Before we started Luke's adoption, my mom and I went up to the nursing home with friends every Tuesday and helped out at bingo and visited with the residents there. When we started Luke's adoption, we stopped. We just got WAY too busy. But, now, we've started back going on Thursdays. We have special friends there.
There's Mr. Marvin, who is a WW2 veteran. He was a cook. He has cooked for President Eisenhower, General Patten, General Sumner, and more. He told us that he liked Sumner better than he liked Eisenhower. He was smarter. But, Eisenhower had five stars, and Sumner had four. He told us about what he called "booby traps" from the enemy. They were attached to souvenirs. They told the soldiers not to pick up the souvenirs, but some of the soldiers were hard-headed and they picked them up anyway. He said he bet he could name two hundred men that he had fed that had died at his side. They would be walking beside him and pick up the souvenirs and they just ripped them to pieces.
Mr. Marvin told us about his wife. "She wasn't what you call a 'party woman.' Partying takes money, ya know, and we didn't have it!" He said they never thought about getting a divorce. They were married for sixty-five years.
He told us that his Papa was born in 1894. His brother died a little over a year and a half ago. He turned eighty-eight on February 3rd, and he died on February 7th. Mr. Marvin himself will turn ninety-four on November eighth!
We like hearing Mr. Marvin call out his bingos. He announces so proudly, like a soldier would! His entire room is decorated with little flags and he has a picture of him in the army hanging on his wall. He always makes us smile!
We have other friends, too, like Mr. Richard.
Mr. Richard was living by himself fine, with a friend coming over daily to check on him. One day, his dog ran to the door like it heard someone, so Mr. Richard got up and went to the door. Someone knocked the door down on him. He fell back and hurt his hip, hands, and knees. He actually broke his hip. The person who broke the door down didn't even bother to come in and rob Mr. Richard. He just left. Eventually, Mr. Richard's friend came by and saved Mr. Richard's life. Now Mr. Richard is in the nursing home until he can walk. He can stand just fine, but he can't walk. Please keep him in your prayers--he needs to walk! He's also been sick, so pray about that too, please.
Mr. Richard LOVES kids, but he and his wife couldn't have any, so they took several kids in to raise. I don't think he meant that they adopted them. I think he meant that they fostered them.
Mr. Richard has met two movie stars. One of them was a man who was with his brother. Their car broke down in front of the place where Mr. Desmore worked. Mr. Desmore also showed us a picture of him when he was younger. Mom said he looked like Clark Gable! He had that little black mustache.
Another friend of ours, Mr. O.D., LOVES his music. We've brought him Marty Robins music before, when we were going regularly, but it's been a year since then, and the CDs started skipping. So we brought him some John Denver. He likes Rocky Mountain High. When we brought him the CD, we turned it on for him and we all just sat there and listened to one whole song. It was one of those good silences. :) Mr. O.D. was just taking it all in. He sort of looked like he was going to cry!
Mr. O.D. is a big man who ALWAYS wears a cowboy hat. He's lived all over Texas.
Mr. O.D. has a very good memory. He remembered what my dad did for work. He remembered what birthday I came up to the nursing home for (that was my tenth. I thought it was my eleventh, but he had a better memory than I did! Mr. O.D. is so sweet--he gave me money on that birthday!). He also remembered part of my last name. He said that one of the best things about John Denver was that he wrote all his song himself. He wrote Rocky Mountain High. He said that the plane he was flying when he died (plane crash) was one he had built himself. He said that he heard that John Denver got drunk, so he may have been drunk during that accident.
Another friend, Ms. Wanda, is very upbeat and smart. She has the reddest hair! Before she went in the nursing home, she told her son that she would go in if he made sure she kept on getting her hair fixed! She had us arrange her pictures for her when we were going before, and now she had some more for us to arrange. She mentioned something about making a collage, and so we asked my dad to make a big wooden frame for us to collage all her pictures into. He went above and beyond and made it look like a house with a chimney and roof! So we collaged all her pictures together and it looks great!
Ms. Viola is another great friend. She is in her nineties and she gets up every morning before six and makes up her bed and cleans her bathroom. The only reason she is in the nursing home is because she can't walk. She offered, though, to mop her hallway from her wheelchair if the staff would give her a mop! She doesn't like "any of those inside games (bingo)," she likes being outside! When she was eighty years old, she was up on a ladder helping paint her house. She never drove. She always walked to her work.
Still another friend, Ms. Ruberta, LOVES jewelry. She's a sweet lady and the assistant activities director told us that sometimes she will wear just ALL of her necklaces at one time.
There's a Chinese lady at the nursing home, Ms. Shun. She is unresponsive. Her family owns/operates a local Chinese resteraunt. They have a Chinese TV channel set up for her and her bulletin board and wall is decorated with Chinese things. Her daughter was in her room once (or we're guessing it was her daughter) and we met her.
This week, we're going on Friday to help out with manicures...fun!
All in all, we go into the nursing home with a goal to make the residents smile, and by the time we walk out, they're making US smile! It's true: It's more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)!