I had a really fun time at our nursing home visit last Sunday to Manor Care South. About ten other ladies from The Salvation Army went with me to sing Christmas carols with the residents, share talk and God's word and to pass out gifts.
I enjoy when others go with me, because while they pass out gifts it gives me an opportunity to linger afterward and share conversation with the folks.
It led me to thinking about a woman from another nursing home I met in my last appointment in Sussex County, Del.
Several times after sharing music I would go around to some of the rooms to visit one on one and I met a woman named Thelma.
Thelma never ventured out to the music program, but she always was a delight to spend time with.
She was originally from England (gotta love that English accent that never went away - so quaint!) and she grew up in The Salvation Army.
It was wonderful to hear about how she used to be a sunbeam (kind of like Brownies or Girl Scouts) and took part in many other programs.
It seemed to make her happy and to bring back so many fond memories.
That always is a blessing to see.
Well, just over a year ago I was in the hospital for several days getting a knee replacement.
I received a call from that nursing home saying that Thelma had just passed away.
I didn't recognize the name right away because I visit and meet so many people at so many of the nursing homes, but then I remembered. I said, "Wait, did this lady have an English accent?" They said yes.
I knew exactly who it was.
They were calling because Thelma's request was that an officer from The Salvation Army would do her funeral.
I called my husband from the hospital and said, "Honey, you have to do this."
It so happened that he conducted the service about five minutes away from the hospital I was staying in about an hour and a half before I was being discharged.
Her daughter was so thankful that Thelma's wish could be fulfilled.
I missed having a chat with Thelma that year, but I know I will see her again someday in heaven.
Just one more person God gave me the privilege to connect with.
Christmas is almost here Santa, hang in there!
Please help by giving generously to the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army Santa Fund.
You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
The Santa Fund is a fundraiser organized by the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army to help local families in need.