“For the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NLT
Gogo is her grandmother name. And while that is the word for grandmother in the African Chichewa language, Gogo lives up to the English version.
Her physical pace is not that of the 105 year old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins who recently finished the 100 meter dash in just over 1 minute. Gogo still moves but mostly it is into the hearts of others.
A few months ago, Gogo moved into assisted living for a couple of weeks of respite care. Before moving in, Gogo learned how to make 60 second microwave cookies.
One at a time.
This was to prepare for tea parties that she hoped would happen with new friends.
The two weeks turned into a permanent stay in the new assisted living neighborhood. Gogo learned the names – and the life stories – of everyone who came to her room. She joyfully listened to the conversations at mealtimes, exercise, or activity time. On her strolls down the hallways, Gogo admired the decorated doors and learned the resident names behind every door. She tried her first cookie only to set the smoke alarm off. With giggles and tales of the micro-cookie, Gogo assured new friends that there would still be a tea party.
Two at a time.
The cookies still haven’t been made but the starter recipe of friendship has been blended.
One of the most natural responses Gogo makes is one of joy and thanksgiving. Conversations are sprinkled with authentic delight. Wonder and thanks is natural as she expresses it over the ribbon on a wreath, the lightbulb changed in the bathroom, the shared video from a staff nurse who dances during worship at her church. New friends have strolled the halls, rocked on the porch, and looked with aged but clear eyes speaking of their confidence that Gogo was brought to their home just for them!
Living in thanks opens the doors.
Living in thanks brings hope.
This week of living in thanks brings the chance for gathering, remembering, hoping. May the joy of small things bring delight in and through you. May sweetness walk through your home, your shared spaces. May our living thanks be a sweet aroma to our Lord Jesus and to neighbors close and far away.