Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A Beautiful "Butterfly"
This past Sunday, the disability ministry that I am blessed to be the program director for had a picnic that started about 11:30 a.m. We had a handful of firemen and a policewoman there who brought two big fire trucks and a police car to look at. We also had face painting, a petting zoo, lots of games and yummy food. About 2 p.m., a van pulled into the parking lot. The doors opened and five disabled residents from a group home got out. I went over to welcome them to our picnic and directed them to one of the tables. I then sat down between two of the women. The lady to the left of me immediately fell asleep in her wheelchair. The gal to the right of me who looked to be in her mid-70's was looking straight ahead with a big scowl on her face. She looked incredibly ticked off and mad, like the last place in the world she wanted to be was at a picnic talking to someone she had never met before (me). I asked her a bunch of times if she wanted to color in one of the coloring books we had and she said no. I tried asking her questions and she didn't answer me. I was beginning to think she was deaf and/or non-verbal. I was going to keep sitting there just to keep her company, even if she didn't utter a word. One of the volunteers that had come to help at our picnic, was handing out free harmonicas and my new "friend," was holding one on her lap. After a bit of coaxing, she took the harmonica out of the box. Her hands were gnarled, but she was still able to hold it herself after I showed her where to place her hands. I then told her where to blow into it. Lo and behold, she proceeded to play a handful of songs!!! After she got done with her "mini concert," she started to talk to me!! She had the most beautiful voice and we chatted for a while. After me asking her multiple times if she wanted to get her face "painted," when one of our face painting volunteers came over and asked her, she said yes! She was wheeled over in her wheelchair to the face painting "area," and I chatted with some of the other disabled residents at the table. When my "buddy" came back, she didn't have her face painted, but rather on her knee was a butterfly! She kept pointing to her knee and telling me, "butterfly." Around 4 p.m., the residents had to go back to their group home. My awesome face painting volunteer and I assisted the two caretakers in getting everyone loaded back into the van. I gave my new friend a hug and when she was settled into her seat, I looked over one last time at her. She was looking straight ahead, but now had a big smile on her face. Good-bye, my sweet beautiful "butterfly," I'm sure our "paths" will cross again soon.