One of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences since moving to the country for Gary and myself, has been our renewed connection and work with the elderly folks who reside in our pretty little local nursing home.
It's not a large facility, but it is a thriving community of elderly people living in a warm loving and caring environment.
Shortly after we moved here Gary started leading a Worship Service once a month in the nursing home. It started out as his thing to do for our community and quickly became and activity that we both are working at. He does the service and I play the hymns for the service. After the service we stay for tea and goodies and visiting, and so over the past year we have come to know and love the residents of this little home.
Last spring Gary and the young pastor at the Gospel Church here in town, started a weekly spiritual care program called "Nurturing the Spirit". It is a casual round table 30 minute discussion centered around a topic or a theme. Gary presents the topic (such as siblings) and asks a few leading questions, but the object is to engage the residents to carry the conversation forward. At first these group sessions were not well attended, but now they are bulging at the seams.
This particular 30 minutes of their daily life has come to be one of their most treasured activities.
They have covered a lot of topics, some that were easy, some not so - but in every case the residents and Gary himself took away something very important from the meeting... they have formed a connection with their lives that perhaps they had forgotten or denied for a long time - but more importantly, they have formed a greater connection with each other.
During the month of December, there was a terrible flu that swept through the nursing home. It necessitated that extra activities were cancelled as was regular visiting hours in the home. We lost several of our beloved elderly friends to this flu, and Christmas was not at all what it should have been for the residents living there.
Next week Gary will be starting back leading his group in "Nurturing the Spirit", and for the first time he has invited me to be a guest at their session.
The topic next week is music, and I am delighted to participate in their discussion about the joy that music brings to our lives.
The residents all know I play the piano, but they have no idea that I also play several other instruments as well, so I plan to take some of my other instruments with me, and see what fun we can have.
This is one of those activities that brings serious happiness to others, as well as to my husband and myself. Just an hour spent making others happy has instant benefit to my own heart and mind.
We all have talents we can share with others. Even if it's just sitting quietly and visiting, or reading with them, or even colouring a page in an adult colouring book...it means something to someone more than we can even imagine.
It's just one small way of giving back to the generation that raised us...it's a really good thing!