IRACLES COME IN all sizes, and we can see them every
day if we just open our hearts and minds.
To me, a miracle can be a resident, who seems to
have forgotten how to smile, actually laugh out loud at a cat rolling
and tumbling and performing for her. A miracle can be a group of
residents sitting in front of a cage of finches smiling, La.ughing,
and talking about the birds, or hearing a resident saying to a parrot,
“Talk to Mama.”
one incident, I have seen a resident who would not get out of bed
until a black and white female cat came into her room. Once the
resident made friends with the cat, she would even get in her wheelchair
and take it to its food bowl and then back to her room.
Ive seen residents monitor a cage of lovebirds,
waiting for their eggs to hatch so they could watch the young ones
come out of the nest. Some of the residents may not even be able
to remember what they ate for breakfast, but they can remember to
seek out their favorite animal. Ive also seen residents who
would not talk most of the time, but they would start talking away
when they see a young child. Some may think these are small miracles,
but to me a nurse who sees depression, withdrawal, and a general
giving up on life these are large miracles.
I have had the honor of witnessing these miracles,
and many more, due to the Eden Alternative at CHRISTUS St. Josephs
Home. This is a wonderful program that takes away some of the feeling
of being institutionalized. As a nurse, I believe in empathy. I
know I would not want to feel I was spending the rest of my life
in what seems like a hospital. Incorporating plants, animals, and
children into their care seems to take some of that feeling away.
I am proud to work for a facility that would take
on a large endeavor like this one in order to make these residents
lives a little happier. If petting a cat, looking at birds, or watching
flowers bloom brings happiness into their lives, then I feel it
has all been worth it.
Dale Evans, LPN
CHRISTUS St. Josephs Home