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The NOW Watch

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Now Watch

Ditch your watch. Live in a state of present moment consciousness. The only TIME IS NOW. Transformation is in the NOW. Proceeds will benefit Alzheimer's cause and the continued care of my ballet mentor, Miss Joan Miller.

Alzheimer's and caring for my ballet teacher, Miss Joan Miller, of the Palm Beach Ballet for more than 5 years in my home taught me the value of present moment consciousness, and that the Only Time That Matters is NOW. Alzheimer's patients live in the NOW, and while they may be "losing their mind" they can actually teach us profound lessons about "mindfulness."

Palm Beach Post - Feature Story on Cover & In Accent (2015)

Palm Beach Post - Feature Story (2016)

Palm Beach Daily News - Keynote Speaker (2019)

United Way Annual Magazine Report (2019)

Carissa Kranz invites Alzheimer's Ballet Mentor Home

Carissa's Caregiving Journey with Miss Joan & Alzheimer's

Keynote Speech for Alzheimer’s Luncheon, Palm Beach

The Time is NOW - 2019 Keynote message for Alzheimer's Community Care

"The Only Time That Matters is NOW. Be apart of a movement for present moment consciousness, assist my efforts to care for Miss Joan, and contribute to the Alzheimer's cause. Alzheimer's teaches us that the only time that matters is NOW. We may disagree about our reality a moment ago and what our reality will be in a moment, but we always agree on the reality of this present moment."  - Carissa Kranz 

Article about Carissa & her ailing ballet teacher Miss Joan by Alzheimer's Community care, where they are the 2019 feature story. Assist her efforts by buying a bracelet, which is a donation for the cause.

What looks like a watch on her wrist is simply a band that says “NOW.” Living in the “now” is one of the many lessons Carissa has learned since taking responsibility for her former ballet teacher who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. “I have gotten rid of my watch, as Alzheimer’s disease and caring for Miss Joan of the Palm Beach Ballet, in my home, for more than 5 years taught me -- the only time that matters is NOW." 

In 2013, Attorney Carissa Kranz of Jupiter, Florida, learned that her beloved ballet teacher was warehoused in a skilled nursing facility, wearing an ankle monitor, in a ward room with five beds. “I was shocked and devastated beyond belief. Her present reality was unacceptable. How could the woman who perfected the art of movement be confined to a medicaid bed? I was heartbroken.” 

Miss Joan Miller trained the best -- every ballet company in the United States has in some way been touched by Joan Miller’s reach, as acknowledged at the 50th anniversary of the Palm Beach Ballet. Just google “Joan Miller Palm Beach Ballet” and see the catalogue of professional dancers and instructors around the world who owe their careers to Miss Joan, and who proudly state they trained under her direction in their bios, knowing her name alone establishes all credibility to their own artistic ability. 

“Miss Joan’s world-renown success was not without significant personal sacrifice.” 

Miss Joan never married, never had kids of her own, she was an only child, and her parents had since passed. Placing her in a facility was the easy option as her condition deteriorated. The world-renown dance icon, the once strong and independent woman that built, owned, and ran her own business for more than 55 years, was now destitute with no money, no family, no advocate, and no control. Her life unraveled -- while she was still alive. Her home was foreclosed, her studio closed, her pets confiscated, and her identity quickly gone. With no known family, she was basically an orphan to the state and a victim of the system. The woman who could once do it all, could no longer keep it all together. She needed help.

“She paid it forward to me, and so many others, and so I was committed to paying it back. I was on full scholarship my entire life.” 

That’s when Carissa took over Power of Attorney, moved her into her home, navigated the system and rallied the community to help. Carissa holds a special place in her heart for Miss Joan because she gave her free ballet lessons for more than a decade. While Carissa danced professionally, she did not make it her career to do so. “I never reached my ballet potential. Instead, I became an attorney, which made me feel like I let her down.” But Carissa’s career direction was exactly what Miss Joan needed so many years later when she had no one to help and no place to live. Carissa danced circles around the legal system to get her every service and accommodation she was entitled to receive as a medicaid recipient under the law. 

“I wanted her to live and thrive rather than warehoused to die. The community is her family, as she dedicated her life to the arts, giving her students world-class training and the community unmatched performances. We are all her kids.” 

Carissa recounted how difficult it was for Miss Joan as her father fell ill to Alzheimer's and forgot who she was -- his only child. Notwithstanding, she cared for him until his death. “She had no one to do the same for her and I couldn’t let her be alone.” 

That is when the real journey began. Carissa left her job at Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm, to open her own practice so that she would have more control over her schedule to be a caregiver. “I brought her into my home, because the ‘system’ was killing her. I didn’t know anything about the disease, but I was determined to give Miss Joan her dignity back. She deserved that -- we all do!"

As Carissa began to realize the tremendous burden that caring for an Alzheimer’s patient was, Alzheimer’s Community Care (ACC) stepped in to help. ACC was well-aware of the 60 years of archives in the Palm Beach Post highlighting Miss Joan’s community contributions for more than a half-century, and with the assistance of the community, Carissa was able to place Miss Joan in one of the Adult Specialized Day Centers. This freed Carissa’s schedule to continue building a career to provide for Miss Joan, and allowed for Miss Joan’s “now” to continue to be rich in the community. Carissa’s “now” also improved as she gained her own life back, without throwing Miss Joan’s life away, back into the system. 

Carissa is Miss Joan’s “guardian” angel; providing her with housing, full-time caregivers, meals, supplies, and daily trips to the Adult Day Center. “I couldn’t do it without the Day Center. It gives her a reason to get up and get dressed every day -- It gives her a purpose. It is also a big part of my system of checks and balances for her care and well-being.” 

Almost 6 years into the journey together, the role of teacher and pupil have seemingly reversed; but Carissa says that she continues to learn from her mentor every day. “She’s still my teacher: She taught me how to be a prima ballerina, and now she teaches me about life and what counts. 

We do not live in time, we live in moments, as she lives only in the NOW. 

“Right now is all she understands. The past does not matter because she will not remember it. What just happened a minute ago does not matter anymore, let it go. It is over. She will forget that too in a minute. The future does not matter because the anxiety of it is not real and we do not know what it holds. She does not remember what is ‘real,’ as the only thing that is ‘real’ -- to us both -- is this present moment.” 

“I’m forever grateful to Alzheimer's Day Centers for making our NOW better. Time will tell if research for a cure will yield a future solution, but it certainly is not a replacement for the services specialized day centers provide to patients and caregivers, now.”

One truth patients and caregivers will always agree is real, is now. So next time we all look at our watches to check what time it is, maybe we will all slow down and remember the answer is always the same: The Time is NOW. 

100% of profits for these bracelets will go to assist Miss Joan’s Care and to the Alzheimer’s cause.