Christmas Day 2010

25 Dec

It’s been a quiet day, but definitely a good one. Yesterday, after discovering that I was too late to be able to volunteer for one church’s dinner for the homeless or the local soup kitchen’s holiday dinner, I decided to make my own volunteer opportunity.

I called a local Senior Citizen Assisted Living Home and asked if I could come on Christmas Day to sing. Unlike the recorded messages I had encountered from the other organizations, I was greeted by a very excited receptionist who put me on brief hold and then came back to the phone with and enthusiastic response, “Is 1:30 pm okay?”

“Sure,” I said, trying to conceal my slight surprise. Wow. No having to clear it through an Administrator, no “gotta sign up weeks in advance” – just “Yes!”

I was really grateful.

This morning, I had to plot out my bus routes and coordinate transfers, etc. – then once I had that done, I pulled out my 12-string guitar and wrote out some Christmas Carol titles with keys I would play them in.

I set out on my adventure. The buses hardly had any people on them. Interestingly enough a woman boarded the first bus at the same time I did who was also on my final bus coming back. Turns out she had spent her afternoon visiting a woman at another nursing home, whose adult children are gone, that she has visited regularly for 14 years. What a gift!

Although I arrived a little early, the receptionist was glad to see me and they were already set up and ready to gather the residents. They assembled slowly – some arriving after I had begun, but everyone sang along even as we repeated some of the popular favorites.

At one point one of the ladies left her chair and knelt down in front of one of the other ladies in her chair. She started patting the woman on her arms and took her arms in her hands and started moving them to the music and the woman seemed to come alive after that. She sang along with the rest of us on each of the songs.

We had a wonderful time and it seemed as though no one wanted to leave – myself included. I went to each person individually and hugged and kissed them, wishing them Merry Christmas. I thanked them; they thanked me and invited me to return. It was really special.

Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha recently shared through Twitter (@Pa_Ris_Ha ) “There is joy always if we accept that life is none other than time exchanged for experience. Exchange it in service to all creation!”

I have also come to appreciate in my work with Grandmother that “Time” is the only thing we spend that once it’s gone, we can never get back. Our Time is the most precious commodity we have. To spend it with others in service is to give it the greatest value you possibly could.

Oprah Winfrey says, “I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.”

In the end, our personal connections are all we really have. Relationships are what we are here to experience and learn from. There’s no amount of money that could buy the joy I experienced today. My life is richer for being touched by each of those lovely people today. They will forever be a part of me, even if I never see them again.

But I’ll be back. Now we have a connection. 🙂

©2010 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Christmas Day 2010”

  1. miadalbyball December 26, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    Hi Deb, what a lovely story. It makes me happy to think of the joy your brought to the Elderly and, as you said teh Happieness it brought to you.

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