The days are
rushing by and even it seems like yesterday that we celebrate the New
Year, now we are already at the end of January! Many times we are
rushing in doing things and we donít really take the moment to live
At the end of this
month I was thinking of some people that I met recently and realised
how fragile life is. We need to understand we live this life just
once, so we should make the most of it, not necessarily for
Ďourselvesí but for those that are near to us, because this will
follow us on the other part.
are coming and going in our life, some will be with us just for a
short time, others will spend many years with us, but itís not the
time spent that will make the difference, but the lessons they teach
Today I would like
to share with you a story that taught me many things.
A few days before
my winter holiday, a lady came to ask me if we can help her by caring
for her mother who was hospitalised and the family couldnít cope with
all the pressures. I had actually taken the decision not to admit any
new residents before the New Year. But once again, I overruled my
decision because I really felt we needed to help.
So on December 22nd
lady Zoe came in our Oradea Elderly Care Home, but not feeling very
well. The family visited her every day, but I was most impressed by
her husband. If he couldnít come every day, he would come every other
day. He was coming to spend time with his wife. She didnít recognize
him all the time and didnít know who he was, but he knew who she was,
the one that he promised to love "for better and for worse, in
sickness and in health".
For sure they had
many good days and now were the sad days but he didnít give up on her,
just because she wasnít any more the lively beautiful lady that he
married. She passed away on January 16th and at the
funeral, he didnít want to let her go. It seemed that 62 years with
her were not enough.
There were a few
lessons that I learnt from this storyÖand maybe it is something that
we all can learn from it.
The first lesson is
that we need to help when our help is needed, not when we think is
a good time for us. Maybe when it will be convenient for us ....
will be too late and our help will not be needed any more.
The second lesson I
learnt is that life is short, even if we live over 80 years. We
need to do the things that we want to do when we still have time,
because some wonít get to 80. We need to say the words before itís too
late. We need to be there for our loved ones even if our presence is
not felt but for sure will be missed.
Then, I remembered
that the promises we make, we need to keep. Even when it is
hard, even if we could find many excuses, we need to keep our promises
and find a way to respect the commitments we make. Words should not be
just words, when the time comes they need to become action, because
the person that heard our words believed in them and counted on them.
There were many
lessons, but the last that I will share with you is that we should
never miss the chance to be a testimony to the love of God. At the
funeral, I met a mutual acquaintance and when he saw me, he asked how
come I am there. I told him that The Smiles Foundation cared for the
lady in the last days of her life, and he thanked us for the testimony
that we were for the family, because the family told him that they was
so pleased and thankful with our help, but he didnít know at the time
they were talking about Smiles. For me, this was a great encouragement
to see that our actions speak about the love of God to those that
donít really know God as their personal saviour.
So, at the end of
my report I just want to up-date you on Salonta and Oradea Elderly
At the moment in
Salonta we have 26 residents and 3 more inquiries. If after the
evaluation all 3 are suitable, the centre will be at full capacity for
the first time since opening. In Salonta this month we had 2 ladies
who came: Floare (81 years) who has very big problems with her bones,
and Irina (68 years) diagnosed with Alzheimer in the last phase,
talking with us just very rarely but she shows her affection by taking
our hand to walk with her through the building. We celebrated the
birthday of two men, Octavian (75 years) and the oldest person in our
centres, Matei (94 years).
At ECO we have at
the moment 24 residents and 4 more will come for sure in the next 2
weeks. Also we have 15 requests that we need to asses in the next two
weeks. We donít expect all to be suitable for the centre but at this
rate in spring we will be at full capacity. In January, we had 5 new
residents come: Cornelia (81 years), Floare (75 years), Iosif (78
years), Profira (85 years), Marcel (74 years). We feel sorry for the
families that lost the dear ones, Stela (85 years) and Zoe (84 years).
One resident decided to go back home as he didnít adapt, but he canít
care for himself at home so in February he will come back to us, this
time more convinced that here he gets the attention and the care he
needs for his medical problems.
I encourage all of
you to come and visit and be part of our daily activities!
- For God to prepare the new residents that
will come in the centres and experience the love of God through the
care we provide;
- For the new residents to adapt in the
- For staff to have a loving and caring
heart for those in need;
- For health and well-being for residents
and staff as last month we had many with flu;
- For money to cover the day to day
- For all Smiles staff be able to show Godís
love so others will get to know HIM.
Please pray for us
because when you pray, God hears more than what you say, answers more
that we ask, gives more than we imagine in His own time and in His own