Sunday, February 21, 2010

spreading a little sunshine...

I have been BUSY. Helping a friend stage her house for sale, taking Valentines to a nursing home, creating new cards for my shop, doing more yardwork this week than I did all of last year combined (thanks to good health - woohoo!), working on creating a garden in my front yard (my first ever!), taking care of sick kids, avoiding a sick husband (in an attempt to stay healthy myself), and cleaning. Spring cleaning. Spring is giving us a teaser here in Oregon this week and I am LOVING it. I feel like a new woman!

Here are some of the cards my daughters and I made for some elderly people in a nearby nursing home. We busted out 50 of these! Taking these cards to those sweet elderly people with my children was one of the highlights of my life. My girls were so sweet - and brave - and my son (whose 11 months old now) was SUCH a ray of sunshine to those people. They brought so many smiles to people who probably feel as if they've been forgotten. We didn't want them to feel that way.

I wish I had the time to tell you all of the stories of that day. Here are just a few tidbits: We visited the "skilled nursing" section, which meant everyone was either in beds or wheelchairs. The very first room we stopped in was an elderly lady named Sarah. She just kept saying what "pretty babies" they were. After we left her room and headed down the hall, she followed us in her wheelchair for several minutes because she just couldn't get enough of watching my kids. I don't think they have many kids that come to visit them there.

There was a little old man who couldn't talk, but was SO grateful for the card, and blew kisses to my kids. So they blew kisses back! It was the sweetest thing. Then, an elderly woman entered the room and he pointed to his wedding ring and then to her, gesturing that she was his wife. She almost started crying when she saw the sweet card we had brought for him. I asked if she lived there too, and she said no, that she was there to have lunch with him. It was so sweet and sad that I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

There was another old man who was so shaky and his hands were gnarled...but when he spoke to my son, my son would smile and wave his little 11-month old arms and literally melted this old man and everyone else he came into contact with. This man wanted to shake my kids' hands - and so my little three-year-old and five-year-old girls put their hands in his shaky, gnarled and twisted ones, and made his day.

As we entered another room with two ladies in it, one of them just began raving from the very beginning, "Oh, this is such a blessing. Oh, these children are beautiful. Oh, mom, you don't even realize how wonderful this is. Oh, what a wonderful thing to do. Oh, this is so beautiful..." and on and on and on. She was making me want to cry.

Most of these people looked from the doorway like they were sleeping. But as soon as we said "hello" and asked if we could bring them a Valentine, they would come alive. They lit up and couldn't get enough of my kids. They all wanted us to stay and visit and I wished we could stay and visit the whole time with each person...but I knew I had another 49 Valentines to deliver. It was sweet and special and heartbreaking all at the same time.

I was SO proud of my kids. It was only when we got back in the car that I saw what time it was, and realized that we had been there for an hour and a half, right through the kids' lunchtime! They had not complained a bit and even though they got tired and hungry and were probably there way past when they should have been, they continued making people smile up until the very last minute. You better believe I got those kids lunch AND ice cream on the way home!


  1. what a wonderful idea. i have warm tears streaming down my face just reading this. awesome, plain old awesome! thanks for sharing.

  2. What a WONDERFUL, sweet idea to take your cuties to brighten some precious peoples' days. I want to try to remember this idea for my kids one day. So sweet, Courtney.

  3. absolutely precious post, Courtney! thank you so much for sharing it.

    it is amazing what a little "giving" does for us, isn't it? especially in these rare instances when there are no recognition, no public applause, no monetary compensation - but, OH, the joy that our souls receive!!!

    will be linking to your sweet story.

  4. awesome, plain old awesome! thanks for sharing.
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