• Monica Eastway

Thank You, Clare

As a meaningful engagement professional, I have extensive experience engaging people living with dementia through song, laughter, and dance. I am the founder of Rockin' Wrinkles!, a musical movement program for vibrant aging, providing over 600 in-person sessions, and I can assure you, the music never dies.

While working 1:1 with clients living with dementia, I became aware of the positive effect of being outdoors and the moments admiring and engaging with Nature had on my clients.

I am currently pioneering a green care movement here in the United States. There are over three decades of evidence-based research showcasing the numerous benefits of green care for not only people living with dementia; green care benefits all participants!

One of my dearest clients transitioned last year, and her relative asked if I would like to speak at her celebration of life. I did not know "Clare" before being diagnosed with vascular dementia, and I was unsure how to present the many meaningful moments we shared. It dawned on me to write a poem. People living with dementia can still have an incredible and positive impact on others. I am forever grateful for my experiences with Clare. Below is the poem I shared with her loved ones:

Thank You, Clare

Thank You, Clare

For all the meaningful moments we shared

When we first met

I was in awe of your grace

I knew I was in the presence of an extraordinary woman

Thank You, Clare

For agreeing to work with me

And share meaningful moments

Clare, you are one of my greatest teachers

You taught me the beauty of being present

Which is a present

From the Hokey Pokey, Home of the Range, Tennessee Waltz

to You Are My Sunshine

Melodies are memories forever to be shared

I will always hold dear witnessing

Your singing word for word

Songs from days gone by

I will forever cherish our moments of laughter, song, dance, and play

Thank You, Clare

You taught me to be at ease and comfortable with the piano

As we sat side by side

and sometimes with BizKit in between

From America the Beautiful to the First Noel

My favorite was playing and singing songs we had never heard before....

Like, A Fly and a Flea in a Flu

Were caught, so what could they do?

"Let us fly," said the flea, "Let us Flee," said the fly; so they "flew thru a flaw in a flu" **laughing

You taught me it is never too late to learn something new

And even when we miss a key

To laugh and start again

Our moments filled with improv

Guided by the here and now

Thank You, Clare

For helping me laugh out loud when my hair was flaming red from Henna gone wrong

"It will fade out," you said with a glorious smile followed by a hearty shared laugh

I am still laughing...

Thank You, Clare

I will forever treasure our moments in the Rose Garden

You taught me how to walk slow

And gently inhale the magnificent aroma

Of every flower

To admire the contours, form, and loveliness- the way an artist does

Thank You, Clare

Your humility and grace is so admirable

Your delight when sharing the view from your window

taught me that there is always wonder to be appreciated

Thank You, Clare

You taught me that wherever we are in life

However young or old

There lives an opportunity to become powerful catalysts

for those around us

endlessly creating legacy

Our time together will forever inspire my life and career

Thank You, Clare

You taught me the importance of embracing and welcoming life

moment by moment

day by day

I am honored to know you

With Gratitude and Love

Your friend and student,


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