Hands and Heart Together

Available December 2020 from Holy Cow! Press:

This book provides day-at-a-time sustenance for those who are caring for loved ones. The need for daily encouragement among this population is staggering; there are over 43 million family caregivers in the U.S., according to AARP. Here is a book that is easily accessible; each short meditation illuminates an aspect of caregiving and closes with an uplifting message. Heartfelt inspiration and hands-on understanding fill these pages as well as a deep and gentle encouragement to honor both the burdens and beautiful gifts of this journey; its path provides untold opportunities for meaningful moments. Any caregiver who reads these will feel understood and invited to more fully embrace the significance of their journey – a day at a time.

Order your copy here.


“To love means never to be afraid of the windstorms of life: Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings. —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This is a beautiful image for how love marks us. Scars, woundedness, exhaustion, are ways that the windstorms of caregiving impact the rock of our love, of our very being. Carvings! And if you have ever stood near a canyon or mountain or rock face of any size, then you have probably been riveted by the designs and textures carved across its surface.

So as you face the windstorms of caregiving, you will sometimes find them to be gentle breezes out of the west or relentless gusts from the north. Winds can stir up everything that has been rooted and tear leaves and branches off trees. And yet a morning breeze out of the east can fill one with fresh air and hopes. All of these winds shape us as subtly and invisibly as winds carving rock faces all over our planet.

As I lovingly face the many moods of the windstorms of caregiving, my soul is being shaped and carved in beautiful ways that often only slowly become visible.


“I began to see that hope, however feeble its foundation, bespeaks allegiance to every unlikely beauty on this earth.” —David James Duncan

There are days when hope runs thin—hope for less pain in our loved one, hope for a different outcome than we are witnessing, hope for the ability to keep our own inner fires burning. The impact of a long and arduous road is that there are moments when one feels like hope is beyond reach. And yet, the beauty of the natural world is always there within reach in a multitude of ways and its beauty shines a light that falls equally on all.

A stunning sunrise, the aroma and deep color of even one rose, a brilliantly yellow bird singing and fluttering nearby, the deer that appears at the edge of the yard. Sunlight on a brick wall in the early morning, the slant of afternoon light falling upon a loved one’s face, the half moon lighting up the landscape of night.  All of these moments of natural beauty and many many more are awaiting our attention. The enduring and yet ephemeral qualities of beauty in the natural world carry a spirit thread of hope, a reminder that we all share something both eternal and fleeting and worthy of being cherished.

On days when my hope and energy run low, I can always look to the natural world to revive, comfort me and remind me of a deep and ongoing beautiful energy, there to inspire me.


Patricia Hoolihan’s previous books include three daily meditation books: one
for parents of teens, one for teen girls and one for mothers in recovery. She has
also authored a book on parenting teens into adulthood and most recently, published
a memoir Storm Prayers: Retrieving and Reimagining Matters of the Soul
(North Star Press). This book for caregivers is the one she wishes she had had
when she was walking with her parents and other beloved family elders through
their last months and years. Hoolihan teaches writing at The Loft in Minneapolis
and at Metropolitan State University.