Friday, May 28, 2010

An incredible ministry

When I was a young girl, my parents, for a short period of time, were involved in being EM's to the sick. Twice they were called upon to bring communion to a convalescent home. I vaguely remember the smell and the discomfort of strange, gnarled hands reaching out for me (I was about 7). What I remember most, however, is the pure joy on some of the faces we visited. They were so happy to get some attention, especially from my younger brother and I. It was with that experience in mind that I (and my two youngest) became involved in visiting one of our local convalescent homes with my friend Carmen.

A few quick words on the facility we visit - this is a very clean facility. It also has numerous, attentive staff. They have a full schedule of social activities on top of all the physical therapies and exercise available. With all that in mind, this is also a "last stop" kind of facility. Most of these people will never leave. Those who are able to leave their beds are all in wheelchairs, many of them not coherent enough to participate in much of anything. Some have family that visit, but many do not. The caregivers do their best but it is kind of a sad place.

We have been visiting twice a month for about 9 months now. I have mentioned before the comfort and joy our simple visits can bring. We visit, say a rosary, and pray with them. We have asked a number of times if they would like for us to bring communion, but they always refuse ("they" being the 2-3 "regulars" we have). About a month ago, we were asked to bring communion to a resident. When we arrived, we learned that she had moved to the hospital. We decided to do our "usual" prayer service and then ask if anyone wanted to receive the communion we brought with us (only 1 host). Well, of course, Jesus drew quite the crowd for us. We had the largest group yet and we had 5 people who wanted to receive. We did our best to fracture our 1 host so that everyone could receive. It was a wonderful experience.

For our May visits, we were asked to cancel our visit at the beginning of the month and just come at the end of the month. We decided instead of a regular visit, we would arrange for a mass. So yesterday morning we arrived - myself, Sebastian and Vibiana, Carmen, Angela (a new RCIA graduate) and Fr. Richie. We walked into the activity room to find nearly 20 residents present - definitely the largest group we have ever drawn. Throughout the course of the mass we had no less than 5 people in tears. At the sign of peace I spoke with Theresa, one of our regular attendants. She was sobbing and said to me, "I haven't been to mass in four years. I had forgotten everything I was missing!" Another woman, with tears running down her face, told Carmen, "I'm not sad. I can't stop crying because I'm so happy." One gentleman, when we asked if he was Catholic, said "No, I just felt like being here to praise God."

A few hours later, when we were picking up Darian and Sophia from school, Darian asked Sebastian if he had fun visiting the "Grandmas and Grandpas." Sebastian said, "Yeah. It's fun making people happy."

Son, I couldn't agree more.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mom my ride

I was cleaning out the car this morning and came upon a petrified something - apple? banana?

I was inspired to post this hilarious video for those who have never seen it. Enjoy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Small Successes


Though I always enjoy Faith and Family's "Small Successes", I have never posted my own. However, this has been a long week of not feeling well (fatigue and aches thanks to my arthritis) and therefore feeling very UNsuccessful so I decided I was in need of at least a small pat on the back.

1. I mopped the kitchen floor! Even when I feel good this is a difficult task so I was especially happy with doing this.

2. Helped Darian, my third grader, with his Benjamin Franklin project. He had to write a paper and have props and a display for his presentation. I was able to help without taking it over - yay!

3. Counseled an old friend. This friend and I have grown apart due to very different lifestyles but she contacted me this last week to talk about a new journey/battle she is embarking upon. Hopefully, I helped her.

Friday, May 7, 2010


To our great delight, we discovered baby birds this afternoon (much better than my friend Robin, who discovered baby kittens.) As far as we can tell, there are three of these fuzzy little guys perched atop a pillar on our front porch. I am sure that in the next few weeks I will tire of the noise and poop, but for now it is pretty cool.

This is mama, being very wary of the crazy person in the window pointing something at her babies.

And, just an unexpected bonus. As I was standing on some furniture peering out the front window, one of our many "hummybirds" stopped by for a snack. I love spring!!