Around this time every year my maternal grandmother—Gran, would put up her manger; and every year, we’d take the little rubber baby Jesus and hide him somewhere nearby. We had learned from my paternal grandmother that the baby could only be put in the manger on Christmas day. Each year Gran would chase us around trying to get the baby back where he belonged. This year as I started putting up my own manger, the baby Jesus figure was missing; and my daughter quipped that perhaps it was still hidden from last year!
Hidden treasures exist in all our daily lives; and we have something to do with the hiding—especially when we hold back our wishes; when we hold back our suggestions; and when we think that the people we support have achieved ‘enough’ in their lives. In all these instances potential is hidden.
As a part of our mission we are committed to exploring, and looking beyond what is expected. It is very hard for me to share just one story of how we live out those commitments—instead I’ll share three of my favorite ‘hidden treasure’ moments:
· In Delaware our staff helped a local senior center discover who would become one of their most valued volunteers—Pat, a woman in our care. Pat too would discover her how hidden treasures—gaining greater confidence and independence, and the friendship of a new social circle.
· In Connecticut staff opened one of our family members to the hidden treasures of traveling. David, who’s lived a mostly sheltered life, was enamored by the beauty of Cape Code—his very first beach trip. Completely awestruck, he asked if it was paradise.
· In Pennsylvania, Phil discovered the joys of independence through KenCrest’s Supported Living program; a home of his own; and an even greater treasure—the love of his life, Allison. Together they now share treasured memories of a special honeymoon in Wildwood.
Each of these ‘treasures’ began as unseen possibilities, and in each of our own lives there are possibilities waiting in shadows. As you move through these last days of 2018, consider what you would like to light up and manifest in 2019. Reflect on what treasures are hidden in your own life that could be seen, and could be shared. May treasure hunting bring us new celebrations this time next year!
By the way— the baby Jesus figure was found…and he is hiding near his manger.