Visiting Mr. Wilson
While Louise and Jay are recovering from Covid, Louise asked us to publish one of her favorite columns. The Outlook wishes Louise and Jay a speedy recovery.
Today as I drove past a nursing home with beautiful crape myrtles blooming at the windows a memory came to me. Years ago, our church developed a program to “adopt” some people in nursing homes who had few friends or family to visit them.
My children were young. Jay was a toddler in my arms and Aaron and Paula were preteen and younger. I thought it would be a good experience so we signed up. On our first visit, the supervisor at the facility let us know that Mr. Wilson was not exactly fond of people. He seldom had visitors and didn’t interact with other residents. She pointed us down a hallway and said, “Good luck!”
She was absolutely right. The cranky gentleman was not pleased to see us. He wanted to know who we were and why we were there. Seemed reasonable. I explained. Made no sense to him. Why would anyone visit someone they didn’t know? Actually, I was beginning to wonder the same thing. Upon leaving, I assured him we would be back. He let me know he did not expect us to return. “No one comes back,” he said. Well, there it was. He was lonely but had learned not to trust and have no expectations.
Much to his amazement, my children and I visited a second time. He was surprised but still not happy. We visited again. He began to smile and interact with the kids. Then we found he was having a birthday so we showed up with a cake, ice cream and balloons. I still remember the surprise on his face and how much he enjoyed the small cups of ice cream and our “Happy Birthday” song. He now looked forward to our visits.
Most of us enjoy holidays, parties and celebrations, but I also love memories. And today, I’m remembering Mr. Wilson, who departed this world years ago, but left behind some special memories for a young mother and her children.
There are so many lonely people around us. Why don’t you give someone a call? Better yet, make a visit. You will both be blessed!