Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the place that isn't home.

just got back from Wabash Christian Center, a nursing home 15 minutes down the road from the short farm. talked with my pals Peggy and Ella. Peggy was watching Michael Jackson's funeral via CNN when I arrived. she was doing pretty good, but feeling a little cooped up, "this place is like a prison. really! just like a prison." I nodded in agreement, then suggested we take a little field trip to the great outdoors. For the first time, I watched Peggy, whom I've been visiting for over 2 years, hop right out of her chair, grab her walker, and out the door we went. It's amazing what a little fresh air and some green grass can do for a person. After about 15 minutes we went back in and I headed on to wing 8, where Mrs. Ella Strumpner lives.

Ella hasn't walked in over 15 years but has more joy than most spry 18 year olds. She'd been asking me to show her pictures from my mission trip to belgium, so I dragged my laptop in and gave her a viewing. She was pleased. We discussed several different aspects of life, then she asked, "Ate any good food lately?" Not sure if you've ever taken a peek at a tray of nursing home food, but if you have, you understand Ella's curiosity about "good food." I told her I baked a pretty delicious cake last night, she said the only decent tasting thing she gets is when a nurse brings her a burger. I asked her if she'd ever had a sandwhich from subway, her response was, "only a few times. They're expensive." She was feeling pretty hungry, and I'm really rich, so I went and picked her up a sub, much to her delight.

I was fixin to depart from Wabash when I bumped into a fella named Chris. We had some small talk and I asked him if he'd been outside today. He started crying and said, "I can't remember the last time I got to go outside." I told him we could head out right then and there. he stopped crying and said, "let's go." within the first 4 minutes of my chat with Chris, he said, "I just want to go home." aaaahhh. there it is. that nursing home is full of all sorts of different people, who have lived all sorts of different lives, all with one thing in common--a really strong longing for home. dang it. I wish their lives could end at the place where they want to be so badly, but most of their lives will end right there, in that building where they've been placed. the only thing I know to do is hang out with them, pray for them, let em know that Jesus gives life and He's faithful and true. So after awhile I wheeled Chris back into the dining room and he said, "I sure am glad you brought me outside." no prob Chris, no problem at all.