Eight stuffed animals delivered today….what a day brightener for the residents!

I had a box in the car with some of the body washes, deodorants, warm socks, slippers, shampoos and some fluffy stuffed animals that were donated by Bev and her co-workers from Telford. I was on my way to a nursing home in Philadelphia to deliver the items that Bev delivered last weekend. I stopped at the assisted living facility where my daughter works.

Mom, Larry is wearing the shirt that Bev’s group gave him.

I looked over and Larry looked so handsome with his fresh sporty shirt tucked into his khaki pants. He is one of the younger residents recently diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. The other staff members were making a fuss telling him how handsome he looked. I asked my daughter if I could take a picture of Larry but she reminded me of the privacy policy and that it is not permissible to take pictures without the family’s permission. I wanted to show Bev and her co-workers how appreciated all of their gifts were.

I continued on my route to the next nursing home. I got on the elevator and randomly selected the fourth floor button. The door opened and right in front of me were eight ladies – Naomi, Mary, Laura, Elizabeth, Barbara, Val, Helen and Rebecca. And guess how many brand-new stuffed animals I had with me? Exactly eight!

Can I have that Christmas bear? I am going to name him Randy after my great-grandson. Actually, I am going to call him Randolph because that is his real name. I was a nurse for thirty years. I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair. I loved taking care of people and when one of my patients passed on, I would feel so terrible.

The donation of the beautiful stuffed animals made eight ladies smile, laugh, and hug tenderly…..and reminisce – and the stuffed animals gave them a fun unexpected activity. What a beautiful sight.

To me, it was a tangible reminder of what a random act of kindness means. So many good people went out and purchased gifts for me to give to people they will never know. We are all going to get old. I hope someone is there for us to bring little doses of hope.

I would like the pink one because it matches what I have on – my pink sweat suit. It reminds me of when I was a child. I had things like this. I didn’t play too much because my mother had me involved with so many lessons. I played the piano and the violin. There was a Settlement Music School in our community and they had lessons for lots of things even dancing. My mother was glad when I got married, she was glad to get me out of the house because she said I was a lot of work.

One lady couldn’t speak. Her hands trembled. Somebody said that she can’t hear much anymore. I gave her a floppy-eared brown dog. She just smiled and cuddled it for an hour. She caressed the bow. (We sang HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGY IN THE WINDOW?) Somebody suggested she name it Floyd.

Oh, I love him. I am going to have to find a special place to put this little cutie pie. I am going to call him BELOVED.

The ladies looked at me in wonder…….that I was just giving them a present. I wished that the people who donated could have seen what their gifts meant to the ladies on the 4th floor.

I sat in the midst of a circle of wheelchairs with people who were crippled, suffering with the pain of ruptured discs, and those who know that healing does not come overnight……..and sometimes never at all.

We sang Amazing Grace and God Bless America, said The Pledge of Allegiance, recited The 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer and bowed our heads as one resident just poured out her thoughts and recited a heartfelt prayer.

Lord, Heavenly Father, we all have different gifts. By your grace you have given so much to us. Please bring hope to the people who are hurting. Show us how to make this a better world. Help the people who are sad and careworn. Give me a simple word of kindness for people who need attention. Help us to all make good progress with our therapy. Keep us strong in body and mind. In Jesus’ name.

I found myself smiling. How could one box of presents bring so much joy?

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