This post is long past due. Not just this post but many. I still have to tell you about our boys, Garrett and Brody. I mean, if they ever found this blog in their older age and discovered that I had only written about their sister, I'm sure there would be dire emotional consequences, right? Emotional consequences aside, I really do find them as as precious as Ashlyn so be looking for those posts soon.
I also need to update you on our life in general. Besides the news of George, which has oh so much more detail at this point, we also had a stroke scare with my mom. Needless to say our parents' mortality has bluntly stared us straight in the eyes and we are humbled...
Now for today's post:
86%. Did you know that 86% of the elderly in nursing home care have NOBODY that comes and visits? 86% people!! For some time I've been wanting to establish a routine of befriending and visiting a senior but have dragged my feet for no good reason. Valentine's Day, however, has been a good kick-in-the-pants, and I hope to soon report that our family has stuck up a new friendship. What was it that spurned me on you ask?
On Valentine's Day Garrett's first grade class took a field trip to a local nursing home. I volunteered, at the last minute, to be a driver. While the drive to the home was something in and of itself (just imagine the youthful energy in our van packed with five 1st graders, a four-year-old, and a three-year-old), the performance the kids delivered was indeed inspiring. Along with the first grade class, the second graders joined the fun with song and dance for the residents to enjoy. All of the songs were God-focused and just about the most adorable thing you've ever seen. Country line dancing with partners of the opposite gender loses all it's corniness when it's done by your own child!
Besides the performance we did about 15 minutes of meet and greet and general visiting. While most of the kids were trepidacious because of the plethora of wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, I was in my element. I love the elderly. I love their rich heritage, the time from which they hailed, their appreciation of the simple things of life, the wrinkled skin of their hands that bears testament to years and years of experiences yet to be know by others. I love it all. And you know what I loved most? Their joy following the kids' performance!! You would have thought we'd brought a world-class Broadway show to the nursing home. These people were overwhelmed with joy, so much so that they cried. They cried and they begged. They begged us not to go. They begged us to come back and visit. They were thirsty for the simple joy that human interaction brings.
86%! This means that of the roughly 40 residents, 34 of them would have had not a single visitor on our national day of celebrating love had we not gone to the nursing home. Convicted? I am!!