Peach State says: The Christmas Hug!

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Yesterday was the third Sunday of the month…which means several things. I have told you about my group of friends and the trouble delightful circumstances surrounding our friendship.
Every 3rd Sunday my friends and I, em>Peas in a Pod, sing at a local Retirement Facility. The faces of the regulars light up as we walk in and mingle. We sing, interact with them and wish them well. But…yesterday was special…The Senior Adult Choir, from our church, presented their Christmas program. The “Peas” + 4 of the males from the regular choir joined in with Senior Adult Choir offering moral support. This is one of the best Senior Choirs I have ever heard and what a joy they are to be around. They misbehave almost as much as we do in the regular Adult Choir. As our excited and active Minister of Music finished speaking we began to gather the hymn books, used for the sing-along carols, and began saying goodbye.

You can’t just say goodbye! “Actions speak louder than words!” I always try to give a hug or personal touch when leaving…but…yesterday was different! These hugs were filled with grateful thanks and warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas. More interaction, stinging of the eyes, increase in heartbeats… These hugs were “The Christmas Hug!”

We were recipients of blessings and love filled thanks. A new comer from my old church recognized me and said she could not wait to tell her friends she heard me sing. To put it mildly…she was thrilled to know I was still singing and could not wait to hear me again. I really wanted to stay longer but, as I said earlier, yesterday was different. The Senior Adult Choir was scheduled to sing at a Nursing Home about 20 minutes away an hour later…so the Peas headed to our quaint-out of way-off the beaten track-coffee junkie-routine gathering place. ( Starbucks! ) With only a short time to spare we used every minute…laughing and celebrating our time together. The swapping of gifts made an appearance and appreciation of the season as we sat around the square table. Time checked and off we went…

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It was dinner time and the dining room was filled with wheel-chairs and walkers. Elderly people with little or no light in their eyes sat in silent groups of three or four. Passing interaction, with those sitting long the route, as I and my friends went to where the Senior Adult Choir was gathering.

There were three gentlemen seated at three individual tables behind us as we sang. I turned several times to offer a face with the music instead of my backside.
After we finished singing I turned to give “The Christmas Hug” and was surprised to see tears in the eyes of one of the men. He returned the hug and told of his appreciation in my turning around. He is going deaf and has learned to read lips. He said “With the words I could read and the smile in your eyes my heart was filled.” Whose eyes had tears in them now?

One of the nurses asked our Minister of Music if we could sing to those in the locked ward. “These are those elderly who cannot feed themselves or need special assistance beyond regular Nursing Home standards.” Our group walked the corridors and into the Locked Ward and gathered to sing. The blank faces stared off into the unknown spaces…devoid of recognition that we were there. As we began to sing a table of three ladies and one man came to life. One by one each person joined in as much as they could. They hit the table, clapped along, sang along (even if it was a different song) and smiled. We finished the first song and the electricity I felt was so stirring. As we prepared to leave I circulated once again to pass along my simple Christmas wishes. I heard similar wishes and “Don’t go!, I want to sing more, I will sing louder, and…Thank you!

All this time I thought I was giving them “The Christmas Hug” and in reality they were giving “The Christmas Hug” to me. What a gift! I cannot tell you how much it meant to this struggling and humble wife and mother. I have to realize that we all need to give…

Love is not love till it’s given away!

These sweet souls want so much to give and all they ask is for a smile and a hug. I can do that…can’t you? Give a smile away and share “The Christmas Hug“… The gift you share will come back to you in ways you will never expect. Have a great day!

Peach State

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About justbetweencousins

We are first cousins who live farther apart from each other than we would like. We thought this blog would give us a chance to visit with each other as well as maybe share a few insights about life. We are both middle aged and until recently both of us had kids the same age (nearly grown). But then the Peach State cuz adopted a son, so she has four now. Heart of Dixie cuz has two daughters. We have a couple of things which are prominently in common (although I'm sure there are actually more): We vacation at our Mema's beach house in Panama City Beach, Florida - until recently, we did so with all of our kids. We both sing - although Heart of Dixie cuz is not currently singing anywhere right now. We both write. We are both Christians, although Peach State cuz is Baptist, and Heart of Dixie is currently floating about between the Anglican church, the Methodist church, and the Episcopalian church. Long story.

Posted on December 17, 2012, in About me, Church, coffee, friends, Just Between Cousins, music, musings and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sure do wish I had been able to join ya’ll at the second home. What a sweet blessing! It’s these moments that make you the most grateful for being able to share the gift of music…

    • It also makes me miss being with my one living grandmother and miss my grandparents who have passed. I suppose the early exposure to nursing homes with my great-grands and my upbringing to enjoy and learn from my elders is part of the reason I enjoy this aspect of being with the seniors.

      We missed you to but understand the limitations. I had to drive home in the dark-rainy crud on that curvy under-lit road. I am glad I was not escorted by a sheriff, driving behind me, this time. Boy, does that make me nervous. Hehe!

      Starting the Funnies!

      Peach

  2. Glad you made it home safely…

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