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LETTER: Then and now, mother and me...

To the Editor:

About four years ago, when my brother was at the St. Croix Health Center Nursing Home, I would go almost daily to visit him and wonder what I might be able to do as a volunteer at the home.

I watched the residents interact with the various staff, volunteers and family members. I noticed them in Bingo, Blackjack, 500 cards, cheese tasting and a variety of social get-togethers. Often they would be looking back on things from the past and things that were actually occurring in today's world and news.

I felt an area of need was in crafts and creating, thus I decided this may be an area which I could help out with at the home. Thus, it has been in the past four years, each week a group of residents, primarily ladies, gather in a room we now call the "hen house," however we do accept an occasional rooster.

As stated, this craft group started about four years ago. As young children, most of us spent time with our mothers. We would watch and learn things they did or created, and/or helped us create. They were our role models. They were preparing us for life to come. That was our mothers were there to interact with us.

Now, though this craft group started small, it has grown. We now find a group of adult children who come to visit on this afternoon to help their mother continue to make and create things during this well spent time together.

For the residents, this makes them "shine" and works on their memory skills and flexibility. It promotes social interactions with peers and their family members, along with enjoying a good cup of coffee! To me, they are like an extended family. They are always excited to show you what they have been working on between our weekly craft get-togethers.

As for me, I am so glad that all of you ladies are a part of my life. It is a privilege to know you, and to be able to share myself with you. You have surprised me with the gifts of hope, laughter and love.

My life is so much brighter and thankful because of all of you. This is a tribute to all you mothers for a job well done!

Gale Langer

St. Croix Health Center Nursing Home volunteer