Mission and Ministry Matters: Celebration of Life

Thursday, February 6, 2014

in News

This month we’re completing our reflections on Jennings’ core values by taking a look at Celebration of Life.  When you hear that phrase, do you think of parties? Well, that’s definitely a major aspect of celebrating, and we at Jennings are known for our party spirit! Monthly happy hours, holidays, birthday celebrations, retirement parties…these and many other celebrations are occasions for fun.

But fun and parties are not the only aspects of celebrating life. There are the simple, everyday occurrences that we too often overlook with the eyes of ordinariness…a child’s laughter during an outdoor game at The Learning Center; the wagging tails of Cassie, Josie, Cream Cheese, Watley, Poochy and our other canine friends; the satisfaction of hanging clean clothes in a resident’s closet; the delight of calling “Pokeno!” and winning a quarter during a life enrichment event; the peace of sitting on the front porch and watching the world go by.

There are other, deeper celebrations of life’s journey as well. A daughter sits by her mother’s side and holds her hand, even though her mother is not aware. A husband visits faithfully day after day with the love of his life. A therapist cheers her patient’s first steps toward recovery. We keep vigil with those who are dying, and send them home to the arms of their loving God.

Celebration of Life requires mindfulness, simplicity, openness, and joy. It encourages us to live in the present moment, because that’s the only moment we have. Let’s make the most of each new day, for each day is a gift. As life coach and author Rasheed Ogunlaru wrote, “In life one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day–or to celebrate EACH special day.”

Mission and Ministry Matters is written by Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND, Director of Mission and Ministry at Jennings Center for Older Adults.

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