Vibrant Youth is painting with big brush strokes!
But today's blog post is about finding purpose in a nursing home.
After work on Christmas Eve, and at the last minute, Tawnia ran into the thrift shop. She peered into a plastic bin of Christmas ornaments, and lifted them out, one by one. A faded angel, a teddy bear, a lamb, a deer with a broken horn, and a bell monogrammed with the same name as her aunt, the aunt with dementia.
These were the ornaments left at the end of the season. Not vintage or valuable, just old, paint chipped, and worn. They were each, only a quarter, and Tawnia decided they needed a home. And maybe she needed a Christmas tree. She grabbed them up, along with a string of lights, and was out the door just as the store closed.
She had no real tree to attach them to, just an overgrown plant in her living room. As she secured the ornaments, tucking them alongside the twinkling lights, they came to life.
She decided the ornaments were a lot like the residents at the care center where she was doing her clinicals as an OTA.
The residents appeared to be like inanimate ornaments in a heap in a bin. There was John who was over ninety, and Edie with dementia , Pastor Mike with a stroke and without a leg, and Joann with rheumatism all over.
"What is your life's work?" Tawnia would ask. "Architect, homemaker, seamstress, pastor, thrift shop owner..." She took up a scissors and cut out an owl - she loved animals, and giggled as she pasted her creation to a card and wrote a verse in cursive, The owl hoots a prayer to the Lord. She had no one to give the card to, but Tawnia suggested she might give it to Pastor Mike.
As Joann was wheeled down the hall, she let Tawnia know it was nice to have purpose.
Pastor Mike, who could not speak, patted the greeting card to his heart.
I think Tawnia has a way of adding a little light. Even though I know, some days her life's work must be pretty hard.