For It is in Giving that We Receive

For It is in Giving that We Receive

I always look out into the audience of residents gathered in the activity room and say something like this: I can tell just by looking into your eyes that everybody in this room was the type of person that helped others. If someone in your neighborhood, church or family needed something, you were the first to step up to the plate. Whether it was making a chocolate cake, sending a get-well card, giving someone a little Bible verse for inspiration, lending them a few dollars or calling someone just to listen…..I know that was the type of person that you were. You were very important. YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

Then I ask everyone to repeat three times – I AM VERY IMPORTANT.

Now, turn to three of your friends in this room and tell them – YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

I wish that you could see the smiles and hear the laughter.

Here are some little snippets of conversation at our visit today:

My mother was amazing. She had eight kids and she was a single parent. The most important thing that she taught me was the quote:  For It is in Giving that We Receive.

Patricia, thank the kids who donated the Christmas window clings that you hung on our windows. I got the ones with the Nativity crèche. Thanks for hanging them on my mirror so I can see them. I hope that it wasn’t too much trouble that I asked you to move them up higher so I could see them from my bed.

Thank the lady who donated all of the beautiful white bears. All brand new from a Hallmark store. She must have spent a fortune. I am holding mine like a baby, sort of cradling it in my arms. I had two babies, both adopted. My daughter is 70-years-old. My son Theodore – that name means Gift of God – and he was a gift from God. He was killed in Viet-Nam.

My husband said we were never going to go to bed angry. Every time we went to bed we said I LOVE YOU……even if we were upset with each other.

How did I ever get in here? I was in the healthcare profession for 34 years. I lived with some relatives. I was upstairs and my sister-in-law was drunk. She came into my room and stabbed me. I am 88-years-old. I have a wound this big on my chest and stomach. She is in jail now.

My wife and I knew it was time for us to start thinking about living in a continuing care community. In case one of us got sick, there would be help and supportive medical care – for all stages of growing older. We have a grown-up daughter who also needs care so we were looking for a place for her to live – somewhere near us. Better yet, the administrators agreed that she could live here in the same community where we live. We are in an independent apartment and she is on a personal care floor. How fortunate we are that we can all live together in the same place.

If I could daydream and take everybody here on a trip, I would load everybody up on a bus and take the group to Moosehead Lake, Maine.

Patricia, I appreciate everything that you bring in to us. Where do you get all of this great stuff?

When I was growing up, the stores were not open on Sunday and it was a day of rest. You did not do any “servile work.” We couldn’t sew clothes, do wash and would never think of ironing clothers. All of that could wait until Sunday. We respected the Lord’s Day – our Sabbath.

We had rationing for things like sugar, butter and leather. Those things were needed by the boys overseas. We had a ration book based on the number of people who lived in the house. I think we were only allowed to buy one pair of shoes because they needed the leather for the war effort. My father had a car but he kept it in the garage and took public transportation to work – because gasoline had to be rationed too.

The most important thing in a marriage is forgiveness – nobody’s perfect and no marriage is perfect.

It is hard to describe what your program is about, Patricia. You ask questions, we tell little stories about our life, you tell things about your life, we talk about the old days, we sing and then you give us some inspirational thoughts, quotes and uplifting items on a sheet of paper that we discuss…….and then we all leave feeling very happy. I thought we had BINGO scheduled for today and some people were grumpy because we didn’t know anything about you and YOUR ACTIVITY WAS REPLACING BINGO. But it turned out so nice because this program was very different, stimulating and fun. And we are going “home” with so many gifts. Thank you so much for coming. Will you be back again?

Patricia, can you go in and visit Sonya? Tell her Estelle sent you in. She is still in bed and it is 2 pm. Ever since Cora Lee died, she seems to have lost her pep.

Somebody stole the black and white dog you gave me. I always kept it right there on my dresser, next to the lamp. See right there….that is where it was and now it just disappeared. I kept it right there so I could always see its cute little face when I was laying in bed. I loved him so.

I was a riviter. Did you ever hear of Rosie the Riviter? The boys were off to war so the gals had to go to the factories and do their jobs.  That is when women had to leave their kitchens and their housework to enter the workplace. I had to drill holes in a place where they made airplanes.




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