Our family was so pleased this past November when my dad, Michael Rainone Sr. 95, and step-mother Jean, 89, moved into a brand new care centre, The Heights at Mountain View in Victoria, B.C. Operated by the Baptist Church Foundation, the Heights is a bright and spacious facility that offers countless activities and outings, delightful amenities, and comfortable accommodations to hundreds of clients. Their unique new concept features groups of 20 or more residents living together in one area, which is suited to their medical and care needs.
Our parents seem to love their new home and the great staff, and have already made many new friends, with my dad still being somewhat of a senior ‘social butterfly’, who is full of jokes and good humour. At this time of the year, all care centres and lodges are decorated for the occasion, are full of good cheer, and blessed with the tasty culinary treats and special entertainment that residents and guests can share together. An email friend sent me this delightful poem, which I will dedicate in good fun to all the special residents of our community care centres and lodges.
Twas the Night before Christmas.
Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest
and all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;
our punchbowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.
A bed sock was taped to each walker, in hope
that Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there among friends,
secure in this residence and in our Depends.
Our grandkids had sent us some Christmassy crafts,
like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
and from them she’d crafted a holiday wreath.
The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
reflecting our candle’s magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive, the joy wouldn’t stop….
It was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.
Our salad was Jell-o, so jiggly and great,
and then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The Social Director then had us play games,
like “Where are you Living” and ‘What are your names?”
Old Grandfather Cooper was feeling his oats,
proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.
Our resident wanderer was confined to her chair,
in hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.
Security lights on new fallen snow,
made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter,
but we are so deaf that it just didn’t matter.
A strange little fellow flew in through the door,
then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
Twas just our director, all togged out in red;
he jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.
We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
that our social-security cheques had just arrived.
We sang, how we sang, in our monotone croak,
till the clock on the wall tinkled out its soft 8:00 p.m. stroke.
And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds,
while the nurses distributed our nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
Before long you may be with us, but what-ever life may bring,
we will always wish you the very best.
Just a little more fun
● Cool message from wife to mother-in-law: Please don’t teach me how to bring up my children, because I’m living with one of yours and he still needs a lot of improvement.
● Secrets to a long and happy marriage. An old lady was sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with her husband of 60 years. Quietly she whispered, ‘I love you and I don’t know how I could ever live without you.’ Her husband leaned over and asked, ‘Is that you or the wine talking?’ After a pause and a mischievous little smile she replied, ‘It’s me dear, talking to the wine.’
● You know when you are getting old when Santa looks younger. Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree…in the eyes of all children they are 30 feet tall. The gift of love, the gift of peace, and the gift of happiness…May all of these be yours this year. Our sincere greetings to those soldiers who are serving our nation and won’t be with their families this Christmas. For those who haven’t made plans for December 25th, everyone is welcome at the Ponoka Community Christmas Dinner at the Kinsmen Recreation Centre, with coffee and treats from 10:00 a.m. until noon, followed by dinner. Take in all the joy, and have a great week, all of you.