Appeal to Give: Snowballs

It’s amazing how one person’s positive outlook can be contagious.

I was sharing some songs in one of our skilled nursing communities on a Sunday afternoon in late November. Here in Western New York, a healthy amount of snow had fallen, and the weather was gray and dreary. The first snowfall of the season often brings adjustments – the reality that we have to settle in for another season of cold, gray, and snowy.

That’s how that Sunday felt. I made my best efforts to adjust to the season personally, and also seeking to encourage others. But overall, it was a “blah” kind of day.

Beth* helped change my perspective. Beth’s body is weakening, but she is known for her positive and encouraging spirit. She is often beaming with these qualities. Beth’s room is set up so she has a good view of the property and happenings of nature outside her widow.

As I made small talk with Beth that day, I mentioned how she must have a nice front-row seat to the snow, and the gray cloudy day. “There’s not much we can do about that, can we?” I offered, a comment of observation and acceptance. Beth pondered this, and very quickly offered, “Well . . . you can always make snowballs.”

This fun comment caught me off guard and instantly changed by perspective. Beth, filled with both weakness and positivity, had something powerful to offer. Winter days were not only for snow, cloudiness, and resignation. They were also a perfect setting for creating (and throwing!) snowballs. I needed to hear that perspective.

When life gives you snowstorms, make snowballs!

I am humbled and truly thankful for the many lessons our staff can receive as we share life with our residents who often have a perspective we need to hear, especially on our dreary days.

by Larry Petry, Senior Chaplain