I stopped at the front desk of Floor 3 and asked the nurse if I could pass out some presents. She remembered me from last year.
Can I show you what is in each box and then can you guide me as to who can have what? I have some candy here and I know some people have diabetes. Can I take these presents down that hallway? I know a lot of the ladies down there.
Let me see what you have there. No candy for Miss Bea. She eats too many sweets.
I looked in my satchel and pulled out a beautiful box that held a little brown bear with a happy grin and a pair of warm, cuddly red socks with a nice white design. They were thick – bed socks….the kind that keep you toasty warm on a cold night ….or keep your toes warm when you are sitting in a wheelchair. The lady looked up at me and smiled….almost incredulous that someone had just given her a present – just out of the blue as she was sitting in the hallway. As I looked back, I saw that she was hugging the bear close.
Miss B. was lying in her bed. She had broken her hip when she fell out of bed a few months earlier. I sleep most of the day because I cannot fall asleep at night so I watch television in the middle of the night.
I showed her the big, bright bag of presents and told her that she could pick three.
She chose a bracelet (and put it on immediately), fragrant hand soap and a calendar.
I haven’t received a present in seven years. You are like Santa Claus coming in like this. This time of year is hard for me. I don’t have to shop for the right gifts for anybody anymore. Because, I do not have anybody anymore.
Poor Mother over there in the next bed. She moans and cries out and you can’t tell what she wants.
I asked Miss B:
“Why do you call her Mother because she is older than you?”
Because I am lonely. I wish I had a mother. I just like to say the word Mother. And that could be me. Someday I might end up like that. Not be able to be understood. Just lying in bed all day with a tube helping you to breathe.
I asked Miss B:
How did you get so compassionate?
It’s just inside of you. It is in your heart. I love helping people. I want someone to love. I was married once. I left when he hit me. I am lonely. When I was little, I was everyone’s pet because I was an only child and everyone petted me.
What do you mean, Miss B?
My grandmother always rubbed me. I liked that. I am surprised I have any skin because it should be all rubbed off. That is the way she loved me tenderly. I love to be rubbed but there is nobody to touch my skin anymore. I loved taking care of people physically and emotionally.
Amy was the “holiday angel” that donated enough items for gifts for 20 people. She prepared gift bags and filled them with Lifesavers, Peppermint Patties, candy canes, socks, a watch for a man, beautiful blouses for women, sweet-smelling fragrance sachets for drawers, beautiful calendars, shirts for men, pretty Christmas cards, Chap-Stick, raspberry hand soaps, colorful bracelets and rings, plush stuffed animals, lap size flannel blankets, little boxes of Whitmans Sampler chocolates, small stuffed animals…..and so much more.
I had the thrill of delivering the presents but it is the people who donate the gifts who are the true angels on earth. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. There are a lot of people who are elderly and alone. Money is in short supply.