Thursday, June 15, 2017
You're Here Not By Chance
Every Wednesday night I go down the street to sing for some nursing home residents. I find them all sitting in the hallway after dinner. I have my guitar strapped on as I stroll the up and down the hall singing to them all. I've been going there now for 7 years. Over the years I have seen many residents come and go (they are all quite ill by the time they take up residence here). Most of the staff has been there longer than me but I've also seen a lot of them come and go too.
Even so, there have been times when my presence there seemed to go unnoticed. A Wednesday would come and I'd make my rounds seemingly invisible and go back home. At times when I'd be away or missed due to being sick, no one ever remarked on my absence.
All of this changed recently, however. For I had missed a week due to not feeling well and one of the nurses came up and said, "Where were you last week? They were all waiting for you." Hm. I had never felt that way there before, seemed no one noticed me much. But it was true.
Last night I showed up and a man was waiting by the door. As soon as I got close enough, he punched in the code to unlock the door. I thought he was going somewhere and asked, "Where are you off to?" But he said he was waiting for to help me in and that everyone was lined up to hear me.
Sure enough, they were. All 15 or so of them were lined up outside of the nursing station waiting for the music. As soon as I started singing, one of the nurses came and started singing and dancing and conducting along with me. The residents smiled and seemed to really enjoy it.
The above picture is something one of them took out of their purses and asked me to read. You can see it is very old and tattered and wrapped in plastic for safe keeping. I was touched by her saving this and feeling so much a part of their lives there.
I was wrong that I was not noticed. Jt may be true that some people due to illness are unable to show or acknowledge what I bring but they do notice. It's good to be reminded of that at times.