[Nana's note: My eldest granddaughter, Lilian Kathleen, has been bitten by the writing bug. I couldn't be more thrilled or proud. Here is her take on our recent visit]
By Lily Gauss
The plane flight was shorter than I had expected. In no time at all Hannah, my sister, and I were running into the arms of our Nana. The airport, that was a maze to Nana, was very simple to me. I had spent a bit more time in airports than Nana and it was my pleasure to lead the way out of the maze.
When we got to the car, Nana immediately offered us snacks. She held out a nice yellow banana to Hannah and said, “Have a banana with your Nana, Hannah.” Hannah burst into giggles, for she finds almost anything funny, and I knew that was going to be the joke of the trip.
We drove away from the airport and debated spending the night in a hotel. After a few yawns from Hannah, Nana and myself we decided it would be best to stay in a hotel.
The next morning it was prudent we take a selfie to commemorate the trip. It only took a few tries to get a nice picture. We packed up the room, ate breakfast and were on the road in no time.
During the drive Nana reminded us that we were going to sing for some nice ladies at an assisted living home. Hannah and I didn’t know any of the songs, so during the drive we practiced. “Amazing Grace” was easy because I already knew parts of it, but some of the others were a bit harder. We sang the songs over and over till they were drilled into our heads.
When we finally reached Nana’s, house we weren’t thinking about the songs anymore but the promise to go shopping! We went to The Market Place first. It was a cute shop and I got some awesome earrings. I was only disappointed that the lady working there saw my henna tattoos and then showed me to the “hippie” section. That was sad and embarrassing. [Nana's note: Lily assured me she was joking... which vastly relieved me since I am, after all, a recovering hippie. The real deal. Seriously.]
After The Market Place we went to Goodwill, where we got dresses for our visit with the ladies. It took me a while to find a dress but Hannah found one faster than a Cheetah can run. [Nana's note: No lie. Hannah is fast.]
By the time we got home, it had started to rain and after the rain came the lightning and with lightning there is always thunder. Since we couldn’t go outside, we decided it was time to drink hot cocoa and watch Netflix. We settled in on the couch and ended a perfect day the perfect way.
I woke up with a smile knowing that today was the day to see the ladies. I helped Hannah into her dress and gave her a sweater to wear. No matter how happy I was, I was also nervous. We practiced our songs a few more times and got in the car. As we drove down the road we passed a couple more nursing homes. I thought about what it must be like to have Alzheimer’s or another condition that could cause me not to be able remember things. Suddenly I felt grateful about what I was doing for if it was me in there, I would want someone to sing to me.
When we stopped at the assisted living house, I was slightly surprised at how beautiful it looked. There were flowers growing everywhere.
We started our session in prayer, and I prayed that when I grow old, someone would do this for me. We held hands during the prayer, and even though the lady next to me, Joella, hands were weak, they were warm and I could sense that she was happy. We sat down and after everyone found the right page in the songbook, we began to sing. After a few songs (“Amazing Grace” being my favorite), Hannah agreed to sing from “The Sound of Music.” Afterward everyone applauded.
We went to Walmart afterwards to do some victory shopping. We came home carrying some Walmart loot. A little while later Zampa came home bearing rice pudding that he convinced me to try. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. I was in love.
The next day around noon my cousins Milo and Zoe and Aunt Serina came to pick Hannah and me up. We said our goodbyes and I rode off to my next adventure.