I Am So Good, My Goodness is Running Over!

The week that Chris and I spent moving Grammy into a nursing home was an interesting one, because we were the youngest residents of Primrose Assisted Living Community by at least 20 years.  I felt a little out of my comfort zone.  Chris was outgoing and friendly as usual, striking up conversations in the hallways and elevators.  We encountered all sorts of older folks.  Some were very friendly and smiled when they saw us.  Others didn’t pay us any mind.  Many  looked downright miserable.  Most of the residents we never saw at all.  The dining rooms and open spaces were not very full.  The special library and computer room which offered free internet access was always deserted.  I am talking crickets, it was so quiet!  Chris and I used that computer constantly and never encountered another soul.  I think most of the residents spent their days in their rooms.

We would see two ladies working at a table in the hallway, putting together a puzzle.  The one woman told me that she and her husband had moved into Primrose together, but now she was alone.  I saw the sadness in her eyes.  I realized that everyone there had a story to tell, had a burden to carry, and had a cross to bear.

Chris and I would eat breakfast in their dining room in an effort to save time and money.  A few older folks would gather each morning to eat the yucky food.  Sorry, but the food was not very tasty or healthy!  All I wanted was scrambled eggs.  Just simple eggs without any refined flour or sugars to upset my stomach.  They never had eggs, and when I special ordered them from the kitchen, they came out looking like a lumpy yellow mound, certainly not like the eggs I made at home.

The conversations in the dining room often centered around what ailments were plaguing the speaker that particular day and who was going to what doctor’s appointments.  There were many chronic problems and diseases that brought constant pain.  My compassion was aroused and I wished desperately that I could lay hands on all of them and bring healing like Jesus did.

One resident was different from all the rest.  His smile was wider and his face shown brighter.  Every person he encountered got the feeling that he was just delighted to talk to them.  I don’t even remember his name, but I remember his joy.  It was as though everything in the limited world of Primrose Assisted Living brought him endless happiness.  Perhaps it wasn’t the world of Primrose at all that brought him such pleasure.  Perhaps it was the inner world of his spirit

We sat with this pleasant man at breakfast one morning.  I hesitated to ask the residents how they were doing, fearing what sad story that question might invoke.  However, when we asked this man how he was that morning, his response was memorable.

“I am so good, my goodness is running over!” he said with a smile.

He went on to tell us that he had grown up in Wisconsin.  He told us some charming stories about his childhood.  He told us that he was a priest and he never married or had any children.  It didn’t sound like he had any family at all.  But he loved being a priest, and he loved his present life, that was apparent.

Someone else walked up to chat with him and asked how he was.  Same response.

“I am so good, my goodness is running over!”

He was the bright spot during my stay at Primrose.  I can no longer remember the details of the stories that he shared with me, but I will never forget that statement.

“I am so good, my goodness is running over!”

My life is so full of family, home, health, youth, and blessings.  Yet I cannot yet say truthfully what he did.  I still have my list of complaints and worries, woes and concerns.  I hope to someday learn to love life the way that dear man did.  I hope to experience the truth that God’s goodness is actually always overflowing my boundaries and running over my limits and filling my life to overflowing with His love!

 

 

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