A Resident’s Perspective – February: Month of Thanksgiving

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2016

Love flows year round, but it appeared in unusual sizes, shapes, and forms this February. Not one to complain, I was stepping gingerly, sitting and rising slowly, and constantly clenching from muscle spasms. Holding up the walls with one hand while balancing my heavy coat, bag of piano music all day after playing piano at Assisted Living and the Skilled Nursing Facility, going to the gift shop, bank, chapel, classes—obviously, I was in pain. (No, I’m not to drag, pull, back-pack, or shoulder the load!)

Hubby Chris shoes and socks me and sees to fresh bed linens–folded back, too!

When he takes the bus to the grocery store, he proudly brings home soul foods for my comfort–forgetting a prediabetes’s diet (so he enjoys them himself!)

Daughter Melody insists on being with me, even to the campus clinic and to MRI and other tests to come soon. Her hubby John offers his help constantly, especially, grocery shopping for special items at big box stores. Their little eight-year-old daughter Hope stays at times with us and offers her “Granny, I love you. We don’t have to play this game if you’re hurting.” We still find little love notes she leaves around the rooms before she leaves.

Last week, two neighbors showed up to deliver a walker, raised the handles for my tall size, and demoed its use–to borrow until I have one of my own soon.

Residents have delivered:

packs of microwave popcorn and no-sugar walnut fudge,

to-die-for carrot cake baked for a birthday party for her volunteer co-worker,

CD purchased when I was unable to attend the Charlie Albright piano concert,

ride to church when I experienced a good day,

chocolate covered giant strawberries,

offers for rides (outside resident transit hours) to play the piano,

visits when I beckon from my patio door for friends passing by to come in,

fresh asparagus—the large bunch was too much for herself,

offers to deliver my crafts for consignment to Gifts, Etc.,

extra help from dedicated resident transit drivers,

kindness of listening ears, prayers and loving concern.

The list goes on.

Many have said, “Mary Jo, you should lay off playing the piano until you feel better.” What would I do? Sit and watch TV?

While piano doesn’t relieve the pain, I do feel better! It is a tremendous, rewarding distraction and gives me the pleasure of volunteering and making people happy. They always come to the piano, thank me, and say how much they enjoy it. I thank them for listening and whisper a quick, sincere thank You to God for my piano fingers. I’m simply sharing what talent is left in me to His honor and glory.

Blessings of love come all year. But while on the mend, this February brought an abundance of special thanks to my heavenly Father Who continually showers His love to me through His people—my family of relatives and my family here at Panorama.

Mary Jo Bio

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