Thursday, September 01, 2011

Back at the seniors

Miya and I went back to see the seniors today. We haven’t been there much this summer since things have been a bit crazy and schedules have gone awry.

But Miya and I were looking at some photos on last night and came across some pictures of a visit to the seniors in June. I asked her if she’d like to go see them again and she said yes. She seemed to be having second thoughts in the morning, especially while we were sitting at a coffee shop eating muffins and watching excavators dig up the road (she told me she wanted to stay there “all night”), but once she saw the seniors’ residence, she was excited to go in.

Even though we’ve only been there a handful of times in the last few months, I was impressed by how much Miya and many of the seniors remembered each other and were comfortable together. She walked up to many of them and greeted them by name. They respond to her like flowers to the sun.

“Look, our little girl’s come to visit us,” the staff will say when we arrive and old, sleepy faces lift and light up.

The residents are often sleeping when we arrive and Miya will go up to some of her favourites and put her hand on their knee or hand. “Wake up!” she’ll say, but doesn’t insist if they aren’t roused.

Many of the residents want to reach out and touch her, but she generally keeps a bit of distance. But today a lovely old man with kind, blue eyes, asked if she would shake his hand – and she did happily. He was thrilled.

One of the residents is a tall, broad-shouldered woman who has a gaping mouth void of teeth which broadens into big cavernous smiles when she sees Miya. Today she kept blowing kisses at her and at times the two were laughing with each other and clapping their hands. 97 years difference between the two.

Being back at the seniors again today with Miya reminded me of how richer our lives can be when we reach out and how easy it can be to brighten someone’s life.

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