As you know by now, I drive around the County in my little old Honda and I am usually not alone. I have a white haired female with me most times and she is my best friend. Has been my whole life as a matter of fact. I think when I get her raised, I am not having any more!!! She is 84 years old, (dont tell her I told you) and there are days I could swear she can out work and out wit me with no effort on her part.
We have a Sunday routine that started several months ago and its just habit now more than anything else and to tell you the truth, I look forward to it and have given great details of our Sundays to my inlaws on more than one occasion. And on Sunday evenings, my mother in law wants to know the details of the day and tells me she just envisions what all went on.
See I go to get Momma sometime Sunday and we go to Jacksonville. She has a sister there that is in the Jacksonville Rehab Center and so we make most of the Sunday afternoon out of the trip there and around Jacksonville and let me tell you its something to take delight in.
Not that going to the Rehab Center is for everyone and I understand that but we have a good time visiting not only with my aunt but with the others that are there and I cant tell you who gets the bigger blessing, me, them or Momma.
Our day starts out with discussing where we are going to eat and she ALWAYS tells me its my choice, and well, there is a variety of places in Northern Calhoun County to go, so we change it up every week. She likes to go to see the faces of folks around and she finds the smallest things to delight in, like the face of a child or a leaf blowing around on the ground or a flower thats in bloom or even a cloud. Things most people take for granted, and I must say I have most of my life, but now that I am awarded the ability to spend time with her, well, I see things a lot differently.
So we get the food and she gets to pick where we are going to sit. Usually its with her facing a window so she can comment on whats going on over my shoulder, and I just found out its so she can sneak one of my fries, (which I really order for her but tell her they are for me and we can share)...
After the hour or so long meal, we go to the Rehab Center. There is usually a crowd on Sunday afternoon but unless its bad weather, we ride the parking lot together and find a space and we walk in together.
Without fail, she will talk to whomever is sitting there at the door or in the room, be it patient, family or employee and make a small conversation with them, and I just delight because she is smiling at them that sweet Motherly smile I have known and loved for over 50 years now.
We make our way down the hallway, and she speaks to everyone she comes in contact with and places her aging hand on their shoulder and makes some sort of connection with them even if nonverbal on their part, so that they know someone loves them and wants them to know it.
We get to my aunts room and she and Momma begin to talk and within a few minutes I make my announcement, "I'm going to singin Momma, be back in a little while, you know where I am if you need me." and off I go.
See "singin" is my Sunday church of sorts. I am usually the youngest one there. The folks that are in there with me are mostly patients of the Rehab Center and every week the entertainment lineup changes but its Church Music every week and most times someone winds up doing some preaching.
Its the absolutely most moving experience I have had in a long time as far as church goes. I dont know if its because the majority of the folks that are in there are patients or because its old-time church songs that I know and grew up with or because they dont mind if you sing along, (and I do) and sometimes there are instruments and sometimes not, but there is never a shortage of love and emotion and just good feeling in that room.
There are a couple of people that I try to sit near when I go to "singin" and even if I did know their names I wouldnt publish them, but one is a lady that tells me when I am in there the same times she is that she loves what I have on. It doesnt matter what the outfit is, she loves it. That makes my heart smile. See I learned a long time ago to wear BRIGHT colors or a pattern or shirt with something on it that is easily recognizable to Momma. She has a problem with memory from time to time, so I have the same Honda that I have had for 20 years and I wear bright colors or something that she will easily see and know that its me. Evidentally my friend in the Rehab center likes them too. And there is a man that saves me a seat by him. He is in a wheelchair and yet he has the forethought to wait for me to enter first ahead of him, very much a gentleman, and he saves me a seat by him if for some reason he gets there before I do. Again, dont know his name and all he knows is the lady in the red car. Doesnt matter, Momma knows where I am and I know where she is and the funny thing is when I get back to the room where my aunt and her room partner are at, they want to know all the details, like who did I see, what did I learn and what all went on.
Well, What I learned was that kindness goes a long way. Love knows no boundries. No matter if you are in a wheelchair, walk with a walker or cant move anything but your toe, the Spirit is in that place. And I learned that when I go to "singin" that it doesnt matter whether you can carry a note in a bucket or not, sometimes a friendly smile or a friendly face is all thats needed and it speaks louder and gets the message to everyone better than being in a building on Sunday dressed in my best "Easter dress." Cause then, well, I just dont sing as loud......and maybe for the ones that are around me, thats a good thing, but as for me and Momma, we like the "singin" at Jacksonville Rehab and plan to go again real soon.