Our elderly are an amazing source of positive energy and a link to a time that we will only read about in books. They lived during a more simple time before technology became what it is today. Life wasn’t always easy for those we now consider “old”. They survived World Wars, The Great Depression, and living without the conveniences we have today. They found ways to be happy and were grateful for what they had which, in some cases, wasn’t very much. The stories they have to tell will soon be left only to history or lost forever.
Wednesday is my day with Grandma and her friends in assisted living. We call it “Spa Day” for Gram. I give her a hot bubble bath and massage and then we enjoy lunch together. This time spent together is so precious because I know that she appreciates everything that is being done for her. More importantly, she appreciates the time we spend together. Time is such an amazing gift.
I am always entertained by the people we eat lunch with. It’s a main dining room where all the residents gather to have meals. It’s been about 4 months now that I am there every Wednesday. The joy I have when the faces light up as I walk into the dining room is a gift I will always treasure. One woman said to me “It’s so nice to have youth at our table.” I felt blessed that I could bring as much joy to them as they do to me. I now stop at several tables to say hello and chat for a moment with those who greet me. The whole time I see my Gram beaming with pride and making sure that everyone knows I am her granddaughter.
This week was especially interesting because a new resident decided to join our table. He introduced himself and there was some small talk amongst the table until he felt comfortable with everyone. He began to tell me his story and I found it fascinating. Originally from Columbia he came to America 47 years ago to have a better life. He lived in many places before meeting his wife and settling in Albany. I grew up in the US and am always amazed when I hear stories from people who have come from other countries for freedom and “a better life”. This gentleman spoke of Columbia, Venezuela, Cuba and Central America. He had beautiful stories to share and I am blessed to have been able to sit and listen to them. It’s hard for me to imagine growing up in some of these places, having been blessed to grow up in a country where I have the freedom to speak, follow my dreams, and not live in fear.
Our elderly are a true blessing. They are human beings who need our compassion, attention, and patience. The best part of my week has become my visits with Gram and the beautiful people she resides with. I go about the rest of my day feeling a little lighter and happier. Most of all, my time with the elderly has taught me patience and gratitude and is a gift I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Take the opportunity to spend a little time with a grandparent or elderly neighbor in the coming week. It will benefit you both and become a memory that will always make you smile…and even giggle a little bit.
Have a beautiful day! ~Pamela