When Great died, I wanted to do something to honor her memory. We decided to volunteer at a nursing home. This place is much different from Great's assisted living home, but one thing is the same. We have made some wonderful friends already. It's the best two hours of my week.
The power of touch makes such a difference to us all.
This is Anastasia's favorite friend. Her name is Dot and she painted her room bright pink. Her room is filled with baby dolls and she loves to share them with the kids.
Emily and David were so adorable. Emily told me they are engaged. Love can bloom anywhere!
Larisa has worked her for 12 years. Guess where she is from? Ukraine! I find it so interesting how you can meet some people and feel like you have known them forever.
This is "Mama B". Isn't she the cutest? She is 93 years old and walking all over the place.
This is Randy. The first time I met him, I thought, "awww, the poor guy". I talked to him like he was a little kid. He was only speaking jibberish, or so I thought. Little Catherine tugged at my sleeve and said, "Mom, he is spelling something to you."
So, I had to put away my judgements and actually listen to the man. He was spelling his name for me because I kept calling him by the wrong name. His name is Ron. He was very patient with me.
Turns out that Ron is an extremely smart guy who actually wrote a book about himself. He even got his high school diploma. You would think that I would know better than to judge someone by how they look and act!
He loved the children and asked me to take his picture with them. He has lived at the nursing home for 17 years. He is 70 years old, but told me that he "looks very young for his age".
Then we went downstairs to visit with the Alzheimer's patients. This was a very sad place.
I don't think they get many visitors down there.
This woman kept reaching her hands out for us to stay and visit. So we did stay for a while. She babbled and babbled, while I stood by, trying to console her. Then, I recognized a word. She was speaking in Russian. Again, I feel so ashamed of my judgments. She was so thrilled when I was able to say a few words back to her in her language (mostly, I just said the word for "dog" in Russian, but at least she knew I understood her). She cried when we left.
I learned so much from these special people.
As soon as we got home, little Catherine got one of her favorite dolls and said she wants to give it to her next week, because, "she didn't have any children to hug all the time."
I am one lucky mom!