Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

Bragging About My Daughters

Today, as you are probably aware, is St. Valentine's Day. It is a day upon which people who have "significant others" do things to demonstrate their love. I think it's a great holiday, and I love to celebrate my beautiful wife on this day (our 15th Valentine's Day together).

But, then again, what if you don't have a "special someone?" Moreover, what if the one you had has passed on? For people who are single this can be a lonely day. And for those who are missing their beloved, I expect it is even more difficult.

I did not share any of these thoughts with my daughters. I didn't speak to them about Valentine's Day at all, other than to talk about their school parties and encourage them to make something for their mother.

So a few days ago, S--, our seven-year-old, tells me that she wants to visit people in a nursing home on Valentine's Day. I ask if her school is doing this, or maybe her Sunday school class; she tells me "no." It's just something she wants to do.

That sounds very sweet to me, but I'm not that fired up about the idea. I have a lot going on for Saturday, including officiating at a wedding, finalizing a sermon, taking my wife out to celebrate, etc. So I don't run with the idea.

S--, on the other hand, keeps bringing it up. She wants to make Valentines and take them with her. She wants to visit people. Her older sister is not so excited about this idea, but she does show some willingness to go along.

I decide to take the girls on Saturday afternoon just after the wedding. I called a wonderful lady who goes to our church. Sally lives in a beautiful retirement home, a village really, that does have an extended care section. We made the arrangements.

This afternoon, Sally met me, S-- and E-- at the door. We had 50 valentine cards with pictures of puppies on them, and the same number of heart-shaped lollipops. Sally introduced us all around her building. The girls got to meet 20 or more residents and give them the cards. At the end, as we were beginning to run out of time, they carefully arranged the remaining cards on the dinner tables in the extended care building.

You should have seen my awesome daughters. They were dressed all in red, and looked ridiculously cute. Everyone wanted to stop and talk to them. The girls introduced themselves, said they were here to wish them a happy Valentine's Day, and gave them the little presents.

We had a couple of funny experiences. The girls' favorite was a lady who invited us into her room and didn't seem to want to let us go. S-- was carrying her cards and candy on a sort of tray, and the lady bent down to take an extra one (she had already been handed one at the door). S-- shrugged her shoulders and said "I guess you can have one more." And the lady said "I can have three more." And that's what she had.

Sally was a wonderful host, and the girls spent a pleasant hour and a half making new friends. I was so proud of them, and especially of S--. They were polite, but so full of life. They gave out hugs as well as big smiles.

At one point, a gentleman who had been told I was a pastor asked me if this was a church project. I said "no, it was her idea (indicating S--) and we're just along for the ride."

I'm blessed to have daughters who are like this. I could learn a lot from them. I hope they never lose their compassion.