Revitalizing Our Visitation

Allow me to share a personal story. In 1993, my small family (husband John, son David, mother “Gran”) moved to Granby from Seattle as a result of my work transfer. We attended SUM and were warmly welcomed by Roy Sumner, who I knew through business.

We had not been here long when Gran had an unexpected and massive mental collapse. She spent time at The Institute of Living and was eventually allowed to return home to us. That would only last a short time. Her psychiatrist, a kindly older gentleman, pulled me aside and said, “Wanda, you can’t provide the level of care your mother requires in your home. She must go into a full care facility.” 

So, with a diagnosis of “cognitive dysfunction of unknown etiology” her mental decline was quickly followed by physical decline. She fell and broke her hip and could not learn to walk again, nor did she ever manage to roll her wheelchair.

We were her only family in the area. Her sister, Lois, in North Carolina wrote her faithfully and called her weekly. David was entering fourth grade following a move cross country; John was working on beginning his business in a new community; and I had a demanding career as well as my first Meniere’s attacks that would lead to loss of hearing and independence for a time, as well as anxiety.

Then, I learned that two “angels” from our new church were visiting my mother at Governor’s House. How much my mother knew, we’ll never know, although my prayer for her was always that she was at peace. I do know that those “angel” visits had a profound impact on my life and gave me some peace.  

Many are wondering what visitation entails or are concerned they don’t have the right qualities. Your involvement could be as little as a single visit, visiting one person a month (perhaps an hour including drive time), or whatever you choose. If you don’t want to do this alone, partner with a friend. If talking’s not your thing, but you love music, bring music along, or play or sing. The more people involved the wider we can expand this ministry, even beyond SUM and friends to community at large. Know someone who could use a visit? Let me know. 

If you are interested in being involved in SUM’s visitation ministry, please contact me atwljonesmom@gmail.comor talk with me at church Sunday.  

- Wanda Jones