I walk into the well cared for living room and three little ladies are sleeping, two of them snuggled together. All covered with a thin blanket. The television is blaring. Lucy and Ethel are eating candies and putting some in their chef hats....audience is giggling ....canned laughter.
Girls, wake up! It's 1 pm and they are taking their afternoon nap. The caretaker informs me that they have quiet time (or did she say free time?) from 1 - 4 pm. I wonder if they remain like this until it's time for dinner....
Their wrinkled faces begin to move and eyes open peering at me. It's such a beautiful day! Come on! Do you wanna come do some art? Glares. Ok, I get it. They don't want to move. So can I come over and sit by you and talk? Smiles. I take that as consent and I pull up a chair and bring my Pandora station up and begin to play Doris Day singing "Autumn Leaves." Smiles. Wider eyes. I hum along and sway rhythmically from side to side. Now they are all awake and watching me with weary eyes.
Come on hum with me! Hmmmm.....One sits straight up. She is listening. I am filled with gratitude that something has caught their attention.
I show them some autumn leaves I purchased at the Dollar Tree (God bless that store's owners!). Aren't these beautiful? I love fall. Oh, look at the colors - red, green, gold, orange....One of the little ladies reaches to touch them. Yeah, they are pretty - these are silk. They won't ever change! But look outside. Do you see leaves like this? Too much of a good thing. They sink back into the couch ready to sleep once more. A window of opportunity. I play the song once again and small smiles creep across the faces of all three ladies. Maybe next week I can wake them up and get them to move to the table and do some art. I have not given up....
Only one resident thought my idea of fun was pure and simple folly - He took one look at the markers and other media and said, "I'm not interested in that" and then promptly wheeled himself back to his room. But five others remained and enjoyed the colors of fall.
Five open minds excitedly talking about who would be the recipient of their art....I exhale slowly. Yes, art is healing and certainly brings one "into the moment."
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