Monday, September 17, 2012

it takes a village

As I drove away from visiting Mom the other day, I had to stop for a school bus.  The driver made sure I had stopped before letting her charge cross in front of me.  She smiled and waved as we passed. It reminded me of Kathy, who faithfully bussed my kids for over 15 years. Both of these women are part of that "village", that caring place that we need, to raise our children.

And I had just left my Mother in her "village". I am so glad my Mom is living in her assisted living residence. It truly is a community, a village, a nurturing caring place.

I was there for the end of summer outdoor bar-b-que. It was a beautiful sunny day. Tents and tables set up in the parking lot. Colorful mums and scarecrows were all around.

What struck me, that day, was that everyone participated in this picnic lunch. It was a festive and fun bar-b-que. The director was passing out burgers and dogs, the hairdresser was handing out ice cream sandwiches, the financial officer was refilling empty lemonade cups, the driver was cutting up someone's burger, an aide was wiping melted fudgecycle off of a chin, the maintenance man came around with seconds, and another aide was passing out sun hats for the hot and sweaters for the chilly. And of course the kitchen staff created this delicious lunch. People were laughing and eating and enjoying themselves.  I am so grateful for this caring community where Mom lives. This village that not only supports my Mother's physical needs, but accepts her as she is.

My husband and I are searching for our next home, our retirement home.  We are not just looking for a house, we are searching for a community.  Wouldn't it be great if all towns were there to support all their citizens:  the little kids, the athletic kids, the geeky kids, the musical, the shy, the single parent, the widow and widowers, the elders, the ecological, the lgbt, the housebound, the hungry, the artists, the political, the religious, the farmers, and people like my Mom, who can't live on their own.

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