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Yesterday turned out to be quite the day. We did our usual Sunday visit to the nursing home to enjoy some time with our new friends there. Since Lee and I started volunteering here this year, we have met some amazing people. It’s happy, sad, fulfilling and inspiring all at the same time. The residents long for visits. Some are completely aware of what’s going on and some slip in and out of reality (whatever ‘that’ really is). Some who live there cannot speak, or even move, they are listed at ‘sensory’ patients. This is a little difficult for me, as I can only look them in the eye, and try to understand what they are thinking or wanting to tell me. It breaks my heart. The look in one’s eyes can usually speak a million words. I see sadness. This one man we visit is this way. When we enter his room, we tell him who we are and remind him of our names.  We look at his pictures that are arranged nicely on his walls and furniture, and comment out loud so he can hear us. Sometimes I gently lay my hand on his foot and give it a rub to let him know my touch. I try to imagine what it’s like to be trapped inside a body that won’t react, yet can hear and see. I’m not sure if God intends us to understand why things like this happen.

One lady that we see each week is as sweet as can be. She loves Jesus and Mother Mary, and has pictures of them in her room. Yesterday Lee and I asked her “Do you remember us?” and she said, “Of course I remember you. I know what Jesus looks like!” That brought a smile to my face. She’s such a dear lady, who loves her shoes, and likes to dress in coordinating colors. She complains that her toes hurts and wants to cut them off. I just tell her that she’s silly and that she needs bigger shoes! She really does, as her shoes are like 2 sizes too small, but she insists on fitting them on her feet. One time Lee and I convinced her to keep her house slippers on and wear them to dinner that night. She hesitated and said “I can’t wear those to dinner, people will look at my feet.” It’s at times like these I think “this woman is completely here – I don’t believe I’ve met anyone sharper!” Maybe on my next visit I will measure her feet and then pick her up a nice new pair! However, there are times when she’ll go into her ‘make believe’ world. She has a baby doll that she keeps in her room and if you ask her who the baby is, she will go on and on telling a story about who the baby is and where it came from. In her mind she rescued it from an abusive home, and told the baby’s mother that if she tried to stop her from taking this baby that she would report her to the authorities. Can you imagine? How on earth did she ever come up with such a story?

There are many people, many situations, all with their own story. I know they are cared for and are not alone, but I’m sure they are lonely and truly do love to have visitors. I know this because I see it. They lighten up when you take the time to talk to them. I highly recommend getting involved with your local nursing home and care centers.

Afterward, we went to church. I love our parish – as you can truly experience the sense of community here, making it one big family who love and care for each other. Our priest gives some awesome sermons and writes a weekly article in the bulletin which is always informative and full of inspiration to all. I always tell him what a great writer he is. After mass there were prayer partners available to pray over you if you chose.  We did. Lee and I partake in this blessing as much as possible. We believe in, and have seen, the power of prayer. Being prayed over is a very powerful and moving experience. Blessings abound.

As we were leaving the church, we stopped to talk to the homeless man who always attends this mass. Week after week, he is here. The one time we did not see him, we found out that he had been in the hospital – we all prayed for his recovery. He smiles from ear to ear when you speak to him, and will never ask for a penny. But if you offer him money, he is extremely thankful.

It was a day full of God and His many wonders. God works in mysterious ways.

Sunday love (on a Monday)…

Mary

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