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Caroling at the Nursing Home
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The church group needed a service project for the month and they were already late. People were heading out of town soon for the holidays. Lisa waved her hand to get the attention of George, the class director. “Why don’t we sing Christmas Carols at the Charity House Assistance Living Center on Saturday?” She asked. The group nodded in agreement and everyone voted to sing.
That Saturday, the class arrived early in front of the Assistance Living Center. There were at least forty people standing in the parking lot. George handed out song sheets, two ladies handed out red, cone-shaped Christmas stockings for each singer to wear, and someone even brought bells to jingle! The parking lot was filled with hearty laughter as the singers warmed their voices and donned their heads with their assigned Christmas stockings. Excitement filled the air and they were still standing in the parking lot!
A few minutes later, they were greeted by the staff and directed to the patients’ lounge. They started with the familiar “Joy to the World” chorus as they headed toward the lounge. When the patients saw the stocking-clad singers, they smiled and stared at the group. Some of the patients waved to the singers and a few of them clapped along with the familiar song. The singers walked throughout the building, singing everything from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bells.” Everyone appeared to be having a good time.
As the group was finishing the last song, a patient waved the group to join her and her friend. As the group walked over, the lady pointed to her friend and said “My name is Bettie. This is my neighbor, Ms. Ann. She is a hundred years old today.” Ms. Ann did not look a day over seventy years old. George walked over to the two ladies.
“Today is your 100th birthday?” John asked Ms. Ann.
“Yes, it sure is.” She said.
“Well, we need to sing happy birthday to you! Would you like us to sing
to you, Ms. Ann?” He asked politely. He learned that it was always better to ask. “That would be fine.” She said with a slight smile.
They started into the familiar rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”, and soon, the hallway filled with patients and staff who joined in with song. When the song was over, the patients and staff clapped and waited eagerly for another song.
Raspy voices and hunger brought the caroling to a close, but since they held a captive audience, they chose to end the night with one final song. The staff and patients waved goodbye as the group left the building singing “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.”
At a nearby restaurant, the group ate dinner and recounted the events of the night. No one could deny that they went caroling to bless other people and ended up feeling blessed beyond measure. It was a feeling from within that would last a long time.
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Jonita (Jay) Johnson
12 Mar 2005
I love nursing homes, and do believe we start out to bless, but come away with so much love and knowledge. Even in the nursing homes our elders are still giving.
12 Mar 2005
How can anyone's heart not be touched by the elderly? I think of two kinds of people, my grandchildren and the elderly, and I just smile for no apparent reason. They just do that to me and I can't explain it. :::smile:::
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