CHRISTMAS AT GOOD SAMARITAN
R. D. ICE
[This is a true story. Nola was Wendi's sister. Nola died soon after this, and Wendi was not many months later.]
Wendi had finally come to the point
that a nursing home was the only answer.
She was very angry and caused all the
trouble she could, even to the point of
calling 911 with cries for help.
For a while she was permitted to camp out
sitting in a chair on the front porch of
Good Samaritan, under a canopy
made of a heavy blanket. And this
seemed to pacify her for a while.
But in time she came to be at peace
with herself and with the staff who
patiently worked to help the residents.
Christmas time was here!
Wendi allowed herself to be cheerful.
Swirls of snowflakes filled the air,
as the Preacher drove up to the
Good Samaritan Nursing Home.
Inside bits of red and blue paper
decorated the walls, and
all the touches of Christmas were
everywhere to be seen.
Nurses and helpers began bringing
the residents into the dining room
for the big Christmas party.
Helen, 104 years old, walked in
with help from an aide,
to sit by herself in a chair.
Wendi was pushing a wheelchair
toward the front and then she sat in it.
"Preacher," she said, "have you come
to take me home? My cats are
lonesome and they need me."
"Wendi, be glad you are in here
where it’s warm. It is too cold
out in the country at your trailer.
Your cats will find warm places."
Another aide came pushing Nola
still lying in her bed.
"Nola," said the Preacher,
"here you are, bed and all.
Nola was bedfast and had been so
for some time. Yet she was alert
and certainly enjoyed the
singing of Christmas carols.
But she could not speak to answer.
Others came, walking as they could,
some with walking frames,
some in wheelchairs. All
trying to enjoy the spirit of
Christmas, the Season of the Year.
Party favors and bits of
good things to eat. This was a time
of celebration, a break in the
cold gray days of winter.
Each one was tenderly taken care of.
The aides and nurses were going from
resident to resident, missing no one.
But too soon it was over.
The Preacher followed Nola
when her bed was returned to her room.
"Nola, isn’t it wonderful that God
sent Jesus into our world
to be our Savior!
We are people of hope!
One day we will rise to
eternal life, singing and praising God,
for ever and ever!"
"Nola, I’ll say a prayer with you."
"Holy Father, reach down and touch
Nola with Your love and mercy,
give her hope and help her look
to the future You have for us.
Forgive her sins and save her.
Bless all the residents here at
Good Samaritan, and bless those
who are taking care of them.
In Jesus’ name, Amen."