This Christmas

She stood just to the right of her Mom’s wheelchair, her Dad on the other side, joining us as we sang a handful of Christmas carols.  When we got to White Christmas, she started tearing up, I imagined that she was having trouble singing, “may your days be merry and bright . . .” Having a loved one in a nursing home, regardless of how nice the facility is, is difficult, especially during the holidays.

As our choir broke up and people wished the residents a Merry Christmas, I went up to her and asked if I could give her a hug.  With that hug, I tried to convey that I understand, I feel her pain, that she’s not alone.  Though I wanted to offer some words of comfort, I didn’t know what to say and even if I did, the lump in my throat wouldn’t have let me say it. 

Is this her first Christmas without Mom at home?  Does she feel guilty that her Mom is in a home instead of at home?  Does her Mom know who she is?  Does she recognize her when she comes to visit? 

Singing is not my gifting.  While I can sometimes carry a tune, it’s pretty inconsistent. I often vacillate between singing alto or soprano and I don’t have a clue about harmonizing. This is pretty disappointing considering I come from a musical family.  But I didn’t go along with the group from New Song Community Church to showcase my talent, I went because it’s something I would want people to do for my loved ones. 

Music is such a great way to connect with people – there were very few residents that weren’t singing along or smiling as we sang.  It was only for an hour, but I was so grateful to be a part of a multigenerational group of people who went to bring a little Christmas cheer to people who might otherwise have had a quiet or possibly lonely Friday night.

And to the woman standing next to her Mom, I pray a special blessing for you and your family this Christmas.

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