By Laetitia Palluat, Heart’s Home USA President
On January 7th, as we celebrated the three kings’ visit to our Lord, the elderly residents of Brooklyn’s Hopkins Center welcomed the visit of the Heart’s Home Youth Group, who performed a play by St. Exupery: “The Little Prince."
Every Saturday, we visit the elderly of the Hopkins Center. After four years, the residents greet us with great smiles. We have become friends and they await our arrivals every single week! This Saturday, though, we wished to make it different from the others and offer them a special gift for this festive season. The Little Prince is about to visit them!
The youth group, along with some teenage friends from Manhattan and Brooklyn worked beautifully together to rehearse, to create the costumes, and to build the background. Finally, the day has arrived, and Lili has her petals arranged to be the rose, Bruce has his big belly and crown to be the king, Katherine is flying beautifully with her wings, Ray has his glasses on and his calculator ready to count the stars, Thea has her fox’s ears perked up to listen to Constance, who looks just like the Little Prince.
In addition to the youth, Claire, Florence, Francois, Agathe, Helen, Sarah, and Guilhem, who come on a regular basis to visit the nursing home with us, are all present for the occasion. In a few minutes, they are on every floor to invite our friends to the show. They gather around 50 of our friends. After a piece of music that draws everybody’s attention, a great silence reigns in the room! This great crowd of wheelchairs and beds that carry so much pain, so many unending sleepy days, so much longing for something else, all of a sudden, has quieted down. Everybody is expecting a visitation. Everybody has ears and eyes wide open to receive fully this gift we are about to offer.
With a little emotion, the performance starts! As the wild birds start to fly, I see one of my elderly friends moved to tears at seeing teenage girls in their appearance of birds. And this is moving indeed: this group of youth, giving themselves fully to provide a moment of joy to their elders. What a feast for them...and for us, so happy to share such a joy!
Saint Exupery makes this beautiful statement: "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important." Last Saturday, we did not waste our time; we just gave more importance to each one of our friends, who are already so precious!