“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky…”
Yes! They sang that, with the exact melodious tune which still echoes over and over in our heads. “The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else”; The project “Care. Compassion ‘19” was held on the 10th of November, at the Sisila Elders home, Pinwatte, Panadura.
Following a month of preparations and hard work, during which the Rotaractors succeeded in gathering sufficient dry rations, hygienic materials, clothing and organizing a lunch, we gathered at the Elders home at around 10 a.m. The achchis were engaged in their usual routines and the only seeya was fast asleep. The Buddha poojawa was served, marking the beginning of our day which was to be filled with care and compassion.
The friendly words that were exchanged with the elders, gradually extended to long conversations filled with joy and memories which the elderly shared with glistening eyes. Tear drops, both of happiness and sorrow, fell from their eyes just like the rain that day. The rhythm from the strings of the guitar added an extra zest to the atmosphere in that cozy space. Their enjoyment was clearly evident by the enthusiastic manner with which they sang songs and clapped, giving their fullest support while we assisted with their lyrics. The floor heated up with the 6/8 beats, where the achchis put on quite a show, dragging us to dance with them as well. Of course they were hungry after all that dancing, but a scrumptious feast was awaiting them to appease their stomachs. Their “One more fish piece”,”More papadam”, “I want chicken!”s, made us realize that they resembled us youngsters in many ways.
While the elderly had their desserts, we entertained them, singing their favourites, the elders swaying to the rhythm looking quite peaceful.
Their smiles lit up the environment telling that there are a bunch of caring and sharing people within the four walls. Before we said our goodbyes to leave them to their naps, we distributed some gifts to each of them along with the dry rations. Blessings weren’t limited to mere words. Cherishing every moment of that wonderful day we left their innocent worlds with a spring in our steps, knowing we left them with a lot of memories full of care and compassion. They may forget what we said, but they will never forget how we made them feel.
–Written by Rtr. Dilshan Chandraguptha–