As of Wednesday, December 26, 2018
The camouflage fleece blanket I had donated as part of the holiday campaign for the Sunnyside Assisted Living Center residents found a home during their Christmas dance party last Wednesday.
In fact, I could not have scripted the story with any more character than that of William Amsden, a former WWII Army veteran, retired veterinarian and Sunnyside resident. There was nothing about his personality that resembled an olive drab color of subtleness.
During the dance party, Mr. Amsden entertained Santa aka Rick Dominguez, with his spirited holiday cheer. There was no need to worry. The outgoing resident was not found on Santa’s naughty list, at least for this year. “Ho Ho Ho!”
As the two visited, stories about family and Christmas past highlighted the cheerfulness of the moment, sharing heartfelt memories that are entertaining, as well as inspirational. Qualities that help define who we are and who we aspire to be are relived thru personable conversation and engaging storytelling.
Perhaps, that’s why Santa wears a red suit. Not because it is cold at the North Pole but because it brings out the hopefulness and strength of heart in all of us.
Over the past month, I believe those images which convey that spirit of truth have been witnessed here in Sunnyside and throughout the Lower Valley.
I watched Santa hand Mr. Amsden my camo fleece throw, or the one which represented the gift from the holiday box, with a warmth that made me feel good about myself. Kind of like being a community #12 member.
The senior beamed with pride as he accepted and was grateful for the gifts. He told me that he had served in the Army during WWII and after getting out of the service, went to school on the G.I. Bill to become a Veterinarian.
I was the one who was grateful for not only his service, but his willingness to share a story or two about his life experiences.
I explained to Mr. Amsden about the importance of the blanket and how the rolled-up package had found its way to him.
In the short period of time I have been here, it’s been quite a journey so far, and I am ready to look thru the lens as the upcoming 2019 New Year comes into focus.