Thursday, November 28, 2013
I recall many years ago when I lived in Texas riding an elevator in an office building. The elevator had a bulletin board. Posted on the board was a poem that captivated my attention. I memorized the poem and recite it at special occasions to make people smile.
The poem is about aging. It begins, “How do you know when your youth is all spent? Well, your get up and go has got up and went. But I’m able to smile when I think with a grin of all the grand places my get up has been.”
The rest of the poem is really funny and very true. Just as true is the reality that people do age and as they do, many things in their lives change. I remember as a boy paying very close attention to my dad. To me, he was a great man who could do anything.
However, one day I noticed he needed reading glasses to find a number in the phone book. I found this odd since he never used readers before. As time went by, I observed many other changes in my dad’s abilities, appearance and especially his health. Regardless of the changes, I was aware that this was still the great man I called dad.
I have called North Augusta home for almost 20 years. During that time, I have observed neighbors and friends in our city negotiate the changes that most certainly come with time. As with my dad, I am aware that these precious residents, although going through life changes, are still my neighbors and friends.
Just last week, I visited one such neighbor in a nursing home. She said to me, “You used to be my neighbor.” My response was, “I am still your neighbor.”
While we cannot do much about stopping the changes that come with life, we are more than empowered to recognize and acknowledge that people are important, relevant, valued and loved.
North Augusta is home to a variety of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The residents of these facilities, in my opinion, are our neighbors. There are elderly people throughout our community who are our neighbors, too. What joy is brought to their lives when they receive a visit or a gift or a small token of love from family, friends and even big hearted North Augustans they don’t know, who want to create warm feelings and help put smiles on the faces of people who are experiencing some of life’s toughest changes.
Discover your get up and go and be a blessing to some of our most important residents: our sensational seniors.