Thursday, December 20, 2007

Go Forth and Create Smiles!

The girls and I have been hanging with the veterans this week at the VA Hospital. My dad had cataract surgery Monday morning, an MRI late Monday, and two appointments on Tuesday. I took a huge bag of goodies to keep them occupied (my back hurts to prove it!). We sailed through Monday with the girls crocheting, coloring, doing workbooks and Mad Libs, chatting with elderly veterans, and playing peek-a-boo with patients and staff from the door of the waiting room. They were true troopers. They never got wild. And when I tried to scold them for the peek-a-boo, I was informed that they were brightening the place, and the smiles with legs that passed by proved the point.

Tuesday, we returned to find that my dad had two spread out appointments instead of the one quick in-and-out checkup we were expected. Instead of getting frustrated, I quickly realized that we were where God wanted us to be for the time. Apparently, there were some folks in need of Christmas cheer and Alea and Kasi were just the ones to deliver it. They sat in the waiting rooms and chit chatted with all the folks growing weary of waiting. They joked and smiled with the staff. One doctor told me how wonderful it was to see children. They just don't see children at the VA. One nurse came up and asked me if they were the children she saw Monday in building 2. I had people coming up left and right who had seen them Monday and told me how great it was to have them back. Alea made a comment about how they had televisions on in every waiting room, and that all that was on was News and Weather, and that there were just a bunch of magazines about Diabetes (with eye roll). So, apparently, they needed a change of scenery.

Why don't we go places more often that we aren't expected at? Take some kids to the VA or a nursing home. Ask to be put on the visitor list of someone in prison who doesn't receive visitors. Head to the local shelter with some snacks and magazines. Do something unexpected! Go forth and create some smiles!


Sherlyn said...

It would be hard not to smile, with your two angels around. Just looking at them and the love and warmth in their eyes, makes me smile. And then when they talk to you, they just ooze with love for others. Just see the pics of them, makes me smile. You have two beautiful girls who have the love in Christ in their eyes, voice, and heart!

Rev Colin said...

I appreciated this story! As part of my work I regularly visit Care Homes and the power of a smile is amazing! It can unlock so many doors, often including the mental doors that dementia seems to have shut tight.
A long time ago I learned that it took less muscles to smile than to frown, and so ever since I have tried to smile as often as possible! (The one danger with this is that sometimes people might think there's something wrong with you, because they're not used to all that smiling!).