Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – A five generation circle of love


By Rosie Preston

Every time the phone rings and I see that it is from my mother’s nursing home residence, my heart skips a beat. I’ve received more calls lately than before March.

The call came that I had hoped would not come finally came. Roxanne the social worker informed that my mother was being tested for the COVID virus.

I’m hoping the answer will be negative, but I know that other families are hurting, too. We are a group of people that are going through the same thing – a living nightmare. Why? Because either way, whether my mother gets the virus or not, I know that the nursing homes will not open again. If businesses start to open all over the U.S., the nursing homes would be the last to allow visitors.

When I share that opinion with people, they sometimes reassure me that opening of the nursing homes may happen. However, I’m smart enough to read the news and watch television, so I know all too well about how quickly the virus spreads through nursing homes like wildfire.

So, I’d like to ask anyone reading this column to contact me if you are going through anything like I am. You have a friend in me. We can connect on many levels, and you can believe we can be there for each other.

This past Saturday night, I drove a young man to a bus stop. His trip was going to be 53 hours! I would not be able to do this at my age! He is going to work in North Dakota where some buildings are being remodeled.

No one but me knows of how often my family and friends have prayed for the day when this young man would choose to change his life and get off drugs. I prayed for years, and a few months ago I felt a confirmation in my heart that he was going to be okay. When I heard of his decision, I called all my prayer partners and shared the good news!

You all know when children come into this world, they are such precious little babies, and if they are lucky, they’ll have loving parents. I know of too many children who came to be cared for in my childcare center that came from both sides of the fence.

I learned many years ago that some children can have the best of care and still take the wrong path. Other children can have a terrible home life and somehow rise above it. Again, if anyone would like a listening ear or wishes to form a group where can be there for each other, I encourage you to get in touch with me.

Phil says I’m the only person he knows who loves people as I do. I can’t say “all” people, but if I meet a smiling face, I often start conversations. Sometimes it is in a grocery line or looking through items of clothing at a store, and I can’t forget how many people I have met at thrift stores.

Some people might say that they can’t find anything at a thrift store, but you have to be a regular shopper and not stop just because you may not find something that day. Tomorrow may just be your lucky day, and you will be patting yourself on the back for saving so much money!

It was just a year or so ago when I took my precious 13-year-old granddaughter to the Gadsden Mall. She took me to a very popular store, and it was a wonder the employees didn’t have to call an ambulance for me. When she brought a pair of short shorts to show me, I think I had a meltdown when I learned that they cost $35. I just couldn’t go there, so we left with me acting very casual and relaxed as I told precious granddaughter that she could stay in the car while I went into a couple of thrift stores. I took my time and found a new rug that had been priced at $300 for only $60. As I was about ready to get in line to pay, granddaughter came up behind me and said, “Nana, look what I found, and they are name brand, too!”

I’ve shared a part of my heart this week, and perhaps you feel that you know me a little better. I am in the middle of five generations. Once my doctor asks me what part of the sandwich I was.

“I’m the soggy tomato,” I replied.

I’ll never forget what he said: “No, you are the meat; you hold everyone together!”

I left his office that day thinking seriously about what he had just said, and I would like to tell you that I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The persons I imagine to be inside my circle (or bubble) are filled first by those five generations of my family whom I love so much. During this pandemic, it has become clearer that I’m thankful for Maw Maw and Paw Paw, my mother’s parents. I was blessed to have them just up the street to spend time with regularly. I have wonderful children and grandchildren on both sides of my and Phil’s children.

When someone asks my age recently, I said, “Thanks to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I feel like I’m 34 years old.” So for each day I cannot visit my mother, I know and trust the people taking care of her at GHRC, including the facility’s administrator, Robbie, the head nurse assistant, and Sonya, and social worker Roxanne and Matt, the director of nursing.

I can’t remember the nur-ses or aids names, but I pray every day for these many people, especially the ones who are essential workers and have to be there at their jobs. I ‘ve placed my mother and the rest of my family and friends in God’s hands. 

We must choose the path of love, kindness and patience and to talk to God as if He is our best friend. With the pandemic and everything else we are witnessing these days, we must realize that God is listening, because I can’t believe in a God who would not hear every prayer!

Keep Smiling, Rosie

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