I am so happy with my life right now. Of course that can change at any minute when I start to sweat or cant sleep or finally get to sleep and thats the moment that the dog just HAS to go out. Cant wait until a better time, so nooo lets go NOW!! But with all that said, at this particular time and at these few minutes, I am happy. See, I have finally fit in somewhere. I am in a clique!!
I am middle aged (if I live to be over 100) and it has taken me this long to figure out where I fit in here on earth. When I was in school, I wasnt in the band; didnt do the Scout thing; wasnt in any of the sports; so if you werent an athlete or a band person or cheerleader or whatever else there was at that time, then you really didnt have a claim to fame, or so I thought. So I started looking for my "talent" and it has taken me this long to find it. See, I did fit in. I just didnt know it at the time. But I fit in as a listener, a friend, a helper of folks that needed it and things like that. I was a pretty good kid if I do say so myself. My father died when I had just turned 15 years old, and I had just had my braces off a few weeks. I was in 10th grade and I am the youngest of three children, so I didnt have a lot in common with folks my age. But I did have one thing that I liked and that was older folks. I could listen to them talk about old times and the joys they had at the most simple of things, like fresh watermellons on a hot summer day; or playing in the cold stream that ran by their house; or my grandmothers story of picking the watercress out of the stream and selling it at the CURB MARKET in Anniston to the "rich ladies" that ate it on their sandwiches. Or her selling her fertile soil to the East Side women that swore she had the prettiest bulbs and plants they had ever seen and wanted to know what her secret was so she sold them dirt. Nowadays it would be called Potting Soil with enrichments but at that time it was just dirt.
So this is where my love for the elderly comes in. They are filled with wisdom and history and humor and common sense. A lot of the things we as a nation need to Relearn today. And it wasnt until my mother and I started going to visit her sister in the nursing home or Rehab Home as it is also called, that I began to realize just what a thrill it is to go and visit these folks.
At first they didnt know me and didnt know what to make of me. I am overweight, loud and have white hair. You pretty much hear me before you see me but when you do, well you probably wont forget me. For one reason or another. Hopefully good reasons.
So I go to visit my aunt and then its the lady in the room with her that I strike up a conversation with and so on. Then the folks in the hallway, then down the hall, then on the next unit and finally I have spoken to just about everyone that is a resident there or works there. And they seem to appreciate a smile or a warm pat on the back, or a word of acknowledgement.
So lately, I have been going to visit a lot more. I have been taking books and magazines there so that the residents might have a "library" so to speak. Just because they are a resident in a group home like that doesnt mean that they dont want to read or see something that has been on television or in the papers. Even if they dont care to read the books, a lot of the ones I take them have colored photographs or are "How To" books and the men especially like to look at those.
Then there are the women that like the cookbooks. They of course dont cook but most women like to read recipes, even if they dont cook them. I do.
So I have been telling my brother, who is an artist, about my new found hobby. My new found CLIQUE so to speak.
Well, my brother gathered up his brushes and paints, got some canvas and frames and he came to the Rehab Center yesterday and he held an Art Class. We (I helped) had about 20 or so folks in the room with us and about half of them painted while the others just looked on.
They were so happy. They each had a canvas and a plate of paints before them. They were told they could paint anything, and he had several of his own paintings of all shapes and sizes and techniques and subjects there, but the one they were working on was a fall painting. It was a pumpkin and had fall leaves along the top and sides. If you wanted them at all, and each person did. He told them they could make a Jack O Lantern out of it if they wanted, but each student tried to make theirs like his. Except for one lady and she had a vision of her own. She wanted a pumpkin under a waterfall. So she took her palate and she made hers look like it was under a waterfall. So many smiling faces and so much confidence was in that room. People that didnt think they could did, and the ones that didnt wanted to be in on the next one, and they will then.
So at the end of the art session, they went out with their newest creations and each was different and each was their own. There was a lady there visiting with her mother and she and her mother painted side by side. They each had a painting of their own to take with them. When the daughter started to leave, she thanked me and my brother both. And as she started to walk out, I told her that this was a memory that would last a lifetime and the painting she and her mother did would be worth more than any Rembrandt to her in later years. She tearfully agreed. Those lessons he gave them yesterday made them feel so much better about themselves and gave them an air of confidence they needed. We (he and I) were so blessed being in the same area of these folks and seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter and watching them listen to him with such interest.
So I have finally found a group I fit in with. They are the ones that are sometimes not visited a lot or not thought of everyday, but to me, they are my friends. They are my clique. I am looking forward to the next art lesson. He is an artist, he is my brother, but he is their new friend. And I am proud to be their friend too. We received the blessing. They gave it to us, and that is what friendship is all about.
So if you feel like you just dont fit in, keep looking. Its never too late. And when you do find your fitting in place, you will know it. We did.