Cheer for your friends.Have I mentioned before how much I love my job? When was the last time I told you what a blessing it is to spend my days with the men and women at Edgewood? Am I making you jealous? *wink* OK. In all seriousness, I am a blessed woman to be able to "work" where, and with whom, I do. And I had another glimpse of that delight this week during exercise class. I've mentioned my "neighbors" across the hall here before. B, and his wife U. B had a stroke and has pretty much no use of the right side of his body, and has HUGE difficulty communicating. His wife is exceptionally patient and kind, but also gets quite worn out in caring for him. So, this week B came to exercise class and U stayed home to read and get a little "break". The first thing we do during exercise class is throw a beach ball around. I stand in the middle of the group and toss the ball to each person. They catch it and toss it back to me. Now, picture B - who has no use of his right arm. I tell him the ball is coming and gently toss it high in the air so it comes down on his lap. And B, with all the strength and coordination he can muster, traps the ball on his lap with his left arm. Then - using only one hand - he maneuvers the ball and rolls/tosses/drops it back to me. And the crowd cheers excessively. The smile on B's face was a beautiful thing to behold. But I think I was even more taken by the grace and kindness being displayed by his peers. They weren't cheering because B caught the ball and threw it back to me with stellar form and amazing precision. Rather, everyone in the room knew there was a pretty good chance the catch and/or the toss were NOT going to be successful at all. (They've seen failed attempts already.) So, it wasn't a cheer for performance. Instead, it was a cheer for persistence. For courage to try when it would be easier to quit. For being willing to hope in the midst of hopelessness. It was a group of friends communicating to another, We know your situation is difficult. We know what it's like to struggle, too. And we're so proud of you for not giving up. We love you! I stood back and looked at the men and women around me, and I thought I had never seen such a wonderful group of friends before. And I thought, I want to be just like them. Cheer for your friends. Do you have a friend who needs your support today? Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.