By Karen Fowler
August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day… a day to honor and remember those who have contributed so much to our lives, our communities and this country. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed this holiday in 1988, to raise awareness about issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life.
My grandparents were first generation immigrants to North America, their histories would read better than any Hollywood blockbuster. So many of their stories have been left untold, being pieced together during conversations with remaining ancestors. It has taken decades to gather a complete picture, and has inspired decades of fascination with the stories of others. That is why working in the home health / hospice field of care is so close to my heart.
I remember visiting with a young lady who had just turned 100… and had burned through three microwave ovens, because, “What’s the point if you can’t just heat everything? (Including Campbell’s Soup… in the can!) I am still humbled by one gentleman who drove home, from one of our butterfly release memorials, with a monarch attached to his lapel… eager to release it in his garden, celebrating the sixty plus years of love shared with his late wife. Then there was the 76 year old gentleman who continued to volunteer because, “When you stop learning, you die!”… And another who volunteered for the Red Cross during 9-11, comforting families. The list goes on and on.
My heart is filled with respect, admiration and love for this remarkable generation. The memories offer a kaleidoscope of hope through the obstacles we face today. Imagine the value of spending true, quality time with your senior loved ones – short visits, or even a quick call to say hello! There’s never a bad to time to make our loved ones feel special – and sooooooo many benefits to reap!