Thursday, September 16, 2010

Treasure these moments

In the last week I have had the opportunity and pleasure to be a companion to a sweet lady who has lived a long time. She remembers the Great Depression, WWII (where her husband was a Navy man), and many other things. In fact her memories of days gone past are much easier for her to access than her memories of yesterday.

I have loved being able to spend time with her and listen to her stories and eat lunch with her and shop with her. She is a sweet southern belle and very genteel.  When my two weeks are up I will be sorely tempted to continue visiting with her.

This has made me remember and want to share with you something that I feel is very important.  We are to be taking care of the elderly in our lives. We are to share our time and respect them. If you have family in town that you don't get to see very often I would strongly encourage you to make more time. Bring them lunch or take them out to lunch. Go shopping or sit in their living room with a catalog and pretend to shop. Ask about the pictures they have hanging. Their memories and wisdom are a treasure that we won't have forever. I wish that my grandmothers lived in town so that I could be a companion to them.

If you don't have family in town, I encourage you to find someone to "adopt." Go ask at an assisted living home or senior center, or at your church.

Yes, I know there are downsides. Sometimes they lose their filter on their speech and can seem overly critical of you or a choice you have made. Sometimes they can't hear or see very well and you have to accommodate for that. Sometimes they move REALLY slowly.

But I would argue that these are all ways to help you pay more attention to them, not less. They have many years of experience doing most of the same things you will be doing. They can teach you just like you can try to teach them how to operate satellite TV.

Go forth. Be a friend.

End of soapbox.

4 comments:

Treehouse-Dweller said...

Amen! The times I spent with my grandparents (I only have 1 out of 4 left, and he's in Houston) I so treasure.

bp said...

Good point Sarah. So many are lonely and just a visit can be such a day brightener. If you ever want to be part of a snail mail ministry to seniors let me know, the commitment is one card per week.
I tried to leave a comment the other day when I read this and it messed up.
Thanks again for the book reviews.
Have a great week.
Bethany

Angela O. said...

We have lots of "elderly" at our church; I feel like the kids have a million grandparents looking out for them. They are very sweet, for the most part, and I enjoy them.

Kathryn said...

Thank you for your post Sarah! this was very thoughtful. My only living Grandma will be 98 tomorrow. She lives in Pennsylvania...and through letters, I have learned so much about "life" and about choices. She is a rock for me... and so full of history!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are so right!!!! Kathryn Estrada