It's been 7 months since I halted my Quilt Programs. I miss those gatherings around the quilt, sharing music, stories, games and lots of laughs.
The time I used to spend around the quilt with groups of seniors and kids, has always been as therapeutic for me, as I hoped it was for others.
Now that my treatment has come to an end, I have some decisions to make about 2017. At the 6 centers I visit, there have been changes with staff as well as residents and participants. It's hard starting back and trying to explain my program all over again. It's hard going back and finding out that some elderly seniors have passed away. 7 months shouldn't seem all that long, but it's intimidating thinking about a return, when I feel like I might not be known or remembered.
Last week, after one of my treatments, I stopped by Silverado Senior Living Center. This is the residential facility for Alzeimer's residents, where 8 years ago I modified my kids' Quilt Program for the elderly. My mother was a resident, so I had a selfish motivation. But after Mom passed away four years ago, I was so commited to the weekly gatherings, I couldn't just stop. I started up more groups.
So a few days ago I got back on the horse and headed to Silverado. I was surprised at how easy it felt. It was a treat to recieve hugs from old staff, who knew the reason I'd been away. It was sad when my dear resident friends had no idea who I was, even though they seemed delighted to see me. But that was also refreshing. I enjoyed these little reunions with folks who knew nothing about my cancer.
Kids at The Shelter
Another day, I packed up my quilt and headed towards the Women's Shelter where I've volunteered with kids for 12 years.
Again, it was nice knowing I could share a festive experience with kids who didn't know me or my health history.
I packed up some jingle bells and music. I tossed in some Christmas books and my giraffe puppet and headed over, to get in the holiday spirit.
It was a small group, which was a relief. In past years, I've organized gatherings with larger groups, lugging in gifts and food. I didn't have the energy for that. I loved sitting on the quilt with my small group and sharing some stories.
The kids were glued to the illustrations for a while. They even pulled some dolls onto the quilt to help enjoy some books.
And then those little guys were ready for more! Their eager bodies started to squirm as they pointed out Frosty.
So we stood and pantomimed a snowball fight. I have no idea if these kids have ever seen snow, but they seemed o know how to "pretend:" making a snowman with me.
Then I got out the bells and blasted a little "Dashing through the snow..." over the speakers.
In about 30 seconds I was reminded of how much energy it takes to lead a bunch of little ones, (giddy over the holiday) galloping and jingling around the shelter's playroom. Everytime the music ended, they begged "More! More!" All this time I thought I was pretty much "back to normal". Ho! Ho! Ho... I'm not. It's going to take a while. But it felt good.
I am now convinced that I'll be returning to some kind of program routine, in 2017.
Cancer - Covid
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me.
Coronavirus and Cancer! Both are evil, but neither can totally get me down... if I vent! I hope with Covid, I run out of complaints before 200!