Friday, December 21, 2012
The Forgotten Ones
By Kathleene S. Baker
After many years of trying to brighten the season for needy children, my husband and I happened upon an Angel Tree for nursing home residents-the often forgotten and lonely ones in our society. Some have outlived their children; others have children not willing to travel across country for a less than perfect holiday celebration, some have no family or friends still living. Thus, they are left forlorn to languish alone on our holiest holiday.
These folks are the very ones we owe so much . . . they are survivors of wars that kept our country free and most struggled during the Great Depression simply trying to put food on the table for their families. They are strong folks that could teach us much and deserve our absolute respect. Most of them did not have easy lives and in their final years they are the "forgotten ones." What could be more shameful?
Jerry instantly yanked a card from the tree for a gentleman. I selected the name of a little gal and we launched into an all-out shopping spree with only first names, ages, and a wish list from each of them. On a cold winter's afternoon, making Christmas special for these two older kids became an obsession. The gent had asked for music CD's but with no mention of what type of music, or any particular singer he enjoyed. We were both perplexed and then it hit us like a rock! Doing a little math we figured out what years he'd have been a teenager and took it from there. We purchased several CD's of hits from that time, as well as hits on into his twenties and thirties. It seems no one forgets the songs or words from that period in their lives. I pictured him crooning along to favorite tunes from his younger years and conjuring up special memories from his past.
My special lady requested only a robe. After some thought, I knew it must be washable, warm and of durable fabric to withstand being washed at a nursing facility. I located a lovely, plush, terry cloth robe with a bit of pink "girly" embellishment down the front. But, what persnickety woman wouldn't enjoy new house slippers to match her robe? I tracked those down as well!
We were so wound up at that stage that we couldn't stop with simply the items that had been requested. Unexpected gifts are the ones that truly bring joy and excitement, "What's Christmas without a box of fine assorted chocolates?" Jerry chuckled. I giggled and agreed. But, as we headed to the candy department I realized one of them might be diabetic. Still, we found wonderful sugar-free assortments of chocolates that could satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.
Even then it seemed something was lacking. "I wonder how long it's been since this little lady has enjoyed a bottle of nice perfume!" I mumbled to myself. We sprayed and sniffed until we found a mild scent that seemed suitable. Then I added hand and body lotion in the same scent. In my heart I knew she'd once again feel spry as she pampered herself with the luxurious items.
"Boys are never too old for toys!" Jerry smiled. After studying every small-scale model car and truck in the store, he chose several that would have been popular about the time his gentleman purchased his first set of wheels, and possibly his first family auto as a young married man. They would be nice remembrances to display in his room-to remind him of days gone by. I fussed as I wrapped the packages for they had to be beautiful. All the while I envisioned eyes sparkling for the first time in a long time. I prayed our efforts would create a blessed and Merry Christmas for two genuinely deserving people. That year they were not forgotten!
In fact, they are never forgotten in our home. Each Christmas we discuss the joy we felt attempting to sprinkle the season with a bit of bliss for two aged, forgotten souls.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
©2012Rev. Kathleene and husband Jerry reside in Plano, Texas with two fur babies, Hank and Samantha. Kathy is a Chicken Soup for the Soul Contribulor and the Co-Creator NYMB.On Dogs Publishing Syndicate (released 12-11-2012). Kathy can be reached at Lnstrlady@aol.com.