I recently joined the board of an organization devoted to caring for the elderly in my neighborhood and last week I was asked to participate in an annual program called “spread some cheer.” My job was to deliver gifts, made by children at local churches, to two clients and visit with them for a bit.
The two women I visited, both 94 years old and living in the apartments they had lived in for over 50 years, were so excited by my visit that they could hardly contain themselves. I only had to ask one question of each of them before they both opened up and talked about their stories. The first woman I met told me all about the neighborhood and how it had changed since the 1940s. She talked about taking the El down Second Avenue to her job as a milliner, about purchasing bologna from the German butcher around the corner and how she and her brother used to enjoy playing potsies on the sidewalk with their neighbors.
The second woman I visited talked about how much she enjoyed her 50+ year career working for a company that sent her around the world on various business trips. She spoke fondly of her colleagues and how she loved working so much she didn’t retire until she was in her early 80s.
I realized it was quite easy to ‘spread some cheer’ just by taking the time to sit with these lovely women, smile, hold their hands and listen to their memories.
‘Tis the season for giving, but after opening your presents this year, think about the ways you can give of yourself.
Go to It! Give a Little of Yourself