women have inspired me to the point where I have built up the confidence to try learning piano. I know now, in the midst of caring for my parents, how much singing and playing the piano can help my brain to escape for a recharge, and remind me of the importance of how music can fill the spirit!
So please come, hear Windsong sing, during our 40th anniversary year, learn more about music and the mind, check out the raffle, eat some appetizers and kick up your heals to some of the music you love. We will have Karen, DJ Freeze spinning some great tunes! No presents. For my birthday, I just request your presence, and donations to the Alzheimer's Association and Windsong! More information coming soon for RSVP and ways to donate online. Thank you for your support!! Kim
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