July 22, 2021
My mission in life is to be kind, compassionate, caring, and loving in order to find and feel the deepest joy of life.
As you know I now live in a Seniors Independent Living community. Most of our residents are outgoing and very friendly, while others isolate themselves and seldom leave their residents. Those that seldom interact with others miss the benefits that comes from socializing with others.
I find that many of my fellow residents offer their friendship and often help as we age together. Few of us have family living with us and so our friends become our extended family who provide us support and even help when we need it. The following story reminded me of these good folks.
I know you by heart
I recently heard someone say, ‘What you do for others you do also for yourself.’
I was confused at first, because it almost made me feel selfish. I mean, I love doing things for other people, but my wife told my recently that I always put others first. She was saying that was one of my faults. I needed a little more ‘me’ in my efforts to change the world.
I visit people in nursing homes, retirement and senior centres. I love to spend time with older folks. It’s like mining for gold. They have been down the road ahead of me and I want to know what they have learned so that I make the right choices.
A speaker at a conference I attended many years ago asked, ‘Where do you think the most valued real estate is in the world.’ Hands went up and offered big city names, resorts in development and exotic locations around the world.
‘Nice try,’ he said. ‘The most valuable real estate are the cemeteries. Buried there are dreams that might have changed the world, perhaps cures for major diseases that were never developed and people who could have made a difference in your life but never took the chance. What happened? No one listened.’
I listen, I encourage, but I don’t realize the value of what I do or understand the impact. It was during a recent visit to a new facility that I realized that my efforts made a difference in the lives of those I met.
‘How are you today?’ I heard someone ask. I turned around and scanned the room to see who was speaking.
‘I heard the voice of an angel!’ I said smiling. ‘Where are you?’ Then I heard a faint laugh in the corner.
‘Oh, there you are. I am so lucky to find you today,’ I said. She was seated on an old Victorian looking couch. It reminded me of the furniture in my mother’s living room. We could only sit on it when company came. So, I jumped at the opportunity to sit next to this wonderful woman. Her hair was white and neatly brushed with an occasional wave gently reflecting the light from the nearby window. Her hands crossed on her lap resting on top of a knitted pink blanket that covered her legs. Two practical looking walking shoes peeked out at the bottom and a wooden cane was placed within her reach nearby.
‘It’s good to see you,’ she said. ‘I love when you come to visit.’ I was a bit surprised to hear her say that. I had never been here before. Maybe she was transferred her from another place and she remembered me. ‘It’s good to see you, too,’ I said.
‘You always brighten my day,’ she added. I sat quietly for a moment trying desperately to remember if we had met before. I really love to remember names. It makes people feel good when you remember.Then I asked, ‘When was the last time I saw you?’
She turned her head away for a moment and then looking back at me, she said, ‘Oh, we’ve never met, you and I. But I know you by heart.’
How curious. We never met, but she knows me by heart.It must have been the look on my face that caused her to explain further. ‘There is something about people like you. You are the ones who carry the world on your back. When you walk in a room you make us smile. When you touch my hand I can feel the warmth in your heart. People like you bring flowers, music and sunshine. Even when you bring nothing at all, you leave so much behind’
I was humbled and at a loss for words. ‘My, I thank you for saying that,’ I said. ‘When you said, I know you by heart, I naturally felt like I must have met you before.’
‘I know you by heart, because I always did the same thing. I always put others first,’ she said. There it was again. ‘Putting others first.’
Then I shared, ‘I heard someone say – what you do for others you do also for yourself.’ ‘I am living proof of that,’ she said. ‘You see, after all that time, after all that caring it all came back to me. People like you now visit me and I know you by heart.’
Written by Bob Perks
Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Because I took a moment to speak
And you took a second to smile
A tiny part of me will leave with you
And a little bit of you will stay.”
Two husbands, Bill and Doug, were discussing their married lives.
Although happily married, they admitted that there were arguments sometimes.
Then Bill said, “I’ve made one great discovery. I now know how to always have the last word.”
“Wow!” said Doug, “How do you manage that?”
“It’s easy,” replied Bill. “My last words are always ‘Yes, Dear.'”
“The Five Stages of Life”
To Grow Up
To Fill Out
To Slim Down
To Hold It In
To Hell With It
City Boy: Say, Dad, how many kinds of milk are there?
Father: Well, there’s evaporated milk, buttermilk, malted milk, and — but why do you wish to know?
City Boy: Oh, I’m drawing a picture of a cow, and I want to know how many *spigots* to put on her.
“No birth is an accident, no experience is without meaning, and no life is without value.”
A priest was given the job of hearing the confessions of an order of monks. The priest returned to his parish that night and complained to one of the nuns about how long each of the monks took to enumerate all of their sins.
“Oh Father,” said the nun. “It couldn’t have been that bad.”
The priest replied, “Oh it was worse than you can imagine. It was like being stoned to death with popcorn.”
Funny, I don’t remember being absent minded.
The kindergarten class had settled down to its coloring books. Willie came up to the teacher’s desk and said, “Miss Francis, I ain’t got no crayons.”
“Willie,” Miss Francis said, “you mean, “I don’t have any crayons.’ You don’t have any crayons. We don’t have any crayons. They don’t have any crayons. Do you see what I’m getting at?”
“Not really,” Willie said, “What happened to all them crayons?”
“I think Little League (baseball) is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
A minister decided to try something a little different one Sunday morning.
He said, “Today, in church, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn comes to your mind.” The pastor shouted out, “Cross!”
Immediately the congregation started singing in unison “The Old Rugged Cross.”
The pastor hollered out, “Grace!” The congregation began to sing “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.”
The pastor said, “Power!” The congregation sang “There is Power in the Blood.”
The Pastor said, “Sex!”
The congregation fell in total silence. Everyone was in shock. They all nervously began to look around at each other, afraid to say anything. Then all of a sudden, from the back of the church, a little old 87-year-old grandmother stood up and began to sing “Precious Memories.”
Life has taught me that respect, caring and love must be shared, for it’s only through sharing that friendships are born.
Donna A. Favors
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