By Hayley Barron, Life Enrichment Team Manager
While we’ve all heard that familiar phrase, it was very apparent over the Christmas holiday.
Every year, the Life Enrichment Department gathers miscellaneous in-kind donations and decorative items received throughout the year and creates a Country Store for our residents in the Parchman Chapel on LPE2 in the Health Center. When residents walk through the Chapel door, they are overwhelmed by the tables flowing with gift options they can “purchase” for their loved ones. A friendly volunteer hands them three “Santa Bucks” for them to use to buy any three gifts. Sarah was one of those residents who attended this year’s Country Store. There was so much to choose from, she was overwhelmed by all the options. As she passed from table to table, she showed little interest in the knit caps, gold chains, and ceramic Santas.
Aaron Schmidt, Life Enrichment Specialist, tried to encourage her to select a particular blanket or find a gift for her daughter. Sarah commented on the pretty items, but nothing gave her that spark until she saw a modest decorated pine cone, placed way in the back on one table. Sarah’s face lit up and she exclaimed in delight, “My Aunt Sarah had that tree!”
As a small child, Sarah’s Aunt Sarah (her namesake) was her confidante and one of the most influential people in her life. Every Christmas, Aunt Sarah displayed her decorated pine cone on her table. Little Sarah and her brothers were forbidden to touch the precious pine cone for fear they would break it with their little fingers. Aunt Sarah is now gone and who knows where the pine cone ended up.
Thanks to the hard work of the Life Enrichment Staff in setting up this event and the wiles of fate who placed this pine cone at this place at this time, Sarah now has her own decorated pine cone to adorn her table. Every time she sees it, she remembers her Aunt Sarah and the impact she had on her life.
No one knows where this pine cone came from, but through some magic, Santa brought the perfect gift once again!