Saturday, May 20, 2006

country C (with the c standing for cute)

LONG POST ahead....I'm making up for not blogging lately...
Sometimes you meet someone and they touch your soul and make you smile down deep...that is what happened to me this morning. Tommy and I got up bright and early to drop off the weim rescue stuff at the Waggin Tails 5K and then we went to the church for our annual Servefest. I signed us up for the nursing home visit. Long story short--we soon found ourselves in the lobby of a local elderly care facility....surrounded by all shapes and sizes of sweet, sweet old folks. My job was to paint nails and Tommy's job was to visit and talk...mostly just to listen. We met many delightful folks...Tommy played checkers with a man who had the most beautiful eyes....I painted 100 fingers all shades of pink, red, and even blue....I met a couple who truly personified the Nicholas Sparks story, The Notebook. He seemed to be in perfect health...while she was so burdened with alzheimers that she didn't remember anything from one moment to the next. I sat and talked with him a bit. He said he comes every day, twice a day...and that she doesn't recognize him ever. He held onto her and smiled sweetly as she repeated things over and over. She spoke of things that happened 60 years ago as though they were current events. Though she was completely confused...she would frequently lean over to her husband and whisper, "Don't you leave me, baby." And it occured to me that maybe, just maybe, that is what God does...her memory is gone...even her basic common sense has up and left...but He makes sure she still has a heart and that heart knows when it feels safe and at home. She may not know who he is--but she sure knows she doesn't want to see him leave. I had to excuse myself because I don't have the tight rein on my tear ducts that Oprah Winfrey has...mine come spilling out and they don't stop. I pulled it together long enough to tell the old fella that I hope and pray that if my mind ever gives out that my husband will be as faithful and dear to me as he was to his sweet Marie.

In a world full of selfishness...there sits a man who stays with his confused wife day after day and holds her tightly and says, "There's no where else I'd rather be."

So...I get it together and get myself a Diet Mt. Dew which always helps me out! I decide to walk around and see if there are any nails left unpainted....and this is when I run into Rita. I know her name is Rita because that is my opening line to everyone...."Hi there...what's your name?" She says to me......and this will forever be a staple in my vocabulary from this point forward......"My name is Rita...but you can call me country R for short." I thought she was HILARIOUS...such a spitfire. She proceeded to name me Queen S...and that is how we carried on for a long while. I wheeled her around and she entertained me until my cheeks hurt. She and I have something very important in common...we both LOVE nicknames. (Though I have never thought of calling someone Country+their first initial until now!) For the rest of the (country s) and tommy (country t) laughed about Rita and her genious nicknaming method. I loved her....she certainly had a special zest for life.
We went there to serve....but ironically, we are the ones who left all filled up. I hope the residents got as much out of it as we did.
We went to Captain's Quarters for lunch. It was SUCH a BEAUTIFUL day. We sat and looked at the water and talked and talked. After lunch we went to visit country n! We watched the Preakness (poor Barbaro!!!) and placed fake bets on who would win. It was a very good thing they were fake because none of us had the winner.
What about Friday's photo shoot baby. Is she a beauty or what? Those cheeks are gonna be famous some day! As usual, I had sooooooo much fun behind the camera. Subjects like this familia make it so easy.
All in all....a great, great day.


Jen said...

What an honor to take up space on your famous BLOG! We came by this a.m. to pick up the photos. We LOVE them...all of them! I can't hardly tear myself away from them. You captured the essence of my little princess.

So good to hear about your great day of service. Sounds wonderful! Spending time with those folks can't help but make you look around and cherish every ordinary minute in the here and now.

Mike & Casey Wallace said...

I don't know how you're not getting baby fever photographing all those precious little ones. Again, great work!

Loved your story about your day serving at the nursing home. Knowing you, I'm sure you kept them just as entertained as you were.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
Several months ago Jenae told me about your blogs and I have stopped in a few times. I enjoy your positive outlook on the everyday simple things in life. You are such an inspiration. I think your writting is awesome and I look forward to reading any "new news". You should consider writting a column (or book) I would love to have a daily dose of your inspiration. Hope you have a great time at the lake. Tell everyone I said hello.
Stephanie Forest