He was so depressed yesterday.

Do you know how old he is, Patricia? He is 97 years-old. He was so depressed yesterday. It is so nice to see him smiling. He was feeling bad about some of the other people going home for Thanksgiving.

What about all of the people in nursing homes that have no plans, no children, no family and no friends around any more? Remembering the times that they were traveling to visit family, delighting in frosting the cakes, when their days were busy preparing for the holidays, lots of dirty dishes were in the sink, and excitement was everywhere. For many, the joy of holiday season has faded.

I wish that I could set places at my Thanksgiving table for the Polish lady that does not speak English. I can’t imagine what that must be like if nobody understands you, 24 hours a day. Or the lady that must have been in an accident or had a stroke and is laying in a position that looks extremely uncomfortable…..but she can’t speak and make her needs known.

I passed out some of the gifts that people have donated for my December visits. When you see a man sitting dejectedly, a little voice says Go out to the car and bring in some of the goodies. Don’t wait until it is closer to Christmas. I don’t think that all of the ANGELS who have given me gifts would mind if they get delivered a little early.

We all sang a few songs. I think I witnessed some people remembering words to songs that they had not sung since childhood. Their faces seemed alight with happiness. (And I had lost a little feeling of self-pity that I had felt about an hour earlier.) I had a home. I had a Thanksgiving feast to go to.

The lady in the back with the aqua colored hat and a forlorn face said,”I am so depressed. My husband passed four years ago and I can’t get over it. I hate holidays. It just reminds me of what I don’t have anymore.

A lady with an oxygen tube sat down on the bench by the elevator. I sat there next to her.

Where am I? What are we doing now? What are we supposed to do now? Where do I live? Where is my son? He said he was going to get his brother and he never came back for me.

Thanksgiving at a nursing home. Giving little gifts to people who appreciated them. I felt warm and content as I drove home. I knew that the residents had given ME a wonderful gift for Thanksgiving.

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