It seems difficult to believe that we already celebrated Christmas and over one month has since elapsed! As the days flew by and we moved closer and closer to Christmas, our home was slowly transformed into a winter wonderland. Brightly lit trees graced every floor and there were at least two on each unit! Wreaths, each one individual and unique in its décor, graced the walls. Holiday decorations of every sort were everywhere and at the heart of each unit; set up right near the elevator, was the manger. No two were alike in their expression, telling the Christmas story anew, by their silent witness.
On Christmas Eve we welcomed the Christ Child anew into our hearts and into our home with the celebration of our Midnight Mass (albeit it was a bit early)! Each Christmas one Resident is asked to carry the figure of the Christ Child to our waiting manger. This year our Christ bearer was Ann Glennon. Ann was herself just four and one half hours shy of celebrating her 105th Birthday! Ann carried the Infant without any difficulty and waited patiently as our chaplain, Rev. William Mulligan, S.J. blessed our crib. Right on cue, she made sure the Infant was placed in the manger and she returned to her place in the chapel as our celebration continued.
The next day was Ann’s birthday and because it was Christmas we decided to postpone the actual birthday party until later in the week. After our Christmas dinner, the Little Sisters went to sing Christmas carols, going floor to floor, serenading the Residents in their rooms. When we arrived at Annie’s room on the 5th Floor we added an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday” and made sure she had a few extra gifts in celebration of this remarkable milestone!
Later in the week there was a two-fold celebration. In honor of her birthday, we made sure Annie had lobster, a delicacy she thoroughly enjoyed at the monthly Birthday dinner. On Friday, the 28th, we celebrated with a special 105th Birthday bash in Annie’s honor. Annie has a zest for life that seems to be her secret in reaching 105 years of age and she is happily looking forward to celebrating her 106th birthday next Christmas. Only 11 months to go!
On January 5 we had the joy of celebrating a baptism in our chapel, an event that we rarely see. The occasion was the baptism of Resident Patrick Sullivan’s grandchild. Patrick’s son and his wife reside in California and because of Patrick’s health he would not otherwise been unable to take part in this special day. So the family arranged with our chaplain, Rev. William Mulligan, S.J., to hold the baptism in our chapel during our regular Sunday Eucharistic celebration.
Next it was Barbara Rutledge’s turn as she celebrated her 100th Birthday and joined our Centenarians Club in January. Again, there was a two-fold celebration as on Saturday, January 19 as well as Sunday, January 20. First it was the homes’ turn and many of the Residents came to the auditorium throughout the afternoon to extend their birthday wishes to Barbara.
The following day her family and friends arrived in great numbers to mark this special birthday. Many of them started their celebration by attending Mass with Barbara at our regular Sunday Mass. Our chapel was packed with her family and friends. Barbara looked stunning as her daughter had helped he pick out her outfit, a stunning red ensemble comprised of a red, floral accented jacket with black slacks. Her soft silver hair framed her face that was intent as she took in each and every moment of the day’s celebration. She wore a white orchid on her right wrist. Barbara and her family carried the gifts in the offertory procession.
After Mass Barbara and her family continued their celebration in the auditorium. They had catered the meal and other family members brought their contributions. By mid-afternoon, our honoree retired to her room, ready for a rest after a full day of celebration. Barbara was the first among several who are anticipating celebrating the 100 mark during the year — there are still three more in the wings eagerly awaiting their turn. We are looking forward to more celebrations to come!