My Calling

How I started helping people in convalescent homes.

When I was young, my mother would take me to convalescent homes at Christmas and we would go Christmas Carolling.  I think there were other times we would go also but I don’t remember why.  I do remember bringing cookies.

As I got older, I discovered they had an Adopt-A-Grandparent program…where you would visit one person who did not have family visiting and you would be the prime person to talk with them and read to them and just spend time with them.  Later on, they changed the name of the program to Adopt-A-Resident because most of the residents have family but the family does not visit to often.

Needless to say, I got involved in this program and have met some awesome people.  One gentlemen liked to play his Harmonica.  Okay, he didn’t really play the Harmonica and he drove the other residents crazy with it.  But, when I was there I encouraged him.  One lady I found out after she died had been an artist of sorts and her family met me and thanked me for being there for her.  They even gave me one of her paintings she had done.  Supposedly, some of her artwork is in Hearst Castle.  Unfortunately, I did not keep it.  One lady, my boyfriend and I set up a surprise party for her Birthday at the home.  It was really simple and with a few other residents.  She loved it.  It turned out, she had never had a Birthday Party before.

The hard part of this is you visit one person and you get attached.  You visit this same person for years and you get to know them…like a Grand-Parent.  Then, they die.  And, you grieve and you say you aren’t going to do this anymore.  But a few years later, God sends me back.  I don’t know if Ann was the longest person I visited but I’ll say again that I don’t want to do this anymore.  I pray God doesn’t make this my true calling.  It tears me up inside at the end.  It is worse now since the death of my mother.

One thing I have started doing lately is  filling Tote Bags and literally giving them out to the Homeless  I see on the street…the ones with the carts.  I fill the Tote Bags with soap, shampoo, easy-open food, water, etc..   I would rather that be my calling so I don’t have to get close to them and there is no grief at the end.  Instead, I know I am helping them to keep going and to make their lives better.  Anyone is welcome to join me in this endeavor.

I miss Ann, I miss Muriel,  I miss June, I even miss Mr. Harmonica Player and I hope you are all having fun where you are now but I am mentally drained.  Lord, Please don’t let this be my calling anymore.