The Bigger Blessing

I made a drop-in visit on an elderly friend the other day, and I’m not sure who got the bigger blessing. Her eyes lit up when she saw me step into her apartment at the assisted living facility where she now lives, and my step was lighter as I walked back to my car after about 45 minutes of lively talk, smiles, and a couple of hugs. I guess we’ll call it a toss-up. We both enjoyed the time together.

Mrs. K. lived across the street from us for over 25 years. She kept a careful eye on all the neighborhood happenings, and this, of course, included seeing our girls grow up all too quickly. She happily watched them graduate from strollers, to trikes, to bikes, to cars. After they left home for college, she always asked about them and loved keeping up on their news. When her husband passed away unexpectedly several years ago at home, Don and I were able to go over and offer a little support and assure her of our presence just across the street. We were thankful we could be a neighbor to her then.

I believe Mrs. K. is now 91 years old. Her mind is as sharp as ever, but her body has not been quite as cooperative. Moving to assisted living a couple of years ago gave her out-of-state family peace of mind and has given her the help she needs when she needs it.

When I drop in to see her (which is not as often as I should!), she still asks about the girls, and I catch her up on neighborhood news. She doesn’t dwell on her physical ailments but instead engages me in interesting conversation. The hug that she gave me as I left the other day felt more precious than ever. She thanked me for coming and admitted that sometimes she can feel forgotten. I’m so glad I followed that inner nudge and took the time to visit her.

When I think of how blessed I feel after dropping in on her, I wonder why I don’t do it more. But you know how it is. Too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Sound familiar? You think maybe some of our things should wait? We need to learn to carve out time for what’s important, don’t we? Do you know someone who might feel forgotten? Take time to let them know that you remember — and then try to figure out who got the bigger blessing.

“I long to see you so that…you and I may be mutually encouraged…” Romans 1:11-12