Lady Bug and Pepper Want to Share
Things we’ve learned along the way:
Clowning can be hard work; it’s not all fun and games…
• We often need to debrief after encountering unusual or challenging situations, so we can offer what’s best for the patient.
• Some patients don’t feel like smiling.
• Some patients need to vent their frustrations.
• Sometimes when it is hard to find the right words, silence is okay.
• It’s important to stop before we enter a new room, leave our concerns behind, put on our happy smile, and exude our positive energy.
We realize many times we receive more than we give and are truly grateful.
Patients/days we remember:
• Once the sun came out from behind the clouds in the middle of our singing, “You are My Sunshine,” to a group of folks in a nursing home. A patient noticed and yelled it out excitedly.
• The man who said he’d love to visit with us, but he’d had an “incredible bowel movement” the night before and it left him feeling quite worn out.
• The man who dismissed us after inviting us in because he said, “Just walking in was enough.” LOL
• The doctors who couldn’t take a piece of candy because they were “busy saving lives.”
• The young girl who made her grandma search the whole facility for us because her family had been preoccupied when we went by but she insisted that she’d seen clowns: how delighted they both were when they found us!
• When we “made history” with a man in the coffee line because he took his first ever selfie with us although he said he normally didn’t “believe” in selfies.
• The patient who waved to us as he lovingly said, “I really appreciate you being here, but I’m hanging by a thread,” and we were at a loss of words.
• We were amused when a gentleman we visited laughed after he had patiently “posed” for, and received his portrait. Our “clown painter” diligently sketched while holding up a thumb to pretend to get dimensions. The patient didn’t expect to see a picture of a pre-drawn thumb. He then told us how happy he was to get back the extra thumb which had been surgically removed when he was a child.
Our advice to readers who might be inspired to become a Caring Clown:
• If you are looking for something in your life that brings you joy, happiness, and a feeling of doing something special for others . . .
• If you wish you could look forward to a “special day” which is set for doing something fun and meaningful . . .
• If you would like to bring happiness to others wherever you go, especially for the very ill, or imminent at a Hospice Facility . . .
• If you might be missing that special part of your life that is designed for your life style . . .
• You’re already a clown. Just put on the makeup. Life’s too short to be one of those “regular” people.