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An Afternoon With Auntie Maureen.

Brighten your day, lighten your way and lessen your cares with your daily prayers ……..

I visited Auntie Maureen at a nursing home last Sunday. She is now in her mid-seventies. Her husband passed away many, many years ago. They have a daughter, Julie, who is married and living overseas. As such, Auntie Maureen has been living very independently for several years until she suffered a stroke two years ago.

Julie was informed of her mother’s predicament. She came back and looked after her for a few months. Then, she arranged for her mother to stay at a nursing home so that she won’t have to be bored and lonely. Last  Sunday, Auntie Maureen looked great and was as chatty when I visited her.

“So how have you been, Michael?” she asked.

“Very well, Auntie Maureen. And how about you?” I asked.

You see, Auntie Maureen has always been a very caring lady. Simple, kind, friendly and understanding. As we continued exchanging our pleasantries, I slowly unpacked a fruit basket I carried along. Then, we sat at the porch facing the garden, while she had her favorite chicken broth. She told me how often Julie called and speak with her and was expecting to hear from her the same evening. She looked happy, peaceful, contented and full of gratitude. So watching her smiling so gracefully, a feeling of gratitude inspired me …….

“As we close our eyes and slowly open our hearts.
Feel our worries and care begin to depart.
Yield to the Father above and
let Him hold you secure in His love.
When we are so tired, discouraged and blue,
be mindful, there is always one door opening to us.
Our heart is like a temple when God is there
as we place ourselves in His loving care.”

After lunch, she asked for some fresh orange juice while catching up with the afternoon news. Then, she wanted to have her usual afternoon nap. As I clumsily pushed Auntie Maureen into her room, she gave me a task ……… not gigantic in nature but I reckon, only by the grace of God, can I have the ability to see it through. When she finally laid comfortably in her bed, I asked to be excused and told her to call me, as she had done earlier whenever she wants to see me.

On my way back, I had plenty of mixed feelings inside me. You see, Auntie Maureen migrated to this Country with her mother at the age of three. Her mother passed away after she got married with an expat. That explains why they do not have any relatives here. Her closest friends are some church members. Even then, the number have dwindled as well. I got acquainted with Auntie Maureen some ten years ago. At that time, she was fit to travel. She went to Shanghai, China twice. But, was unable to trace her roots because of limited information. Moreover, she had to rely heavily on her childhood memories. So with the vast development happening there, Auntie Maureen could hardly recognized anything familiar.

And, in the recent years, she had two knee cap replacements and fell very often in her home. Coupled with a stroke, now, she is incapable of traveling anymore …….. You see, it is not the things that can be bought are life’s richest treasure. I reckon, it is just the little things, our heart’s gifts, that money can never measure. Say, a cheerful smile, a friendly word or a sympathetic nod – are the priceless, little treasure we can all share and share.


56 Comments

  1. THINKING IS WRITE says:

    It was very nice of you to visit your Auntie Maureen.🙂

    • Michael says:

      I am only doing something that I have the capacity to do at this moment. Have a great moment wherever you are !!!

  2. And maybe just a visit, now and then..Very nice Michael.

    • Michael says:

      Yes. I have that in mind. And, I have a task to fulfill. You see, the conversations I have with Auntie Maureen were in English. Even though she migrated at an early age, she picked up her English from her husband, one Englishman. Regards !!!

  3. Mrs. Butler says:

    Excellent post ; thank you. – Worrywart (different WordPress gravatar).

    • Michael says:

      Welcome back. I was wondering this “Mrs. Butler.” Great to hear your voice again. Warmest wishes and best regards, my friend.

  4. Michael, you probably cannot imagine how much your visit touched her heart. I hope you’ll be able to visit her more and keep in touch. You made her day, or even her week, I’m sure! God bless …🙂

  5. Jen Tan says:

    This post reminds me that, indeed, sometimes one of the best gifts we can give is our presence and that one of the greatest poverties is not the lack of materials possessions but the lack of love.

    I daresay your presence has certainly touched your aunt’s heart and lifted her spirits. God bless both of you.

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for sharing your insight with us. Auntie Maureen is not related to me in any way. Have a great day and blessings !!!

  6. bibuji says:

    God must have been watching you two in that afternoon with full of love.

  7. “a cheerful smile, a friendly word or a sympathetic nod – are the priceless, little treasure we can all share and share.”
    And the cost is nothing; and the reward is so uplifting to all…
    Lovely post, Michael… 🙂

  8. Jane Thorne says:

    Heart gifts are priceless and all that matters is how we love…have a great week my friend x

  9. Visionkeeper says:

    So true Michael….All we ever really want in life is to be validated. To be of importance in somebody’s life! Giving of ourselves to others gives them that and that my friend you can’t find on store shelves. Auntie M will be grateful beyond what you can imagine! Good work Michael……VK

  10. This blog reminds me of my Auntie who is in a residential home in Woburn Sands, UK, she is just sitting in a chair thinking about her past, what she did and what she didn’t do and how she wishes that now she was still in her home and not living in one room which is her choice as she is refusing to socialize and mix with the other residents.

    We don’t make the nearly three hour drive to see her that much as she is not really focusing on the present and paying attention to anyone else.

    This weekend is the anniversary of my Mother’s death and also her husband my Uncle…I don’t expect she will feel all that bright if she is able to comprehend the date…

    My Auntie is 90 years old, never had any children, just dogs…Unlike your Auntie, she was always concerned more with herself and didn’t cultivate many friends, I wished that she had invited Jesus into her heart, then she wouldn’t be so per-occupied with her current situation but would have peace of mind…

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience with us. Most probably, Auntie Maureen is a little more fortunate. But, on the other hand, your aunt is now 90 years young. Imagine, by the time we are 90, what state of mind will we have and wonder how will things be happening around us then. Lastly, I agree with your thought – inviting God into our lives, that really make a big difference.Have a great day and blessings !!!

  11. I love your kindness Michael. I cared for my mama the last ten years of her life, and though her little body was withering, I was graced with her wisdom and stories Id never heard before. It was such an honor, though not always easy to comfort and care for someone in constant pain. She was a trooper!

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for the share, Marsha. I got to know Auntie Maureen because we had a common hobby – gardening. Under such relaxing circumstances we were able to relate well with one another. Enjoy your day best regards.

  12. Jeannie says:

    Your visit was a 2-way gift Michael: one for her, and one for you. Beautiful and lovely post my friend. xox

  13. Coach Sue says:

    Touching story Michael. You said this with such prose and heart. Thank you.
    Inspiring.

    Sue Bock
    http://couragetoadventurecoaching.wordpress.com

  14. How beautiful. Your auntie sounds like a lovely woman, and she’s obviously blessed to have you in her life. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe the way you do, but I think your last few sentences sum up everything the world should be. Thank you for sharing this, it’s lovely reading about such a caring woman.

  15. Michael, it is good to be sharing life with others. Thanks for sharing yours with me today! Blessings to you and your family!!

  16. Chatter Master says:

    That was beautiful Michael. Thank you for sharing your inspired work.

  17. Living in Florida and having a great many elderly friends , I can totally understand this touching story of your Aunt Maureen. There are so many that have family and friends that are in different states or have passed on. Their lives become emptier by time and space – BUT – somehow, they maintain an inner peace with it all. I find I am learning not only how to accept aging more gracefully from them but to accept the paths that life has sent my way. it makes for a more tranquil life. Your love and caring will not be unrewarded. There is a greater being taking notes in your book.
    Blessings …
    Isadora

    • Michael says:

      Hi Isadora, I love your insight. Especially “accepting the paths that life has sent you.” This lightens the way forward. Acceptance, simplifies. Thanks for sharing once again.

  18. eof737 says:

    What a beautiful story and you are both richer for the shared love.😉

    • Michael says:

      Thank You. I knew Auntie Maureen when we were living in a condominium. The bond became stronger when she related more of herself to me. Staying in touch wasn’t a problem earlier. As time passed by, I moved. But visiting her wasn’t a problem. Then, we lost touch. I enquired her whereabouts for some time. And finally traced her last year. Regards !!!

  19. April says:

    You shared some of the best treasures a person can have! I have missed your posts. For some reason, my subscriptions have not been getting to me and I am in the process of making sure that this problem is resolved.
    Blessings to you and your writings! They always bless my day.

  20. pennycoho says:

    Thank you caring. Thank you for sharing your wonderful afternoon with a lovely and gentle lady. Thank you for your beautiful and heart felt poem and mostly thank you for being you! God bless you!

  21. You are right about what matters. I think of aging a lot, these days. Blink, and we’re gone. And the world goes on. And who cares? More like who takes the time, as you did, to visit those still with us – in the waning days of their lives …
    Thanks for making humans look better than we sometimes are. It’s a gift to behold.

    • Michael says:

      Haha ……… Bela, I did spent a lot of my time thinking of aging. In fact, more so after a recent review with my regular doctor. She was saying that we should age gracefully. Honestly, I am ready “to report for duty.” With that in mind, every day is a blessing and I look forward to do more. Say to inspire and cheer up people of all ages. Best regards, Bela !!!

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