Since I’m plumb out of ideas and time but wanted to have a new blog post up, I thought I’d see what Slim Randles has to offer as a holiday-themed essay, and this is a good one. He’s given us glimpses of Mabel’s life in the retirement home before, always presented in a warm, thoughtful way, and this one is no exception.
.Mabel Adams was sitting in the day room at the Rest of Your Life retirement home when the children came in. She smiled, and so did all the others in the room, except for two who didn’t know what was going on.
The old-timers in the home knew the kids were coming and had put up Christmas decorations around in the day room and on the doors of their own small apartments and on themselves.
Mabel had been reminded several times by the staff that morning that the kids were coming over, this being necessary as Mabel’s memory isn’t what it used to be. And she’d put a sprig of imitation holly in her hair on the left and tied a red ribbon on the other side.
The little girl smiled and walked over to Mabel.
“Are you a grandma?” she asked.
“Why, yes dear, I am.”
“I brought you a present, Grandma,” she said, handing a box to Mabel. Mabel opened it and was delighted at the sandalwood-scented hankies inside.
“Thank you so much, Honey!” she said. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Candice. I’m four.”
“Well, Candice, Merry Christmas to you. Have you been here before?”
“Well … no, I guess. Mom said this is where the grandmas ar,e and we can have fun bringing presents to the grandmas.”
“I see,” Mabel said. “Well, Candice, come over here, and let me give you a hug.”
The girl stepped into Mabel’s waiting arms, and the old woman smiled. “There!”
Sometimes, it isn’t the cost of the hankies, or the fun wrapping them up. Sometimes it’s just a child’s smile and a small taste of love that makes us treasure Christmas.
Visiting residents of a rest home this time of year sounds like a worthwhile project. Tell them hi for me, okay? Slim
Slim Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program. Check out all of his award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, m.