Besides having fun while spreading smiles and laughter during their visits in hospitals and old folks homes, C4C Clowns also often experience truly heart-warming moments of love, gratitude and happiness during their visits. These stories are always thrilling to hear when we meet together, so we decided to share a few of them with you here:
“I have been going to homes for the elderly several times a week since 2016,” says Vendy Tichotová, one of our clowns. “The most fulfilling thing for me is seeing the old people’s eyes light up when we sing together, talk, even when we do yoga, etc.,” she smiles. “They enjoy every little gesture, appreciate every concern, smile and caress – they love to laugh and live in the here and now”, marvels Vendy. “They also love my dog Marlicek, who always comes with me. I actually learn a lot from them as well: to take life lightly, not to take myself so seriously, to appreciate my health, my family and being in the world,” Vendy continues, adding: “It makes a lot of sense visiting them! All the energy I put into my visits comes back to me. I’ve heard so many times: ´Vendy, when you come, you brighten our day, you warm our hearts, you put me in a better mood right away, I always look forward to seeing you´.”
The breathing exercises and yoga that Vendy teaches, help seniors improve their health and stamina. “Sometimes they tell me that one of the songs reminds them of a tune their mother used to sing to them, or that they don’t feel like they’re in jail when I’m with them. The periods of restricted visits that they have had to manage in the last two years were extremely difficult for them.”
Each time, Vendy says goodbye, they say they are already looking forward to the next visit. When asked about some of her most powerful experiences, she poignantly says: “One grandmother didn’t speak at all, and then suddenly she started singing with me. The staff heard her voice for the first time. One gentleman, paralysed halfway through his body, also started singing with me. Music, kindness and laughter heal, I know, I’ve seen it with hundreds of old people and children in hospitals!”
Martina, a clown who visits the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals, sees it the same way.
“These meetings are always very special for us. Places full of gratitude, love, humility, on the one hand, but on the other, sometimes also moments when we face pain, loneliness and hopelessness.“
“Through the familiar songs we sing together, we open their hearts and rejoice with them in the here and now. It is as if time stops and one lives only in the present,” says Martina, sharing her feelings. “These people are longing for a touch and the slightest sign of attention. Our visits to the homes are regular and it is lovely to see how the grandmothers and grandfathers are happy to see us from the moment we just peek into the room. They often tell us charming stories of their youth. From a time when there were no tablets, no mobile phones, no computers. How they spent time with their families, or what Advent and Christmas Eve were like.”
“The time we give to these people, the love we show, comes back to us in the form of our own self-reflection. We appreciate the little things and rejoice in them,” agrees Martina’s husband and C4C co-founder, head clown Rafal. “The most precious thing we have in life is TIME. It’s up to us how we use it.”
Well, if you´re still reading – YOU MUST BE INTERESTED! In for some more of our clown´s heart-touching experiences? Read on…
“One old lady, who couldn’t wake up after anesthesia, started moving her fingers to the rhythm and smiling as we sang songs. The lady in the room said that even her daughter didn’t wake her up and then we would come in, pass on the smiles, fill the room with music and a miracle would happen.”
“In the run up to Christmas we visited the internal ward. We asked the seniors how they celebrated Christmas Eve, what traditions they kept. One grandfather told us that they had a small round stove in the middle of the room. It was the only room with a heater. As a gift they got wrapped hash browns tied to the tree. They were grateful for the warmth and for having each other. They didn’t need anything else.”
The clowns experience other miracles and “coincidences” as well. For example, when one of the grandmothers in the Unhost elderly home, who lived in Spain for a time, happened to speak to them in Spanish.
What a surprise it was when the clown Rafal started to answer her fluently. Until then, no one had suspected or believed that she really spoke Spanish.
“She was so happy. Beautiful meeting, beautiful memories,” Martina smiles fondly, adding how another grandmother took her hand, smiled and whispered: “Little girl, you are an angel.”
These are only a few examples of wonderful moments our clowns experience with kids and seniors. Did you know, that you can help us to spread more smiles, more such wonderful moments among those, who need them so much? We can´t do this without you. YOU can help us to help by clicking here. Thank you for your support.
Authors: Martina and Rafal Wojas, Vendula Tichotová, Zuzana Šrámková