The Sound and Silence of Kindness

Dear Reader:

Don’t light and airy musical notes make us feel better… and especially Christmas tunes that revive happy memories?

I mentioned earlier this week that I have been cleaning out closets and drawers to bag and take all kinds of clothing/ shoes paraphernalia to Goodwill. While working through this rather arduous undertaking… I have run across old books and stopped to read excerpts from them … one was an old Christmas story told by an office manager in an assisted living residence.

One Christmas Eve while working the desk a package was delivered for one of their favorite residents…Charlie. He was one of the most social and popular residents at the facility.

Assuming Charlie would be in the Great Hall social room the manager went inside to find Charlie among the carolers-all the residents had been given copies of the Christmas sheet music with the words for those who had forgotten them. But Charlie was not there.

The manager continued on down the hall to Charlie’s room where she found him sitting in his wheelchair facing his bed. On the bed lay the sheet music the staff had distributed. Charlie was singing the Christmas carols quite loudly, off-key, with his arms dancing in front of him.

Sadness overcame the manager knowing he was in his room singing the same tunes as the others-yet not participating with them.

When he felt hands on his shoulder… he turned around with a bright smile and noticing the package shouted with glee-his present had come just in time. Inside was a brand-new shiny black cordless microphone. He blurted ” This Christmas gift is for all the residents so they can hear what is going on in the Great Room with its tall ceilings. ”

The manager smiled brightly …though her eyes glistened … what a selfless Christmas gift, for Charlie had been totally deaf since he was a young boy.

Since my brother Ben has been at Wellmore Assisted Living he has become quite the popular asset also. Because of his love for golf Ben is helping the staff organize putting halls in all three annexed buildings and he won the first Wellmore Putting Tournament!

Recently Ben accidentally left his phone in a friend’s car who visited him from Conway. Thank goodness I drove over ( a couple of days later) to take Easter goodies and his favorite snacks to discover the loss- Joe was able to mail his phone to me ( though he didn’t know how to turn it off so mailed it ” live” -thank goodness the battery was dead so it didn’t start ringing on the mail delivery-the poor mailman would probably think it was a bomb??? ) Joe still uses a flip phone but he was Ben’s hero getting the phone back in one piece!!

I received it Monday and took it to Ben Tuesday morning-happiness is-being connected to loved ones and friends again! Ben was so relieved!!!

Ben also introduced me to one of the staff who is a physical therapist at Wellmore. He loves playing golf so has started taking Ben with him to hit balls at Patriots Point on his days off or after work and plans to get two more friends to join them. Other people-staff and residents are sending Ben used golf balls they find-Ben washes them and separates the useable ones from the others and distributes them to the different buildings.

Kindness really does have a melody all its own and nothing lifts the spirits like it!

So until tomorrow…Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see-Mark Twain

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Look at this ” Double Bloom” hibiscus… breathtaking!!! My newest addition!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Sound and Silence of Kindness

  1. Beth Moxley Lee says:

    This was such a special reminder for all of us who have loved ones that are disabled or elderly. Thank you

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