Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's Better to Give than to Receive

We had something amazing happen at an assisted living home.  But first, let me share some big news:

I can hardly believe that I'm listed as one of the 
Top 50 Mompreneurs of 2013.  
Pretty exciting.
They're narrowing it down to the top 10. 
--I never ask for things like this--
But if you have a chance...

Would you vote for me by clicking the "thumbs up" after visiting this link?

 Voiceboks--The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom

Also, Rosrin Wuithiran has won the iPad Mini from 
the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest! 
Onto the Post of the Day:

It's Better to Give than to Receive 

Last week, I decided to take my kids to an assisted living home and perform for the residents living there.  Cade had been scheduled to play the guitar while I played the violin, but things fell apart when Cade was scheduled to work far out of town.  
    Still, my four kids giggled as we drove to the quaint building. Didn't they know I was terrified?  I have fun playing with Cade--since he's my crutch--but I'm petrified to play alone.
    "I'm nervous," my voice squeaked to the Scribe as all four of my children played so loudly I swear the van started rocking on the freeway. "Calm down," I yelled. "We're going to perform for some people! Don't act like this there." I groaned because being a parent is hard. Half the time I'm raising these kids alone, and that's A LOT of pressure.
    "Why are we doing this?" the Scribe asked.
    "Well, Dee asked if we'd bring some of her books to give away as a random act of kindness. And I always have to make things complicated, so we're going to perform while we give the books away."
    "We're going to perform? You're fiddling. What am I gonna do?"
    I shrugged.  "Dance. Something. You'll know what to do when we get there."
    She looked wearily at the Hippie, the Zombie and Dr. Jones.  "Now I'm nervous! I'm just gonna think about making people happy.  This is hard work! No wonder Dee made a good nun--she makes being sweet look so easy!" And the truth is that Dee Ready (of Coming Home to Myself) could be an actual saint someday.  She's kind and generous.  To even think of donating her books like this just warmed my heart.

    "I'm not sure if I'm the person who should be donating these books," I told Dee prior to all of this.
    "You're just the person," she said. "Wait and see."
    After we set up and I stood in front of a room filled with elderly people, I shakily cleared my throat.  I had to do this--Dee believed in me.
    "We're here today," I gestured toward my four rambunctious children, and myself, "because a generous author has asked for us to share her books with you. A local Baptist church also donated so we could buy dozens of scarves to give to every woman here. These gifts aren't from us. But we're happy to deliver them."
    I glanced and saw the Zombie Elf who'd bent down to inspect a wheelchair--I nearly fainted as he pulled on the brake.
    We were there to spread joy NOT hurt the residents!
    I thought I may die, but then the Scribe smiled widely at me. "Don't worry. You were right, Mama. I do know what to do." She then proceeded to round up her siblings and hand them the scarves. "We're passing them out--spreading joy," she whispered. As my four hooligans walked around the room, the Zombie didn't try breaking anymore wheelchairs; instead he joked with a man in the back of the room.  My three-year-old girl nestled up to a kind-looking woman with gray hair. But my oldest daughters were the ones who made my heart swell with joy.  The Scribe bent down and wrapped a scarf around one woman's shoulders. "I picked this color for you because it goes perfectly with your eyes."  The woman's lips quivered ever so slightly as she looked at my eleven-year-old.  She nodded, without saying and word, then squeezed my daughter's hand.
    The Hippie followed suit, finding just the right scarf for each woman.  As the scarves were given in that personal, loving way, it felt as if the blinds were thrown open and a bunch of flowers had blossomed with the sunlight of a new day. 
    I played a quick song then.  The residents started clapping and I nearly laughed from the joy of it.  The Zombie crossed in front of me, looking at everyone and when he sat down, they clapped for him.  Dr. Jones, not wanting to miss out, crossed as well, then did a somersault!  The Hippie and Scribe started doing tricks--all four of them joined in, dancing, walking and smiling. 
    I'll never forget that snapshot moment in our lives, of all the people cheering and smiling, of the women gently cherishing those scarves, or how much they seemed to treasure Dee Ready's books as we passed them out at the end of our time there.
   Just before we left, the activity director said, "We never have enough copies of books to have book club meetings.  Please tell this author 'thank you' from us.  Now we'll be able to have our first meeting next month after everyone has read A Cat's Legacy."
    I was proud of my kids, realizing they're great givers.  But I was also blessed in that perfect moment, surrounded in the love of dozens of strangers who'd made us happier than we'd ever imagined possible. They'd strengthened a girl who'd been so terrified to perform alone.

    "I know what I'm going to be when I grow up," the Scribe said as we drove away.
    "What?" I asked.
    "Someone who helps old people."
    "That is awesome! What do you want to be?" I asked the rest of my kids.
    "A construction worker like Daddy," the Hippie said.
    "A wuv-wy pin-cess," sweet Dr. Jones said.
    "I dunno," my boy finally sputtered.  "Somethin' great!"  He looked at Dr. Jones squarely and yelled, "'Cause my pee pee's bigger than yours!"
    Dr. Jones started crying in her little girly voice. The Zombie started singing about his pee pee.  My oldest girls played so loudly I swear the van started rocking on the freeway--again.  But somehow it had still been a life-changing day.   

Us--just goofing around. 
Cade is so much fun.


  1. Dee and you and your family are all treasures. Thank you for that-

  2. LMAO the zombie elf can't go wrong with that logic. Great thing to do, and things always turn out better than your nerves make you believe they will.

  3. What a wonderful story! ps: Voted you up and a big congrats to Rosrin for the ipad.

  4. The way you and Cade look at each other while you're playing is so sweet and loving. I'll ask you to play for me at least ten times every day when I visit. I already knew the story of the assisted living facility, but I still cried as I read it. I voted for you. I hope I can vote everyday.


  5. What do I click on to vote?

  6. Good story, we so often forget about those who are not part of our daily lives. YOur kids are so cute and you play a mean violin...:)

  7. Days like this are treasures to be remembered forever ... and your telling of it is another treasure!

  8. Lovely story as usual. I had fun fist bumping children at ticket gate of special stage of STPR so I could see if they had been stamped (event was free for under 12 children). Some of the adults wanted to be fist bumped also. So, Saturday night, I decided to fist bump with the drivers and co-drivers and explained the fist bumps to the parents. Some of the littlest ones had the hardest bumps so I really over did that it hurt. I hope they had fun also.

  9. Great post. I work at an assisted living working with seniors on the computer and they love to have kids visiting. I brought my 3yo to an event we had tonight and they all came and to greet her and play with her as soon as we walked in the door. My daughter loved it and the residents bad a great time.


  10. Vote for you.
    What a great day you had Elisa, and good companies: the Scribe, the Hippie, Dr. Jones and Zombie Elf.
    It's a good combination, I love them. Smiling as I read through.

  11. Dear Elisa, thank you so much for taking those books to the nursing home and making the give-away memorable for the residents and for your children. You bless all our lives. Peace.

  12. Dear Elisa, and thank you for showing the covers of the two cats books that Dulcy has channeled through me. peace.