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Necessary faith

May 21, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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One thing that was important to me when I came here two years ago was to connect with the Roman Catholic Church. At first the nuns came to see me, which I enjoyed. But I knew they did not have time to visit. Before long a young woman volunteer began coming each Sunday and brought me communion.

Over time, I anticipated her Sunday visits, and the young woman and I have become close discussing my faith issues and life challenges in long term care.  Her visits keep me a member in faith.

It surprises me that no regular church services are held here. When I first came, I noticed AA meetings were listed on the activity calendar. They were in the evening, but I never heard any feedback about whether they occurred or not. 

A few months ago a male resident asked if he could go out to attend AA each week. His question was acknowledged but I do not know if he got to go. He has received good news that he will be moving to a group home. Maybe living there  will allow him to attend. 

Without faith in the mix, living in a facility would be vast wasteland for me even though there are other things to do and much in the world to learn. It helps me to have faith in something larger than myself. Faith gets me through most days. I repeat to myself that I am where I am supposed to be and I am doing what God wants me to do.

Some days repeating that affirmation is harder. But telling myself to be grateful and to give to others makes me remember that giving is the only way I am truly fulfilled. 

Some days I wish I could infuse that feeling into other residents who are obviously down, angry or feeling mentally off. Usually, all I can do is smile at them and send the thought that God loves them no matter what. 

Yesterday a male resident said, “Do you think I should leave retribution to God?”  I said, “I would.” With that, he turned and walked away quietly.

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Comments

I love reading your thoughts. I am a retired nurse in a wheelchair and your upbeat attitude really helps

I enjoy reading your columns. I too use faith to get thru the day. My situation is a bit different though, I am a registered nurse and the facility manager of an assisted living, but I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. There are alot of days that are a challenge to me, but my faith tells me I can do this. I love my job, my coworkers and the residents and I know God placed me here to do his good works, just wish it wasn't such a challenge some days. Thanks for your inspiring words!!

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...