Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Forever Feasting

People who follow this blog might know my piece from a while back, She is forever singing.  I still go to the same dry cleaner's and my friend Nemi is still there working while her mother is in a home receiving ongoing care.  My friend's mom still cannot speak, but she's lived well past the day the doctors said she'd die.

Today, I dropped off shirts and Nemi waved me over to tell me about her mother's birthday. Three days ago, her mom turned seventy-eight, and they held a feast at the home.  There were over one hundred people on the floor with gifts, with food.  The line of visitors filled the hallway.  Because the place had a piano, people took turns playing it, and the whole home echoed with the chorus of a hundred people plus staff, singing.  Singing, eating, feasting, celebrating a woman who could only tell them all "I love you." with her face.  "I know my mom knows now, she will never be forgotten, and that she is loved." Nemi said.  

The vision of one hundred people coming to celebrate a birthday in a nursing home filled my eyes with tears; this was how life should be spent, this was unbridled joy at someone being alive even if they could not "do" anything useful.   I wished I'd thought of the idea for my own dad and my heart pined for the idea of a thousand birthday parties of the same nature, where every person in the home, whether they knew it was their birthday or not, had a feast brought to them, complete with a crowd of willing singers wanting to wish with full hearts, "and many more."

Once again, I felt awe at the testimony of faith lives lived out fully, as manifested by something as ordinary as a birthday party.  "Look at how they love one another." floated into my mind.   Who wouldn't want to have a world peopled with people like this? Who wouldn't want that deep knowledge as a birthday gift; that one was loved for who one is, not for what one can or cannot do.

My friend and her family, they are salt, light and song.  Next week my son turns 22.  I hadn't planned to go nuts, he's 22.  But now, I'm thinking....he's going to have a great birthday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was at a nursing home with a friend. We were there to bring The Body of Chirst to the residents. One woman was bedridden, and two employees were sitting on the adjacent bed, watching a patient's tv, and totally ignoring the only patient in the room. There was a chair that blocked the woman's view of the tv.
I asked the employees to turn down the noise so we could pray with the resident. They protested and said, "but she likes this show." We said nothing, and waited. they turned off the tv, and left. We prayed with the resident, and she smiled and cried while we visited with her. Above the woman 's bed 3 pictures were displayed that showed what she valued. The Blessed Mother, The Sacred Heart of Jesus and picture of her family.
And later in the community room we saw residents were up and smiling as 3 men played music from the 40's and the 50's and the 60's. Where there had been no life, no interaction, suddenly, there was life and smiles and beauty.
So when you go to the nursing home, turn off the tv, and be present. Your friend knows this…I bet Paul and Anna would liven things up.

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