Yesterday after church, I went with my friends Shane and Melanie to visit our friend Katie working at a nursing home. She was working a twelve hour shift, so we thought she would appreciate some company. When we walked in, the faces of the elderly people lit up. They were so happy to have someone to visit them. It made me sad that the highlight of their day was a visit from strangers. Nevertheless, we visited and laughed for a while. I found the visit much more enjoyable than I had expected. This was, in part, due to one of the residents. He sat in a lounge chair for the larger part of our visit without saying a word. That is until someone mentioned poker and he excitedly inquired, "strip poker?"
Later at dinner, this same man told a compelling story. He told us about how for his fiftieth wedding anniversary, his children paid for he and his wife to go to Hawaii. While there, they were at a luau and got pulled up on stage because it was their anniversary. The announcer found out where and when John was stationed during the war. Then he asked John to stay after the show. He explained to John that he never known his father and his mother was stationed as a nurse at the same place as John. When he went back to his dinner table, John complained that the pork was making him sick and that they needed to leave. He ended the story by telling us that the funny part was that he had had an affair with an Army nurse at that time.
It was definitely a teaching experience that made me much more grateful for the older and wiser people in my life.