91 Elders and Stakeholders from Signature Hometown made their way to Nashville on Monday to kick off our 11th Elder Vacation. The group will be staying at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Spa with atrium rooms in the Garden Conservatory Suites for this trip.
As our special guests arrived on Monday, the Elders couldn’t believe the magnificence of this resort. Everyone had to pause for a photograph in front of the cascading waterfalls before moving on to investigate their rooms!
The trip officially began as we boarded the historic General Jackson Showboat. The boat cruises down the Cumberand River and offers dinner as well as entertainment. The Elders ate quickly so they could roam about the 300 foot boat to take in the sights of downtown Nashville from the river. After seeing all the beauty of the city, everyone returned to their seats for the show portion of the evening. Marie, an Elder living at Oakview Care and Rehabilitation in Kentucky, swayed back and forth as the show began with some songs she knew well. Her eyes held a faraway look as she told us how her father would sing her this song as a little girl. I imagined that in that moment she heard her father singing to her again.
As the show continued a general sense of camaraderie fell upon the group. Friendships were already beginning to blossom and the seed of companionship was already growing among the group. Looking around, all I could see was true love and friendship in it’s most raw form. Stanley, an Elder living at Signature HealthCare of Warren, reached over and wrapped his arm loving around his nurse. A beautiful testament of how caring is a road that goes both directions.
It was in those very emotional moments that we remember the many reasons we are on our 11th vacation. It’s because these are the moments that truly demonstrate the super powers of our Elders. It’s during these times that we are reminded fully of the revolutation ahead of us to change how our Elders are viewed and treated by others.
Lee Ann Womack said it best, so for our Elders:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep your hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbit love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit out or dance
I hope you dance…I hope you dance.