Tuesday, July 27, 2010

At The Nursing Home

About a month ago I adopted a grandmother at a local nursing home.  She was the most despised resident in her wing.  I don't know why God put a love for her in my heart, but he did, and I suppose it was for a reason.  We've watched her steadily improve in several ways.  Each time we visit her, her stories are less gruesome and filled with self-pity.  Each time, we see her, a tiny glimmer of light shines in her face, and she  is more willing to cooperate, and no longer believes that all people are mean and cruel.  She isn't always in her right mind, but she always loves to see me and the kids, and she always knows when Monday rolls around, that we'll be coming back again.

So far, I have dragged the kids with me.  They put up with the visit, as they hid behind my legs.  Kaylee refused to go a couple of times because the smell offended her.  But Peter came, and started not to hide quite so much.

This last Monday, we got there around 3:00 in the afternoon, because at our regular time, 9:30am, she was always sleeping.  So we went when she would be more alert.  Before entering, we prayed that we would have His light to shine with us, that we may be a good influence, and help her and all the residents know that God loves them, and has not forgotten them.  AG (Adopted Grandma) was so happy to see us, she cried.  She was afraid we weren't coming, and had been hollering, and carrying on all day.  (I had tried to call, but couldn't get through.)  So I explained we'd start coming in the afternoon, when she was awake.  

She begged me for some beans.  She wanted to snap them, put them in a pot with a piece of meat, and so on.  It sounded like a reasonable request, but of course, she was in a nursing home, and had no kitchen.  I said I could bring her some green beans to eat, but later remembered they won't allow home-cooked food to be brought into the nursing home.  But that's not what she wanted anyway.  She said, "just let me do something, so I can say I had a  hand in it."  I thought about this, and I thought about just saying no, explaining she couldn't do it in a nursing home.  But instead, I started to think about how I could help her make this wish come true, at least in part.  

The kids and I went to the store and bought some fresh green beans.  Then we stopped by the house.  Peter ran to the toys, and started stuffing some in a pouch.  I grabbed some old Easter baskets we didn't need anymore, and we went back to the nursing home.  I asked and was granted permission to snap beans with AG.  We sat at a table in the common room, with dozens of envious eyes watching us.  We snapped beans with AG, whose hands are much too arthritic to do the work, and I told her that she was welcome to share these with her friends.  Many of the residents could do some snapping, as not all of them were as arthritic.  AG could see immediately that she wouldn't be able to fix any beans, but she just beamed that I'd made an effort for her.   As we were snapping beans, talking about her family and so on, Peter opened his pouch, and presented three toys to AG, who picked them up and put them in one of the Easter baskets.  She admired the toys over and over, and said what a fine boy that was.  

Peter beamed, and said with a smile, "These are for you to keep!"  He came to me, and said, "Mom, she can keep those toys!"  AG loved it!  After a little while, I explained that I'd promised to take the kids swimming, so I'd better be on my way.  She was so sweet, and said, "Well, I always say, do what you say you gonna do, otherwise, don't say it!"  She kept asking if these things belonged to her.  I assured her, yes.  As we were waiting to be let out, I was thrilled to see a crowd gather around her, as other residents admired her gifts.  For once, instead of being despised, AG was admired and envied.  

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