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A letter to the JUNIPER community from our Chief Community Officer
and Care Coach Maura Horton

To Begin, Begin – William Wordsworth


You are not alone. My journey in life didn’t go at all as I had scripted it in my mind. Maybe you know what that is like. The road map I had envisioned was one that consisted of a forever happy marriage and healthy children. At the end of the day, all that mattered to my nucleus was a formidable family core with a strong moral compass. We were well on the way. Two healthy daughters, careers that aligned with our moral fiber and a fulfilled life with the strongest partner I could hope for. However, the future I had planned had an about face with my husband’s diagnosis of Early Onset Parkinson’s disease. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls.

A diagnosis or shift in health for any family can be viewed as a life-changing or dreamending moment. While keeping my moral compass and strong family values, I shifted into caregiving. For me, a new uncharted beginning. It can be a challenge to accept the departure from what you had planned and to view the new normal as an opening to a window of opportunity, but it is. A new opportunity to begin fresh, with focused energy, raw perspective, different concerns and untried solutions. But, in caregiving every moment cumulates to this new type of day. Even when the challenges seem insurmountable, what I learned is to leave those perceived failures in the past and tackle each day with a fresh perspective. Otherwise, you will quickly become overwhelmed and unable to muster the energy to provide the care required from you and for you.

With the passing of my husband I had a true crossroads in life. Should I entrench myself into the community where he and I lived? Or should I shift my focus to something completely different? Part of me wanted something so far away from the raw emotions of disease, care partnering and disability. As many who grieve the loss of a loved one know, many days are difficult, and the remembrances and conversations of diagnosis, treatments and caregiving are often painful and tough.

It’s been said the happiest people are the givers, not the takers. With that phrase constantly running through my thoughts, new beginnings brought me to Juniper Unlimited. I hope to help others on their caregiving journey by giving back in any way I can. I make a promise that this new journey I am on is with you. I will always try to keep your hearts protected, challenged, empowered and enriched. We are all in this together, and with this sense of community, I hope we can either start with you on your journey or meet you where you are. We are here for your “new day”. Please feel free to share how I and the rest of the Juniper Unlimited community can support you on your journey.

When you have a triumph, let me know, I want to share your joys with our community. When your day seems like a failure where nothing goes right, let me know, we want the community to lift you up. Caregiving should not be a solo journey; it should take a village. And this new village is here for you, so how can we help?

Reach me at carecoach@juniperunltd.com and let us know

Please share your adventures with us at share@juniperunltd.com
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