Arriving I see our elders, our wise
Batting balloons with wet noodles — yup, exercise!
In the next room I hear a Bingo game
A winner rings out — and then a name.
Out back volunteers help to plant seeds
Parsley and mint — grown at God’s speed.
In yet another room — I can’t tell which
A priest is providing the Sacrament of the Sick.
These places are like a pot of soup: A cup of smiles, a pinch of tears,
Gladness mixed with dying fears.
Didn’t know before I started this work
Some of the most sweet turn into quite unhappy books.
And yet, another big surprise
Is how so many transform into amazing butterflies;
Going from awful in everything before;
Changing with age — as though innocence restored.
Suddenly caring about everyone
Wanting to help, leaving out none.
At first glance, one may not really see
That God seems to give so many the opportunity to be
The best person they can be, even at this stage
Not that we all necessarily get to turn this page.
But what we do when we move from walking to wheelchairs,
With our bifocals, briefs and newly gifted teddy bears
Is an adventure for each of us to decide
As we learn to accept our old bodies and navigate this elder ride.
A time when we are forced to leave our homes behind
The things we acquired when we were on the outside.
But all is not lost, for here lies the chance to be
Even better before we return to God at exactly His speed.
Chaplain Tamar/Coach Tammy