These days, Christmas has a special meaning to me. Saturday was exactly ten years since I made a very special promise. It was just after I had undergone serious surgery to remove a massive tumor. I had noticed that so many of the patients were without visitors; nobody to care if they lived or died. I made a promise that if I could only get past the surgery and come out with a clean bill of health, that I would take it upon myself to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
So much has changed for me since making that promise. I met a wonderful lady, I gained confidence to do whatever I put my mind to, and I learned to be grateful for each day that I am here. Hell, I even discovered WordPress, and all the great writers who contribute to the site.
Like I said in earlier posts, I created a youth/seniors group called Friends Visiting Friends, where our youth would visit seniors who lived in retirement homes. That program lasted almost eight years. I also made it a point to bring my Disk Jockey equipment to various retirement homes and put off a Christmas dance for free. This year, the weather was terrible, with a ferocious winter storm looming. We were in the ‘calm before the storm’, and since the weather was okay, the dance was held.
Just seeing how excited the seniors were was worth all the hard work of carrying my heavy equipment into the retirement home. All 85 seniors sat in chairs that were set up earlier in the day, and not a finger was still, a foot not tapping to the traditional Newfoundland songs and Holiday music that I played for them. Those who were mobile were up step dancing, some were even singing. Several grandchildren of the seniors’ attended and were very surprised when Santa made an appearance as well. One by one, the seniors got to sit on Santa’s lap, and he rewarded each of them with a special gift.
Just as Santa was step dancing out the door, he was pushed back into the building by a crowd of mummers. Long Johns, pillow cases and oversize bras, the festive mummers danced and sang while the seniors tried to figure out who they were. Party favors and trays of every kind of food was served and everyone had a great time.
When the dance was over, myself and my lady took the time to visit the residents who either chose not to attend the dance, or were too feeble to leave their rooms. One gentleman took the time to show us his many sketches, and another took out his guitar and fiddle, and proceeded to play us a few tunes that he had memorized. He was delighted that we took the time to visit with him, as he did’t have any family members living close.
Knowing how so many of our older community members spend Christmas, birthdays and other special days alone, I only ask one thing this Christmas. I ask that anyone reading this could take the time to sit and chat with someone who is lonely this Christmas. Maybe take the kids and go caroling at a Senior’s retirement home, or bake something festive and share a lunch. Everyone likes attention, especially this time of year.