In the attitude of celebration and appreciation for simple joys that come from small random experiences in life... I have decided to share with you part of what I wrote in my journal last night. I have modified it some so you will know of relevant information, as well as to make it a bit more entertaining and imaginable. Enjoy! :D
Despite the traditions we didn't participate in this year, there were still several simple traditional experiences that made the day feel like Christmas. The icing on the cake consisted of the family piling into our Suburban and taking a short trip to a local nursing home to visit Marjorie (who the kids have adopted as “Grandma Margy”); this visit proved to be the most magical experience of the day... and though we go to the nursing home every Christmas, this year presented another new experience which I know I will savor as magical Christmas moment for many years to come.
During this particular visit, our family met a new friend. Her name was Tuty, and though it is with Grandma Marjorie that our hearts have been so knitted with for the past few years, today I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about our introduction with Tudy. :)
But first I must back track to the last few moments that took place before we all piled into the suburban and left for the nursing home. As I headed out the door I felt inspired to quickly wrap a plate of goodies. I was going to take it to my neighbor Dianne. However, Dianne and her family weren’t home; and since I went straight from their house to the car, the plate was packed into the car along with the family.
Dianne’s wasn’t the only plate of Christmas goodies in the car. Upon reaching the nursing home, I took another plate in with me for Grandma Margy. Dianne’s plate was left in the car, but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t come home with us… that this plate really wasn’t intended for Diane in the first place. So, as we drove into the parking lot of the Nursing home, I told the kids that if they needed a plate of goodies, they would find it on my seat
As we walked down through the halls with Marjorie’s plate of goodies, an elderly lady who we didn't know would open her door and spy on us, repeatedly opening and closing her door every few seconds. As we stopped in the hall to take turns signing a Christmas card for Margy, this woman continued to open and close her door. We would say hello, or wish her a Merry Christmas each time. My heart strings were pulled, as saw this woman seem to long for us to visit her, and as I watched her eyes fall upon the plate. I knew we would have to come back to see her. I said nothing to the family and could only wonder if walking past this woman’s door was as hard for the rest of the family as it was for me.
I wondered, that is… until the night unfolded.
As it turned out, Margy wasn’t in her room. She was in a dining room celebrating Christmas with two of her children, a grandson and his wife, and their two daughters, Marjorie’s great grandchildren. We approached the dining room and looked in.
“Hello!” Marjorie’s daughter greeted us. “I’m so happy to see you here! Please come in and join us. There aren’t many extra chairs here, but you can pull some in from the room next to this one.”
I had visited with Margy’s daughter and husband many times over the past few years on such occasions when we would both show up to visit Marjorie at the same time, and felt very much welcomed by the whole family, so we brought chairs in from a nearby room and joined the family gathering. It was so comfortable to be there… for me. But not quite so for the 16 year old twins who are more comfortable in small gatherings of close friends. The rest of us were gathered round the table in a tight circle, but there wasn’t room for every chair in that circle; the twins stood on the outside of the circle, just a couple of feet away from the table, but still near the door. There were just too many people there that they didn’t know.
However, after a while of us visiting, Devry quietly asked for the keys, went out to the car to get the plate of Christmas goodies, and headed down the hall. There were so many people there visiting Marjorie, that Mindy informed me in a whisper that Devry was going to visit the mysterious woman we had seen earlier, and that she was going to join him. Soon, Mindy got the other boys to join in, and all four kids went off while Miles and I visited Marjorie and her family. I supposed they would be brief, but over an hour went by and the children never returned.
Occasionally, I would look over towards the door to see if the kids were back yet. I thought it strange that they hadn't yet returned from visiting their new friend. I finally had to go and get them myself. When I walked in the room, I saw my four children standing in a tiny little room with no chairs, in front of this elderly woman, who looked so exhausted, and yet so happy.
It was quite an interesting and cool experience for me to have my children introduce me to this dear lady, rather than us all meeting together at once as we usually do, and me doing the introducing for my quiet children as we had with others in the past. It was very cool. :D
The woman sat in her one and only chair and I couldn’t help but notice that in her lap was the plate of goodies Devry had brought in. I noticed that the woman touched the plate and looked at it off and on several times in the minute or two that I was there; I could she that cherished it. A simple plate of cookies… and yet she held it as if it were a treasure.
On the way home Devry informed me that they couldn’t leave until I came for them because each time they began to say goodbye the old lady would sadly exclaim, “What? You’re leaving, already?” He emphasized the “already”, and stated that Tuti really didn’t want them to go. He also stated that Tuti asked them if they would come back and visit her again; he couldn’t bear to say ‘no,’ so he told her he could come back and visit on a Sunday. This pleases me. It has been some time since our regular Sunday visits to the nursing home.
I was impressed. It came as no surprise to me that my daughter and youngest son went with Devry to visit, for they are somewhat outgoing and socially courageous, but the twins have grown socially so quickly that I am continually surprised to discover that they have become so much more than I see them as. And Devry, who I felt had acted rebelliously with his father and I the night before… was totally and completely wrapped around the finger of a wrinkled up old lady who looked like she was about to fall asleep; this surprised and delighted me.
These 16 year old boys, who barely talk to anyone… without being asked to, went and visited an elderly lady who they did not know, and took her a plate of Christmas goodies! These 16 year old boys, who as children never volunteered to socialize even with kids their own age who they really wanted to socialize with… cheerfully and willingly VOLUNTEERED to socialize with a couple of elderly women on Christmas day.
And these boys, who consented once persuaded... to leave their new Christmas games to visit an adopted grandma - went the extra mile and on their own, visited with and then adopted another...
As we got into the car the boys briefly moaned about how LONG we had been there. Now they were more like the boys I expected them to be. ;) However, I could not deny, that despite the every day normal moans and hesitations which they work through and rise above… There is so much more to each and every one of the youth of today than meet’s the eye, even to the eyes of a mother.
I am so thankful, for yet, another wonderful Christmas surprise, and perhaps a small Christmas miracle of sorts. For what these very quiet boys did - took more courage, more compassion, more love, and more commitment… than I knew they possessed. I am SO PROUD OF THEM! :D And I am so excited to continue to discover other bits of goodness and selflessness tucked away and hiding within these marvelous people! :D