Not much quilty stuff has been going on in the last couple of weeks, between my mother-in-law's illness, Menucha's eye problems, and working on Menucha's high school applications for next year.
My husband and I spent the weekend at the nursing unit where my MIL has been for the last week and a half; she has been there recuperating from the awful stomach virus that sent her to the hospital two weeks ago.
I'll tell you one thing: any time you are feeling down, or feeling like life has handed you a few too many lemons, go on down to your local nursing home and spend some time just hanging out over there. You will immediately start to appreciate every little problem you have in your life. You will appreciate anew the ability to think, speak, eat by yourself, dress, get in and out of bed, read, go to the store, laugh, and even BREATHE on your own.
Although it was heartbreaking and difficult to see the patients in their various states of incapacity (is that a word?), I did see many beautiful things in the Nursing Unit over the weekend: on Friday night, a group of about 20 beautiful high school girls came to sing for the residents. They braved the cold, rainy weather. They brought their little sisters along with them, including two babies and a toddler. They brought two teenaged girls with Down Syndrome, who sang along with them and one of whom even made a little speech.
On Saturday morning, a group of residents from upstairs in the Assisted Living wing (where my MIL usually resides) came down to sing for the nursing patients and to visit them.
All day, I watched as various people who live in the neighborhood came by to visit with the patients and help to feed them, not because they knew any of them but simply out of kindness.
I saw the nursing aides treat their patients with unbelievable gentleness.
I spent the day with people who have accepted their infirmities with unbelievable graciousness.
I learned that the smallest act of kindness can mean a great deal to someone who can no longer take care of him/herself.
After a long day, I am finally going to bed. With lots to think about as I wait for sleep to come...