My mom is in a nursing home.
What a way to reach the end. I have said that.
We visited today. Mornings are best.
We were wheeling her from therapy to her room, for a visit, when we passed a small gathering room with 3 residents and 3 visitors in it. One person had a guitar and was singing. We chose to go there instead.
It was nothing less than a miraculous experience. The guitar player had an easy-listening folksy voice. She knew the 3 residents well. Clearly they were a long and well-established group. One of the other "outsiders" was with her and one with a resident.
We were welcomed without question.
We stayed an hour and hated to leave.
Jan, the musician, showed us not only that she has the makings of an angel in her voice, but also in her life.
One man, whose age is undetermined, had brain damage, probably from birth. He spoke well enough that she understood him. They joked a lot.
Another man, between 35-40, is now paralyzed from the chin down, doing all movements of his chair with his chin. She acknowledged his intellectual level honorably.
The third, Bubba, was also of an unknown age. He's probably younger than we'd think and we'd probably think that is unfortunate. He weighs 50 lbs. perhaps and is curled up - no speech, no communication capability that we observed. That is until we experience the jam session.
Jan told him long stories within a song she knew he'd recall, strumming her guitar all the time. Everyone else learned from her interaction with him as she reminded him of his friends, other song fests, visits in the room that is now for therapy.
We sang, "In The Garden" twice because my mom didn't remember the first time. We heard "Be Still" - I cried. We played kids' instruments to "Old MacDonald Had a Band", and so much more.
We came away realizing that God continues to amaze us. He took us into this room to be with people we pitied previously and He showed us how whole they are in His eyes by letting us see how whole they are in Jan's eyes.
There are angels among us.
Being in this home has been a blessing, whether my mom knows it or not. They are good to her. And, we believe God takes you home when your work is done. Her presence there may be nothing more than to open our eyes and hearts more. This may be her final gift. This may be how she is an angel among the other residents.
She may be leading us to really see all the others.
It was a humbling and memorable day.
Next time we go we an say "Hey Kenny", "Hi Gary" and "Howdy Bubba" with fresh eyes. People we thought were not whole truly are. People we felt sorry for really don't want us to feel that way.
There are angels. They are among us. Look for yourself. See.