On Wednesday October 2nd I led worship at the Methodist Home for the Aged (MHA) Berwick Grange. It is a 20 minute service with three hymns, a short talk, prayers and a Bible reading. I took the service using Luke 16v19-31. We began worship with singing ‘With gladness we worship, rejoice as we sing.’ I had to try and sing it unaccompanied as the organist had been held up by the volume of traffic!
Fortunately she then arrived full of apologies but she had felt that I would be able to cope without her! I suppose I did but I would have had to change the hymns to other ones I could sing a little! It had to be the day the chaplain was on her annual leave; she can play as well!
I then led the prayers. I always tend to walk round when I read or lead the prayers to help the residents have something to watch as well as listen to. After the Bible reading we sang ‘Help us O Lord to learn’ before I acted out the story of the rich man and Lazarus. I lay on the floor as Lazarus and sat on a comfy chair when I was the rich man and changed my expressions to fit the parts. It was an active service but they all listened and watched; a member of staff enjoyed it too. I reminded them of how Jesus cared about everyone and showed us how it was most important to love God first and then others as much as we love ourselves. I suggested to these elderly people, some of whom were more compos mentis than others, that they be kind to each other. I was quite puffed by the time I finished my talk but I felt they had understood something about what I did; we never know how much they may take in; one of the gentlemen usually whistles the tune which is played. Our service concluded with ‘Behold the servant of the Lord’.
I always go round and bless the residents and take their hands at the same time after the service; I remember that touch was so important for my sister Margaret when speech and hearing were deteriorating at the end of her life, and she responded with a smile and blowing kisses, as she did when I was a child, which gave me a special memory to cherish.
The last time I was able to talk with Malcolm’s mum, I reassured her that Jesus would welcome her home as he had her husband and she was not to feel anxious and I sang hymns to her like ‘Just as I am’, even though I was unsure whether she understood, as I could not understand all of what she was saying to me.
When my beloved and I were called the next morning at about 8am to be with her as she passed on her way, Matron was there and asked me if I had been reading the Bible to her the previous afternoon, as she had been quoting a lot of Bible passages; it just shows how much a person takes in even when what you share seems to be above their heads. When I take a service at Berwick Grange I try to lead the service in an active way in the hope something I say or do might recall a memory from their past fellowship.
Cathy came over at lunchtime and shared lunch with us and we enjoyed her company. I always love to see my daughters as I am so blessed by them. Later on I drove over to Otley to have my hair styled and blown dry by Sinead; I always feel better when I have my hair done and as I am happy with her styling it is worth being loyal to her in her new business; other customers have followed her too.
As usual I was at the Acorn Centre on Friday and as well as helping students I am learning with Kath, the tutor’s able help how to use the skills I have learnt on my own computer.
After returning home my beloved needed to collect a prescription and on the way back he thought we might as well have a drink at Café Culture so we did. It was lovely to do that with my beloved as it is very relaxing there and the cakes and drinks are very good; homemade with fair-trade coffees and teas.
When we got back home, I suddenly remembered at 5pm I had arranged for my friend Hilary to drop by at 4.30pm for me to witness her signatures and had totally forgotten! I had not taken my mobile phone out with me, which would have been wise! I texted her to tell her that I would come over before 6pm to sign them, which I did with apologies! She was not concerned and then we had a chat and time moved on; suddenly I realised time was getting on and set off for home. En route my beloved rang as he wondered where I was!
I enjoyed a lovely evening with him and a relaxing Saturday morning catching up with some programs we had missed on television, before I enjoyed my treat of a full body massage at Skin Sanctuary with Silvie. I love the relaxation I feel after a massage. It also helped my ankle feel a little easier; it has improved in that I need only take painkillers in the morning, as it is painful after I have slept. The doctor had told me a twisted ankle would take weeks to heal; I am just impatient for it to be fine again!
I also had a busy week at work so that I have quite a back log of new patient summaries and coding, although the doctors are being helpful in selecting those letters which require coding and those which just need to be scanned on.