It was a good day at the Mansion. A staffer set out with $100 to buy clothes for the two residents who have few clothes. More than a score of soap bars came, and a dozen bottles each of shampoo and body wash.
Everyone who is in need of these items now has them. The Mansion bathrooms are fully stocked with soap, shampoo and body wash. More are coming.
You don't mess around, a staffer told me. No, I said, we don't.
We learned of a Mansion resident whose shoes are falling apart, and who has no replacement. A staffer will take her shoe shopping this week, she has the money to pay for the shoes. The Mansion has no budget for shoes.
The staffers and I work together now, seamlessly and efficiently. We try to fill the holes.
Jane got the three new coloring books she asked for. A lot of romance novels are making their way to the Mansion, more cards and messages as well.
These small acts of kindness (the big ones too, remember the van, it was many acts of kindness ago?) have altered the chemistry and tapestry of the Mansion, there is a sense there of being known, of being cared about. They tell me they feel like they have a community again.
I know all of the Mansion residents now, and can sense then they are in trouble.
Sylvie tells me the letters she gets are important to her, she reads every one and answers as many as she can.
Peggie had a rough week last week, she is recovering this week, looking better and feeling better. She says her children are taking her out on a Disney cruise later this year. Connie is sitting up in her chair, answering and reading letters, getting read to go back to her crocheting.
Jane is getting serious about her art.
I felt so good in there today
The Army Of Good Is Making a difference, you see it everywhere, from the art supplies to the new printer to the books and CD's and new boombox and computer printer.
I am trying to meditate, even pray for the elderly in these homes around the country. They are not the deadbeats or parasites the politicians are always warning us about, a demonization used as a shield for their dirty, sometimes cruel work. In our country, hearts turn to stone, and the poor and the elderly are seen as deadbeats and parasites, we can't wait to take their measly benefits away and push them out onto the streets.
We put a hole in our reserves today, but more money came in. We are good.
Watching Shelley hug Red and hold him, I thought about what a precious dog he is. Gus is plenty cute, and is sucking up a lot of attention, but Red is a miracle, offering himself to the needy and vulnerable and giving them comfort and hope.
An angel lives inside of this dog, or is, in fact, this dog, I am so blessed to call him my dog.