It's almost Thursday, which feels like almost the weekend, and in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend.
So I thought I'd share some moments from the past week that made me smile and for which I'm grateful.
These moments have been with the people I work to support. Since my office is in a group home, I have the joy of daily reminders of why I do what I do.
Because we are a not for profit organization we are grateful recipients weekly of a drop off by another charitable organization: Lifecorps. They do a lot of amazing work internationally, but we get the delicious surplus bread and sometimes pastries from a local bakery.
One of the people we support calls all of our agency's other nearby group homes, to tell the staff that the bread has arrived, and remind them to come and get some for the homes they work in if they can use it.
Last week I noticed that this time there some large bags of pasta.
"Take some," she said, urging me to share the largesse. I thanked her but explained that this was to be used in the homes. Then I told her what had happened to me at home on the weekend when I was looking for something in my pantry.
I noticed a strange smell, which probably meant it was more like an offensive stink as I have very little sense of smell. By now I had a captive audience. Three people in the vicinity were listening with interest to find out what caused the smell. I told them that I had sniffed my way to a large bag of pasta, which had a tiny hole nibbled in it--and there lying on top of the macaroni inside the bag, as though it was a funeral pyre, lay a little very dead, furry mouse!
Well, everyone thought that was hilarious! We all laughed and I went back downstairs and on with my day. Just after 3.00 when the people who had been out all day came home, there was a loud rapping on my door. I got up to see who was there, and there stood a tiny man, wiry of frame with wildly curling dark hair and dark brown eyes like melted chocolate.
Arms folded as though he meant business, he demanded, with halting speech, "What about the mouse?" He had heard the story from the others but wanted the full details from the source. I told him and he laughed, his eyes dancing with delight at the thought of a mouse in a bag of macaroni. He wanted to know if I ate the macaroni and "Why not?" when I said I'd thrown it all away. Who knew that a mouse in the pasta would cause so much mirth. I wasn't sure how I felt about this story spreading far and wide.:)
Then, last thing on Friday afternoon it was the meeting of our Anger Management Group. We were on session 9 of the curriculum and as I came upstairs from my office with photocopied handouts and book, the staff on duty stopped me to say, "Whatever you are doing together it's working!" and she told me specifically what improvements she'd noticed. That made my day.
I thanked her for the feedback and went right down to the family room where four people were waiting. I never have to remind them of the date or the time, and they always beat me to the room. If I'm five minutes late I would hear about it so I try not to be! I told them that people were noticing the difference and gave them credit for all of their hard work. We had an amazing session.
Nothing makes me happier than the hour spent with them. We used to have a battery operated fish that sang, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," to start off the meeting, but the battery died and I couldn't replace it because the screw thread to the battery cover was stripped. This was a big disappointment since there was always hot competition over who would press the button to start the singing. But we improvised with one of the more musical people singing the song for us.
Then the married couple that attend the sessions told me they had seen one of these fish at Goodwill and my heart skipped a beat--until they told me that someone else bought it from under their noses. So close!
On Monday morning I had hardly been in the office for a minute when there was a knock on my door. The couple stood there smiling. Most mornings I have barely dropped my briefcase when they are at my door with a cup of steaming black coffee (I know, I am totally spoiled,) but this time they were holding a bag out to me with a secretive look of anticipation.
As I peeked inside they said in triumph, "We found another one at Global Village!" and yes! It was another singing fish. I pushed the button and it sang loudly while flapping its tail. But then we found out that the "off" button didn't work. The fish was motion sensitive, starting the song all over again whenever a hand came too close. VERY carefully, with my friends laughing in the doorway, I put the fish way up on top of a bookcase so that it wouldn't startle me unawares throughout the day.
So many happy moments of purest joy. Thank you God for a job that includes such moments.