Little Milkweed Angel is available in Lisbeth's Etsy shop.
Lisbeth slept over this past weekend. I will have to do a separate post about The Sleepover. I'm certain that it will require more than one post, but for now, let's just talk a bit about last Saturday night. Lis and I designed a special ornament together based on one of her drawings of her cat, Little Milkweed. As I've said before, Milkweed is Lisbeth's world. They have a very tight bond (in fact, they look so much alike, I'm convinced that if Lisbeth Miller was a cat, she would look just like Little Milkweed...). Lisbeth needs constant attention, so while Garry was busy fixing our dinner, I suggested that we make a little angel ornament out of snow white felt. She approved. Lis picked out just the right shades of pink and blue for Milkweed's nose and eyes, and supervised the process from a comfy chair.
We made this ornament to add to a shrine for Milkweed that we are building on a wall in Lisbeth's living room. Lis's house manager, Holly Spence, and IA's resident psychologist, JC Edelberg and I have been meeting to brainstorm about ways to help reduce Lisbeth's anxiety. One idea we have is to teach Lisbeth some very simple deep breathing and muscle relaxation, and to help her focus on something soothing while doing these exercises. Lisbeth has difficulty with abstract thinking, and to attempt to teach her specific religious doctrine - the sort of thing that can bring comfort to some individuals - simply does not work for her. Lisbeth knows what she knows. She knows she loves Milkweed, and Milkweed is there for her unconditionally. So thoughts of Milkweed are always pleasing for Lisbeth. We often talk to her about Milkweed when she is perseverating and needs redirection. Milkweed brings her joy.
So we are building this meditation corner for Lisbeth, with All the Things of Milkweed. Our hope is that it can be a place where Lis can sit daily and look at all the little things that bring about feelings of peace and joy. Lisbeth loves to find matching things (one of her neuro-psych evaluations catagorized Lisbeth as having an associative brain, something that I believe all artists possess) and she will love finding flowers and trinkets that are Milkweed's colors and adding them to her little shrine. Lisbeth's therapist, Stepanie Cimmet, has begun teaching Lisbeth the breathing and relaxation exercises, and has agreed to be taped doing this, so that Lisbeth's staff can learn the technique and do the exercises daily with Lisbeth. We hope that Lisbeth will be able to do these exercises in her meditation corner, and that by practicing daily, she will make gains in reducing her profound anxiety.