"Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth."
I came across the classic poem by Robert Fulghum the other day, titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I’m sure you’ve seen it at some point or another… it brings up everything from the importance of sharing to the universal need for napping. It is true! The world would be an incredible place if we all followed the rules of the Kindergarten classroom. But, while there is a lot of truth to this philosophy, I have learned a lot of important lessons from our residents in the latter stages of life, as well.
- I’ve learned that hearing a story repeated several times can be a gift. Our fast-paced culture is becoming more and more lousy at listening… what better way to practice our listening skills than to hear the same story repeated!
- I’ve learned that there is no such thing as too many hugs. We live in an ever-isolating culture. The best place to give hugs and receive smiles is in the hallways of PM. My loneliest days are brightened with a stroll through the halls!
- I’ve learned that words shouldn’t be wasted. Speak up, annunciate and be efficient with your words…
- And, most importantly, I’ve learned that God is present in the most unexpected of places. Our Creator’s fingerprints are present all around PM… from the ever-quiet woman who yells, “I LOVE YOU!” to the glimmer of relief in the eyes of a perpetually anxious resident.
The holidays are a lonely time of year for many people. Families miss loved ones who have passed… single people miss the company of others… residents miss their families. We can easily be swept up in this loneliness, like the voice in Psalm 71:9. What if we were to reach out to one another? There is so much to be learned from and shared with the residents and staff of PM and people all around us. My prayer for each of us is that we not shy away from opportunities to discover God’s presence among us!
God’s peace to you this Christmas and always!