There was something special about this assisted living facility – it felt warm and friendly and it felt like home. As we went in and out of the some of the residents’ rooms, we made small-talk and gave out bouquets of flowers. I saw eyes light up when the bouquets were given out.
A friend from back in my old career at Bell of PA asked me to bring flowers to a memorial service that honored her mother. She and her beautiful daughter had not been back there since her mother passed away in June. It was a sad time for both of them. Everyone remembered her mother’s lively spirit.
The chaplain held a memorial service for the residents to celebrate the lives of people that had passed away during the year. She solemnly and reverently read the 23rd Psalm.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
We sang Amazing Grace, Here I Am Lord and How Great Thou Art.
And we shared the flowers with the nurses, nurse’s aides and other caregiving staff as well as to the family, friends and the residents who attended the prayer service. I could tell that the employees were very attached to their residents and loved working there.
I saw tears as family members shared memories of their loved one.
My two sons died in Vietnam. Both got wounded and then died. I knew I shouldn’t have come to this service because it makes me so sad. Thank you for the flowers. They make me feel like someone cares about me. I will pray for you.
Why are you giving me flowers? Really, they are for me. There is a vase here next to my chair. Can you put the flowers in some water for me?
My husband died four months ago. We lived here together. It is hard to be here without him. I did not go down to the memorial service. I am just laying here resting on the couch. I wish he was still here with me.
I just received this email from the friend who invited me to bring the flowers to her mother’s assisted living community.
What I thought was going to be a painful afternoon yesterday tuned into the most uplifting experience I’ve had in some time. I feel such a sense of joy and it is because of you being there. Words can’t even express how much appreciate you being there. Now I know why you do what you do. You have always been special to me, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized why you were so special. You have a wonderful gift of caring and I am so glad that you were able to be with us.”