I’ve held onto this post longer than I should. In the last post, we spoke of our annual Homecoming and Family Weekend. At the end, I commented that Homecoming is my favorite Baddour Center event and indicated that I would share more soon about why that is.
It is because nowhere else will you find a “spirit tree.” In keeping with our Mardi Gras-style Homecoming theme, we used a bucket truck to decorate, hanging beads and masquerade masks all over one of our big oaks. It was very creative and quite a site. The residents loved it.
Like many places, we celebrate a “spirit week,” showing our spirit all week long and dressing accordingly each day with the given theme. Whether dressing as your favorite super hero or taking part in the annual pet parade, I love that our enthusiasm for these days never wanes. I’m even more amazed that we discover new and interesting themes each year. I suspect nowhere else will you find your Chaplain discovering his “inner Superman.” (Thanks and way to go John Brodeur.) It’s that level of enthusiasm and commitment that make me love Homecoming so much.
Possibly, the coolest part of the weekend is watching the daddies, brothers, nephews, and others escort the ladies on the Homecoming Court. Thankfully, I get a front row seat for this activity due to helping Mayor Val with crowning the queen. I watch this from up close. Both the pride on the ladies and the gentlemen’s faces and look in their eyes are priceless. To hear Tricia Melvin announce the words “…and the 2015 Baddour Center Homecoming Queen is…” is equally priceless, as you literally see these same ladies holding their breath in anticipation of the announcement.
This year’s crowning might have topped them all. I’m not sure who was more excited – the newly-crowned queen, Betsy, or her sisters and mom, each of whom I later learned were once Homecoming Queens themselves and had flown here from across the country to be here for the weekend. Watching their whole family celebrate (all weekend long) is largely what makes our jobs really awesome.
A second coolest part of the weekend might have been watching the bagpipe player exit the Chapel on Sunday morning while playing “Amazing Grace.” We left the Chapel doors open that morning so no one would get too warm. Following a wonderful message from Randy Tracy, we sat in the Chapel and watched the bagpiper walk out into out into the grey and misty morning and what visually seemed like another place across the ocean.
Another reason it’s a favorite event is that all weekend long residents showcased their talents and skills – performing in the arts recital and play, competing on the ball field, letting go on the dance floor, and leading worship. This is equally awesome. After all, Baddour Center’s existence and purpose for being is all about them. Hopefully, we will soon post a video of the Hearts In Motion (HIM) performance to “I Am Only Human,” an incredibly moving reminder of how varied and broad those talents and skills actually are.
One final reason I am increasingly certain this is my favorite Baddour Center event is that it brings together so many of you and us. There are simply too few occasions on which we all gather. We look forward to having you visit and celebrate with us. From all indications, you too look forward to it. These are only a few of the weekend’s highlights. We’re already planning for next year. Please make plans to join us.