Thursday, May 12, 2016

Contentment and Joy Despite Circumstances

Yesterday, I visited my Grandmother in the nursing home.  It's sad to see my once spry Grandmother confined to a wheelchair.  In some ways, I think it's a blessing that her stroke jumbled her mind. If she was clear thinking, her placement in the nursing home would be devastating.

Her facility does its best to raise the residents' spirits.  They have parties, musical performances, and lots of other fun events.  But, it doesn't hinder the feeling of sadness and mortality that lingers over the place.    

As I was pushing Grandmother along in her hallway, we happened upon fellow resident Mary perched in her wheelchair.  She wore a lovely smile with glistening eyes to match. And her bright attire, paired with a colorful scarf, added to her radiance.  

She stopped us and made introductions.

Grandmother, whose visions was whipped by the stroke, perked up at the sound of Mary's voice.

"When your Grandmother gets sad and cries," Mary whispered.  "I go over and cheer her up."

Sweet Mary.  Her words brought tears to my eyes.

Mary had 1,001 reasons to be miserable.  She had every reason to be spread doom and gloom.  Yet, she was a bright light in a space that needed to be illuminated.  Not only was she finding joy and contentment where she was living, but she was also actively looking to love on others.

Those we look up to come in many different forms.  For my boys, they want to emulate famous sports heroes.  Many are great role models.  But for me, I want to be like Mary.  I want to be filled with a contentment and joy that is not dependent on my circumstance.  And, I want to be actively searching to share those feelings with others who may need that boost.

Grandma said to Mary, "I want to go home."

Mary smiled.  

She replied, "We can't go home.  They need to take care of us; this is our home."

I think God has a reason this is Mary's home.  I'm so grateful she shares a home with my Grandmother.

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