Caroling for the nursing home residents

I am loving my job.

And they love me there. It feels so good to be appreciated!

This past week, I received so many gifts, got a $50 Christmas Visa to spend on anything I want, got a 2% raise (the entire staff did), and my supervisor and co-workers expressed a great deal of good will toward me, said they love having me there and hope I will stay for a long time.

A motley crew of staff people, just a handful of us, walked around the entire facility and sang Christmas carols for the residents. How I enjoyed looking out and seeing the residents trying to dance in their wheelchairs, smiling, clapping, singing along. One woman sang and clapped from her awkward position on the physical therapy table!

I met a wonderful and funny lady, a resident, who makes herself virgin brandy alexanders and pretends she is getting tanked on them. She whispered to me that she wished she could sneak a cute man into her room, or at least seduce one of the hot male nurses. She’s 87. She was wearing a Santa hat and had just sang Christmas songs with some other residents in the dining hall. “I don’t like Christmas,” she admitted. “On the outside I am all ha-ha-ha, ho-ho-ho, but on the inside I am hurting.” When I asked her why, she said that she’d had two sons, but both of them had died—one from disease, the other in an accident. She said, “What can you do? You have to live with the living. You can’t live with the dead.”

I thought of my five pregnancy losses. I thought of her two deceased sons. You have to live with the living. Yes. I will hold onto that, her reminder of a woman’s ability to find strength and resilience in the aftermath of loss.

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