iN2L made our annual holiday visit to North Star, a Vivage community in Denver. North Star is a 78-bed skilled nursing community with a wonderful staff filled with heart and soul.
This year marked our 4th year of visiting North Star, a community with a lot of younger residents. The lottery of life has not been easy on a lot of these folks. For the past four years, the staff sends us the names of the residents and gifts they would like to receive. It’s tear-jerking to view the simplicity of the wish list – Dolly Madison cakes, new T-shirts, mittens – basic day-to-day items we all take for granted. We are happy to oblige. We wrap the presents (thanks Dale and Dani) and hand deliver them to these incredibly thankful men and women. They smile. Their eyes twinkle. And they say thank you through bodies and minds that many issues to deal with every day. It’s a joyful, reflective experience for all of us, and the true meaning of Christmas and the simplicity of it all hits us each time.
I took my own grown kids back on Christmas day. We talked with a man, younger than me, who had a daughter almost exactly my daughter’s age. The difference in the two of us is simply a car accident that wasn’t his fault. Wow. While I’m able to enjoy some time with my daughter on the ski slopes this week, he is only able to look at her picture on the wall.
So, through all the gift giving and shenanigans that we take for granted at Christmas, a new year’s toast to the men and women who call North Star home, and the angels (called staff) that take care of them every day. Life is fragile. Be grateful for what we all have.
Happy New Year from the folks at iN2L.