A Day in the Life of Santa Teresita…Our Neighborhood of Care

Today is the day that we host the “Come and See” girls, a group consisting of young women coming to experience for themselves what it’s like to live in the shoes of a Carmelite Sister. The experience includes volunteering and assisting with the resident’s daily activities and I was personally looking forward to this since I know that the residents are always eager to meet new people.

The residents had no idea that they were in for a surprise. I took the group that was in charge of leading activities at the Good Shepherd Cottage to host “Mock-tails & Manicures,” where the ladies can come down to get their nails done and enjoy non-alcoholic cocktails or refreshments. Get it? A Mock-tail, because we are mocking cocktails but without the alcohol component.

One by one the ladies started to come into the living room where to their surprise they were greeted by 7 young women all waiting to give them all some TLC (Tender Loving Care). None of the residents were expecting to have young women waiting to give them all manicures and chit-chat with them. It was a natural thing for both the young women and our residents. They started their manicures and conversations all while they enjoyed Shirley Temples (ginger-ale, a cherry, and maraschino cherry syrup) and iced tea.

This was the perfect activity for both groups. The young girls were having a blast painting nails, sharing and trading stories about their life or their college experiences. On the other hand we had the residents smiling from ear to ear reminiscing on what it was like to be a young lady in their college days. You should have seen it, music was in the air and the cottage living room was filled with joy, laughter and happiness.

One of the male residents came down to join the fun. The young girls were in for a prank. This man was going around asking if there was any girl brave enough to give him a manicure and pedicure. Of course he was kidding but he still had a couple of brave girls who said they were up for his challenge. He kindly thanked them for willing to help him but explained that he didn’t really want his nails painted hot pink. As you can imagine he had us all cracking up. Before we knew it, it was lunchtime and time for the residents to go to the dining room and the young women to go have lunch.

It was beautiful seeing how there was an energetic intergenerational connection between the two groups despite their age difference. This reminded me of a saying one of our residents says, “Age is just another number, and numbers don’t define how young or old you may feel.” This made more sense now than it had ever made before.

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