Angels Disguised as Residents

Every so often we will be featuring guest bloggers who will write on a variety of subjects. This is the first of such posts and it is a nice transition piece as we move from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season. Today's blog comes from on of our Medication Aides in our Assisted Living, she has worked here for over a year and a half now, she has entitled her post "Angels Disguised as Residents". Hope you enjoy it! 

“I love you.” These are the last words I say every night, and the first I say every morning.

I found myself crawling into bed; my window cracked, cool crisp air filling my room.  As I lay down I can see the night sky filled with stars for endless miles. Frank Sinatra’s voice gently dancing the lyrics to Silent Night through my head. “Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, All is bright”.

I took a moment on these lyrics.

Day after day we often take advantage of the hours in a day, the minutes in an hour, and the seconds in our minutes.

I thought tonight how earlier in the day I couldn’t wait to get the peace and quiet moment I had longed so urgently throughout the day. As most of us are aware by this point Thanksgiving is past, and Christmas is a nose twitch away.

The stores are overpopulated with stressed parents and anxious children. Employees struggling to stock shelves faster than our hands can empty them.  The roads are buried in one handed drivers, using their free hand to hold their favorite holiday flavored coffee (in desperate attempt to keep warm).  I myself am guilty of this.  Too many destinations in too little time. 

I stopped replaying the debate I had with myself earlier in the middle of a crowded aisle. “To buy or not to buy tablets for my children?” I randomly flipped through my memory bank of things I have learned in college. I halt this imaginary book of information retained when I got to the section titled “The six most necessary feelings for human life”. 

1.     Love and Connection.

2.     Significance

3.     Certainty and Comfort

4.     Uncertainty and Variety

5.     Growth

6.     Contribution.

I kept thinking to myself in the previous couple months: the countdown to Christmas has arrived. Like most of the population, I procrastinated thinking “I’ll have time.”  Well here we are approaching the last stretch and WHOOPS! I don’t have time. The finger nail biting has started again. Dang it.

I think it is natural to think material gifts can say more than the three most meaningful words I start and end my day with.

I myself communicate through the power of touch.  A kiss for the most important people in my life, a handshake for those I owe/about to owe respect, and a hug for all those who are too often forgotten.

I keep recalling how fortune filled my life is. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, children I am raising, the ambition to become what I have always wanted to be.

 I decided a long time ago I needed to care for people. All people. No matter the gender, the race, big or small, adult or child. If it had a heartbeat and was able to feel emotion, I was going to take care of it.

A little over a year ago I found myself parked in Churchill Estates parking lot, thinking oh boy, this is it! The outside is beautiful, the elderly sitting on the benches were smiling their best smiles. I walked through the front doors and was greeted with some of the friendliest staff I had ever met. I filled out my application in office, and next thing I know here I am a year and a half later.

Every day I walk into this building with the deep gratitude for the impact these residents and employees have had on my life. Every day they thank me for taking care of them. I keep thinking to myself why are these people thanking me?  I am honored to be reminded frequently of how valuable life is. How often we take for grant it the ability to put on a pair of shoes, use the restroom ourselves, the ability to cook, or go shopping.

As we grow older often times the amount you hear “I love you” decreases. Sometimes it is because our loved ones have passed, sometimes it’s because we don’t see those we love every day. Other times I think we just get comfortable in knowing no matter what this person loves me and they will never go away.  I make it my mission to hug every resident I have every day. It’s like clockwork. Good morning’s followed up by my arms filled with the most amazing people I have met.

The best gifts are not bought with money and do not come with price tags. They are found within yourself and meant to go viral. Hug every person we meet, and when we cannot hug, we need to remember to smile. We need to remember a handshake goes a long way, and a random high five can lift someone’s spirits.  

This thanksgiving/Christmas season I challenge all of those who have never been to Churchill to come meet these people who will teach you about all the things money can never buy.  My friends; My angels disguised as residents.