I wasn’t prepared for the reaction Phyllis had when I set the magnifier in front of her. “Oh my! Look at that! Can you believe it? Wow. I can see the detail! Oh my! Wow. I just can’t believe it.” Her response went on, “I bet can I read the newspaper now! Look at that! And the menu; I’ll be able to read the menu now”.
Seriously? It’s just a magnifying glass with a simple stand..
Before long she had all the other art “students” looking through the glass. They were not as impressed as Phyllis was, but then, they are not legally blind.
However, they were all very tickled at her reaction, and feeling her joy.
Phyllis has come to every session of this art class in my Mom’s assisted living facility, but she has struggled because of her eyesight. She wanted to participate, and did, but it wasn’t easy. When I left after class two weeks ago, I wondered if there was some way to make the class more enjoyable for her. I decided to buy a small, inexpensive magnifier with a stand to help her see the detail of the picture. I also outlined her sketch with black permanent marker to make the picture “pop” for her. What a difference it made. “I love this. Thank you! This is so much fun, isn’t it? Don’t you guys just love to do this?”
To prepare for their class, I had sketched scarecrows onto canvas panels for the residents to paint. I also came across some watercolor markers for them to try. And even though I only had a few primary colors, they were a big hit, and everyone used them to “paint” their autumn picture. I actually painted with them this time, and I used a set of watercolors. And by the time class was over, I had paint brushes and watercolors in their hands as well to do some of the background.
When we were almost done, Phyllis asked if she could buy the magnifier from me. I love that. I was very touched that such a little thing made a big difference in her world. “No, Phyllis, you cannot buy it. It is my gift to you. I am thrilled that you are so happy.”
When class was finished, another resident retrieved a newspaper from her walker and asked Phyllis is she could read the print. Phyllis said, “Oh! Let me see. Where is the obituary page — I only want to see who died.” We all had a good chuckle over that.
As Phyllis turned to leave, she had one last thing to say to me, “Can I give you a hug? I love you.” Aww, how sweet is that?
Her apartment is only steps away from where we painted, and as I was cleaning up the mess, I could hear her on the phone, “…she brought me a magnifying glass. I can read the paper.”
Wow. I am still kinda stunned. It was only a simple, inexpensive magnifying glass. Makes me wonder how many other residents would benefit from such a simple thing.
Needless to say, Phyllis made my day. What a blessing she was to me!
I have been going twice a month to do art with these wonderful people. During class they asked if I could come very week. “Every week? Well, yes. Yes, I can. I would love to. I’ll see you next Friday.”
I’ve ordered a few more canvases. I’ve found a few more colors in the watercolor markers. And I’ll be sketching a few more seasonal pictures over the next couple of days. Just a few simple things…
I can’t wait til next Friday!