Yesterday was my first day back at the Care Home, and I have to admit that trudging up the hill in the rain was a bit of a chore. I arrived, got the updated residents list and started to check off who I would drop in to see - sadly at three of my regulars, and among my faovurites, if such things are permitted, had died over the holiday period.
As I sat making my new list, one of the 'Activity Coordinators' approached me with a huge gift-wrapped parcel - a thank you for my work over the past year. Getting home, I opened it to reveal the biggest box of biscuits you ever did see! I was very touched, and somewhat humbled, because sometimes I do wonder whether I contribute anything to the well-being of those I see.
On average, I see about 20 people when I visit, and a quick check through the records I began to keep a year ago, have spent time with more than 50 people in that time. Some only once, as they are passing through; some I see several times; a few I've been called in to see as they neared the end of their lives. it's the nature of Care Homes that turnover of residents is quite rapid; it's also a great privilege to allowed to wander around, to chat to people and, when they so wish, to pray with and for them.