“Good morning, Cecilia!” chirped Lilyanna.
“What’s so good about it?” Cecilia pulled her frown a little lower, and punched her cane a little harder on the red paisley carpet that ran the length of the long hallway to the dining room.
”Any morning is a good morning when you can get out of bed and breathe in the fresh air –“
“Fresh air? Huh! The air around here smells like disinfectants and medicine!”
Lily smiled and greeted others emerging from their rooms. As she passed, a waft of soft sunshine and sweet savor followed in her wake.
“Oh look! Miss Flaggstone put daffodils on the breakfast tables!”
“It’s still oatmeal…everyday… oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal.”
“Oh, but it tastes just like my mama used to make it. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel like a little girl again in our old kitchen.”
Miss Flaggstone stood at the front of the room and waited for morning chattering to settle. “Don’t forget that tomorrow there will be a knitting circle in the social room. Also, I was just informed that Pastor Calder from the Baptist church will not be able to come today for his weekly Bible study.”
For a split second, there was the tiniest hint of a pucker in Lily’s forehead, and she gave a soft sigh. “Oh, I do hope he isn’t ill. He makes the Bible so interesting and easy to understand, but now I’ll have an extra week to learn the Bible verse that he wanted us to memorize.”
“I declare! You’d think your name was Pollyanna! Nothing seems to faze you one bit. One of these days, something will come along that you won’t be able to find anything to be cheerful about.”
Sundays were quiet in the Baileyville Nursing Home, not that there was ever much to get excited about on any day. But, on Sundays, most of the residents were napping or watching TV or, as Lily was doing, sitting in her chair, gazing out the large picture windows.
“Aren’t the violets and tulips so pretty today, Cecilia?”
“Hmph! It’s raining out!”
“I know! I imagine the grass and the trees and flowers are delighted with a good drink of the cool, refreshing rain.”
Cecilia grunted and turned back to flipping through her magazine. “Hmph! I’ve read this thing a hundred times. There’s nothing new, same old beauty aids and laxative ads.”
“Would you like to play Scrabble with me?” suggested Lily.
“Oh, I suppose. It’s better than drying up like a piece of stale bread.”
“I’m so thankful to be here at Baileyville. My big, drafty farmhouse was getting too much to handle by myself, and now I have you and lots of friends around me everyday!”
“Lily, that’s it! I can’t stand it anymore. You’re driving me crazy with all your happy talk. Let’s see how happy you are, playing Scrabble by yourself!” Cecilia stomped out of the room, her cane punctuating each step.
Lily sighed and the tiny little puckered appeared again. She put away the game and maneuvered her wheelchair from room to room, spreading her trail of joy behind her.
When she reached Cecelia’s room, she paused and breathed a prayer to her Father. She peered around the corner to see her friend staring out the window at the rain with a phone in her hand. Lily knocked at the door.
“May I come in?”
When Cecilia turned to look at her, Lily could see tears on her cheeks.
“Oh, Cecilia, what is the matter?”
“My son was in an accident last night. He didn’t make it.”
“Oh no! Oh Cecilia, I’m so sorry! I’m so glad the Lord prompted me to knock at your door. What was your son like?”
“He was such a good man. He loved his wife and raised his children well. He was a deacon in his church, and everyone loved him.” With that she burst into sobs, and Lily cradled her in her frail arms.
“Aren’t you thankful you have wonderful memories of your son, and that you will see him again in heaven? I know that brought me comfort when my husband passed away last year.”
“Oh, Lily, I wish I had your joy. Do you think you can teach me your secret, of how to see the happy side of everything?”
“It’s not a secret; it’s the joy of the Lord. Let me show you something in my Bible... 'In everything give thanks” I Thess. 5:18 (KJV)
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