I am thankful for the community within this little blog. I learn so much from the people who read and comment and share. The last time I wrote about visiting the home for older people, I received so many kind and encouraging comments, some from people who work at places like this sharing the message, “Go back!”
While reading the responses, I made a point that we would, and the we would soon, and hopefully often.
Today was our day to return, we even had our friends come meet us, they dressed in their best dress up clothes, Rapunzel and Minnie mouse.
Elijah met Doria who’s face lit up when he touched her arm. She spoke kindly to him in German, staring at his sweet face like he was her own child before giving him a hug and kiss. He couldn’t understand the words she whispered out to him, but that didn’t stop them from a connection, from bringing a smile of joy to a face that had been blank.
We visited with the guests and then we asked, “Where is Virginia?”
“Which Virginia, we have 3.”
We described her and they pointed us to her room down a long hall lined with rooms.
We walked down the hall with shiny floors towards her room, we couldn’t see much inside, it was very dark, a little light glowing from behind a crooked curtain.
We walked in slowly, the boys in front, peeking around the hanging sheet separating people where the nurse was beckoning us. Would she remember us?
When she saw them, she blinked a few times and squinted, “Hi Virginia!” Elijah said.
She squinted again, straightening up in her chair. She looked at their smiling faces, and a kind smile filled the entirety of her face,
“You came back!”
Maria asked if she would like to hear Harry Potter.
“Oh, I would love that, I used to be an English teacher back in Pennsylvania.”
Maria read her a few pages, “Maria, you are such a great reader,” Virginia told her. Maria beamed.
We had read Proverbs 16:24 before we went in, Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.//
Each kiddos told her something sweet, “You are BEAUTIFUL!” Elijah shouted.
“Thank you for letting me read to you….” Maria smiled.
“You are the best old person….ever,” Finley said with a serious face.
She smiled, so comfortable with the noise and commotion that come with my crew.
“Thank you for coming, what do you guys have going on today. I just love visitors, come back when you can.”
“We will,” we waved!
i love this new mission you’ve found!
I think I’ll just plan on crying through every post in this series 🙂
Ditto, Michelle. But happy tears! I love the pictures – thank you for using your time and energy to serve others.
Great job, guys!
You guys are awesome beyond words. What a place the world would be if even a small percentage of people emulated you. You are blessing not only the elderly but also your kids.
Favorite post ever:)
I love your blog! From Jesus, to adoption, to oils , to food, to an amazing husband/dad (I have one like that too!). Just love it. The visits have been amazing to hear about. My favorite was when Maria said “I can’t believe this is free!” Precious heart! Keep writing!
This is so wonderful! I work at a home for the handicapped and many of my residents are severely developmentally delayed and in lots of ways are similar to children which end up being similar to the elderly. It’s so important to have nonverbal communication skills with my residents so lots of smiles, and gentle touch is something they totally crave. My residents beam when new people come to visit them and for them to promise to come back and then actually do come? What an amazing thing you are doing! Teaching your children very young about compassion on the weak. Thank you for doing this! Also it’s a great reminder how important to keep visiting my own grandpa!
Wow, that’s amazing. Yes, looking back, the nonverbal communication is really the most powerful, and such a good skill to have.
Bless you for working with those sweeties
I’ve never commented on here before although have read for a while – these posts have been making me sob at my desk! It is such a kind and selfless thing you are doing and teaching your children to do, I wish you every happiness.
Thank you so much TC, that is so kind to share and touched my heart <3
Thanks to the initial post in this series, I’ve brought this idea to my local Mom’s club as a monthly activity for our little ones! Even if the club doesn’t pick it up, my kids & I will. Thank you & God bless.
Wow! Amazing! I’m honored. It’s totally out of the comfort zone at first, but I’ve seen my kids with more confidence in talking to people in more natural settings after visiting the old folks home, good skills and huge blessings all around.
I worked in a nursing/skilled care facility for nine years. Residents want to still be viewed as useful, contributing citizens. Part of the issue is that they are often isolated from communities that they were a part of for their whole lives. Many of them survived two world wars, Vietnam, Korea, and multiple tragedies. Many times when talking to them I would give them a ‘issue’ I was having and let them contribute. For example if you put up food, you can say; “Ethel, what is the ratio of vinegar to beans, when canning…” Or if they crocheted or knitted, ask them a question related to that. These are things that their generation did, and as such they are very familiar with. They absolutely want to be a part of something, and this is a great conversation starter. So many residents, just don’t get visitors, some are not even in their home communities. One woman I knew was a 100 miles away from her hometown. She would say “I just want to go home.” It’s a good thing you are doing. Good job, mama.