To the Editor:
As Christmas approaches, I want you to think about this.
A few months ago, I attended the visitation of a dear old friend of mine. There were so many people there. I saw how blessed this dear sweet lady was to have a large family.
But where were all these people when she was living? I probably only recognized five family members that came to see her these last few years where she was living in an assisted living facility.
It is true that she may not have known who they were, but they would have known who she was. The family has the memories of the past while the resident is just trying to figure out how to put her shoes on or how to button her shirt. It's up to the family to keep new memories flowing while she is still here.
Whether or not she even knows your name isn't as important as you hearing her voice or watching her movements as she always did.
So I ask you ... How will you spend Christmas with your loved ones who are shut-ins or in nursing facilities? Will you even take time to visit? Will you buy them something and take it to them and stand the whole time because you are in such a hurry to go anywhere but there?
If the resident is your parent, think how many years they spent caring for you, and asking nothing in return. Will you give them a half hour? An hour?
Their smile is still there it is just waiting for the right person to bring out the happiness and comfort that meant so much to them so long ago.
If it is your grandparent, wouldn't you rather talk to them and have them answer than to wait until they are gone and not be able to hear their precious voice? How about taking them out to dinner, or visit your hour to see your tree?
You could take them to look at Christmas lights. They love that.
You could sing Christmas carols with them. You could read the story of baby Jesus to them and watch in amazement as they fill in parts of the story.
Do something to make this very special person feel like they are still part of a family. The memories you make now will be forever treasured and you will thank me for this later.