Within the first year and 3 months of our marriage, at 28 and 32, my husband and I moved into a nursing home. We had our own cozy room, ate all of our meals with the other residents, and made many new friends.
Granted, our stay only lasted a few days…and the purpose of our stay was to visit Josh’s Grandma and Grandpa in Nebraska. So I guess we didn’t technically “move in” to the nursing home, but we did still get an insider’s view that most people in their 20’s and 30’s just don’t get, and we had quite a unique experience. This past week was the 2nd time we had our own room at the nursing home. We did get to meet other residents, chat with them, and learn a little about their lives. We ate meals with everyone else in the dining hall, chatting afterwards about where we were from (Pennsylvania…a long ways away from Nebraska)!
In a society that is so quick to separate the children from the teens from the young adults from the middle-aged from the old, this experience was refreshing. We are so quick to forget what we can give to one another- that each phase of life is beautiful and necessary- a gift.
When we first saw Grandpa during this trip, Grandma (his wife of 67 years!) asked if he remembered that we were coming. “You know,” he replied, “I am very lucky. When you all hear about something good happening, you get surprised once. Me, I get pleasantly surprised every time I hear it!”
What an attitude to approach life. To see the blessings in something that can be a painful and difficult experience. Grandma and Grandpa both approach this phase of their life with joy and humor, joking back and forth and obviously adoring one another even after 67 years!
In the theme of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the gift of various phases of life, for the time that I am in, and for the phases I will continue to live out in the future. I am thankful for those who are wiser and more experienced than I am. I am thankful for Josh’s grandparents, their long marriage, and their lives that they continue to live fully where they are.