Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Try It Tuesday!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's day!! I was very blessed to spend the day with my DH and kids, going to church, out to eat and enjoying a brand new.....bread machine!!!! Oh people, I was very excited about this as my bread machine had long since died and I was making bread the old fashioned way....buying it at the store!!

No, seriously, I would buy some bread at the store, but I was making homemade bread the old fashioned way....and some days I just didn't feel like making bread which would be met with 3 (4 if DD's boyfriend was here) sad faces and the words, "You mean you didn't bake any bread today????"

I got 2 wonderful books from my kids because they know that Mom has an addiction to books. One was a devotional by Joyce Meyer (whom I just love!!!) and the other was a book of 100 favorite Bible verses!!

My mom had to work Sunday (she works at a nursing home) and so my sis and I took her out yesterday and spent the day with her. We did our run of hitting the Dollar Tree and the thrift store, decided we were finally hungry and headed to the best Chinese restaurant in town...(and I'm not crazy about Chinese food!!).

While sitting there and talking, this elderly lady walked by and Mom spoke to her.

Turns out she is a resident at the nursing home where Mom works. Her daughters had brought her out for the day as well to celebrate.

After a few words and some laughter, this sweet lady walks on and Mom shares her story with us. It really tugged at my heart strings and got me to thinking.

Mom has worked in a nursing home for many of the last 35 years. She has seen many residents never have anyone visit them. No one to just drop by and say hi, or read to them or just brighten their day.

She's seen the longing in their eyes as other residents enjoy their visitors and my mom being the awesome lady that she is, will go out of her way to make these resident's day a little brighter.

Over the years, my kids and I have visited different nursing homes and "adopted" residents. We will usually go once a week or so for just a couple of hours to talk or read to someone.

It's very easy to get connected with residents who never have visitors. Just a few minutes with the director and they can usually pair you up with a resident.

My challenge for us this Try It Tuesday!! is to adopt a resident at a nursing or retirement home.

I know..you're already strapped for time. I am too.

You have tiny tots. I did too.

It makes you uncomfortable. It did me too.

What will you say?? I am very shy around people, but I've found all you really have to do is say "Hi! I'm ______. How are you today?"...and the resident will take over from there.

DD is my social butterfly and DS is like his mom.....smile and move on. But even when they were tiny tots and we'd visit the nursing homes, there was never a dull moment. These residents absolutely dote on little guys and nothing embarrasses them.
One particular resident comes to mind........

Each week we would visit our local nursing home. We visited with all that we could, but each of us had our own "adopted" resident.

As we would go inside the building, there was always an elderly man standing near the door looking out the window. As we would walk in, he would look at DD who was about 3 at the time and he would say, "Hiya Shorty." He never smiled and he never said anything else, just "Hiya Shorty".

Having been taught to be respectful, she would say hi and move on. When we'd get around the corner DD would tug on my shirt and motion for me to bend over. In my ear she would whisper, "Dat ole' man makes me sssoooo maddd!!!" I would tell her I understood, but praise her for being respectful and not hurting his feelings. You have to understand the old guys still pick on her. At 18, she stands a very tall 5'3"!!! (her "little" brother is already at 6 feet!)

I'm not sure how long this went on...at least 3 months.. when my mouthy little social butterfly couldn't stand it any longer.

On the day DD finally broke, we walked in the nursing home.

This man was still standing by the window and doing what had become routine, he looked down at DD and said, "Hiya Shorty". No smile. No other words.

Just as we got past him, DD snatched her hand out of mine, turned around to face this man, stood completely straight up making herself as tall as a 3 year old could, put her tiny little hands on her tiny little hips and said as loud as she could, (and believe me, she could and still can be VERY loud!!) "I'm not Shorty ole' man!!!"

I just stopped. I was mortified!!!! All I could think was, "Gotta do damage control, gotta do damage control. Oh, I'm gonna git that girl....!!"

It seemed like an eternity, but was only a few seconds. DD still has her hands on her hips and is staring straight at this man. He stares at her and then....the blessing....he breaks out in the biggest smile and from the very depths of his gut, laughs!!!

He can't control himself and the laughter was very contagious.

He ruffles DD's hair and walks away.

That became the norm.

"Hiya Shorty!" ...now with a smile.

"I'm not Shorty ole' man!!" ...still with hands on hips.

So how about it?? How about taking some time to pray and asking God to direct you to a nursing or retirement home where He can bless others through you.

Trust me. The blessing you are can never match the way you'll be blessed.


momstheword said...

This is a very sweet post. My mom is in a care facility since she's been released from the hospital. Eventually we're expecting her to come back home.

But there's a gal there who is 93 and she has no family to visit her and is very lonely. She cries sometimes and it's so sad.

Imagine giving your whole life to your family and then when you're older and need them, they aren't there. Sometimes people love their families but are to far away to visit very often. Still, it's sad.

Rachel said...

Such a sweet story!

My family has worked in nursing home ministries for years... that is one area where you receive instant gratification for your time well-spent! I was and still am, amazed by the stories and treasures these people hold.

Thanks for sharing your heart.