Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Scrabble Girls

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 14:12
Over a year and half ago, I met a ninety-year-old (she’s 91 now, and still lookin’ good!!) woman named Myldred Shinlever. Some of her neighbors from my church were raking her leaves while I went in to talk and have lunch with her. I left three hours later knowing that I had been blessed to meet this special woman.

From that day on, there was a special place in my heart for Ms. Shinlever. My friend Taylor and I were looking for a new Wednesday night ministry, and after one evening of dinner and fellowship with Ms. Shinlever, we felt we had found somewhere we could make a difference. Since Ms. Shinlever could not leave her home, Taylor and I began making dinner for her every Wednesday and soon began spending our evening around the Scrabble board. We invent words (our best yet is Taylor's attempt to spell LEGLER) and try to keep Ms. Shinlever from cheating (we usually end up being the ones who are wrong when Ms. Shinlever insists it’s a word). It was a time to get away from all our other worries and troubles and focus on someone else.

Sometime later, Ms. Shinlever had a fall and was moved to Trinity Hills Assisted Living home—but she wasn’t going to get away from us that easily! We followed her there, moved Scrabble night to Thursday evenings and invited my roommate Jessica to join our group. We call ourselves "The Scrabble Girls."

On March 12, 2009, we threw Ms. Shinlever her 91st birthday party! We had a great turn out and our guest of honor just loved having all her friends and family gather together to celebrate the occasion!

We have grown to love Ms. Shinlever in a way no one can understand. For me personally, I feel Ms. Shinlever has become an essential part of my family. I look back and am thankful for all the occasions we have gotten to share with her, and the relationship we have gotten to build with her family. The assisted living staff and her family often tell us that we do not understand what we have done for her, but they are mistaken—they do not understand what she has done for us.