No Mother Should Be Left Alone on Mother’s Day…Visit A Nursing Home And Make A Difference

To put a smile on someone else’s face is neither an easy nor an ordinary task…we can make someone laugh but a smile is always from within. Let’s go to a nursing home and make someone smile!

By Rafi Munim (Open Post) Updated May 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Living in a nursing home for almost two decades has given me the insight and understanding to talk about those that reside therein. I was admitted in the nursing home in my mid-thirties; it has been a unique experience for me. I have no regrets. In fact, it is an honor that God had thought about me to put me on this extraordinary path. I have some sense regarding my purpose in life, though I still pray for more clarity and to have a better appreciation of it.

To begin with, I would like to thank all the beautiful souls that have had a tremendous impact on mine with their affection at the nursing home. Though, most of my friends are no more, it gives me great comfort to know that I still have their beautiful memories. I vividly remember the day I was admitted in the nursing home with excruciating pain; it felt like the Sun of Hope was shining brightly. At the same time, I also had an apprehension that this may turn out to be a desert with no end to it. To my surprise, I soon realized the desert was full of Oases…these were the elderly residents. Some of the Oases became my favorite dwellings and my refuge where I would sit under their shade with peace in my heart, drink their water of wisdom, hear the frequent whispers that inspired my thoughts, and feel the breeze of affection refreshing my soul. They are the ones that imbued in me the courage to believe that I too can make a difference even from a nursing home. Every time I was with them, they gave me hope for a meaningful tomorrow, and that hope was the foundation for the creation of “Mission Green Light.” Each time I noticed that one of my favorite dwellings had turned into a sand dune it gave me deep sadness… the longer the attachment was, the deeper the sorrow. Yet, there is a joy that lingers on with their memories.

I would like share the three benefits that anyone can receive by frequently visiting a nursing home:

  1. We all have noticed that a “honey bee” sits on a flower to receive its sweet nectar. Similarly, when we sit and talk with the elderly people we too unknowingly receive the sweetest attribute that makes our lives and this world around us beautiful…that is the attribute of love.
  2. When your confidence is shattered, the hope for success turns into failure, and depression of defeat sets in, that is the right time to talk with elderly people. Their wise words of constant encouragement will act like the winds beneath the wings that will make you soar like an “eagle” to the heights that you may not have imagined.
  3. The day a child is born, his journey in the physical body begins; and every step he takes, leads him back towards his Creator. The older we get the closer we come to our Creator. The closer we are to God the more powerful our prayers become. Therefore, when you enter a nursing home with an intention to share your compassion with the residents, rest assured, when you walk out of there you won’t be alone… their “prayers with its blessings” will follow you.

The Almighty God is an awesome Creator. Just to show a reflection of how much He loves us, He gave us a mother. Then, to make us understand what reflection is… He created the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. Similarly, the season of “spring” gives birth to new leaves with their own beauty of freshness. But, when the time comes to say goodbye to them, God makes them more colorful and more beautiful so that everyone can notice and appreciate them. Autumn is the season inside the nursing homes with its full colors and beauty for those who appreciate and recognize the value of each individual’s unique creation, and that, each deserves our utmost respect and kindness.

The elderly people that reside in our communities, particularly those in the nursing homes, are infinite source of blessings for us. They are the parents and grandparents of our communities and it is their contributions that have made life easy for us. Now, it is our turn to make sure that their last dwellings (nursing homes) are comfortable and joyful places. Though, the administration and staff of nursing homes strive to provide as much comfort as possible within the given resources. However, joy comes from human interactions. This is the area where we all can make a difference, by simply visiting a nursing home.

I can tell you with certainty that in a nursing home environment, it is the little acts of thoughtfulness that matters most. Few words of kindness can make someone’s day. Even genuine greetings count, especially for those that seldom have any visitors. We can become their companions and make a difference in the last days of their lives.

Mission Green Light is starting a new meet-up initiative “Let’s visit nursing homes” effective May 15, 2013. Anyone can become a member of the meet-up who is willing to commit two hours in a month to visit a nursing home close to their home. Someone truly interested in committing little more time for the cause can also become an assistant organizer for a meet-up in their own community. Every nursing home has its own “dos and don’ts” that must be followed along with the meet-up’s protocols and restrictions.

To put a smile on someone else’s face is neither an easy nor an ordinary task…we can make someone laugh but a smile is always from within. Let’s go to a nursing home and make someone smile!



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