My Gammy Johnson was a hoot; all 5 feet of her! For most of her life, she was a single mom raising two kids, working forty hours a week at a time when most moms didn't work. Though I ™m sure she struggled, you would have never known it to look at her. She was always dressed to the nines, always in heels (yes, even when we went to the Laundromat) and always had a smile on her face. From Gammy I learned the thrill of giving to others, the beauty of a gut-wrenching country music song, and how to polka with the best of them at the local VFW.
My Grandmother Chilton always seemed so tall to me. She had the perfect posture of a southern lady, and I can't remember her ever saying a negative word about anyone. She raised a large family with her best friend, my granddad, and always seemed honored to do so. In her church and her community, she was someone others could count on. Though her house was always immaculate, she was never too busy to chat with a friend or family member. From Grandmother I learned how to make moist strawberry bread, the fashion statement a great hat can make, and the importance of church in everyone's life.
Though I miss them both very much, the lessons they taught me and the time I spent with them is not forgotten. In today's world when so many people live far away from their families, sometimes it's the seniors in our communities who suffer the most. In years past, if family members weren't geographically close to their aging relatives, there were long-time friends who could lend a helping hand, or provide a meal when times were tough. Today, sadly, those connections are rare, yet there are still grandmothers, grandfathers and other adults in our community who need a helping hand.
This is why I volunteer for our local Meals on Wheels program.
The seniors, or handicapped adults, who I visit at lunch-time are more grateful for the one on one conversation than they are for the hot meal. For many, the Meals on Wheels volunteers are the only people they speak with on a daily basis. The recipients of the meals always thank me profusely for taking the time to talk with them, but truly, I feel blessed for having the chance to make a small difference in someone's life.
Before my kids left for college, they rode along with me on Mondays. Now that both of them are gone for the school year, each time I ring the doorbell of another home, I know there will be a quick conversation about how the kids are doing. In turn, I ™m always ready with an update or photo. If you have a young child who is not yet in school, what a great example you could set if he or she accompanied you on a Meals on Wheels route! The added benefit is the conversation that inevitably take place back in the car about how blessed your own family is.
If your heart is open, and you have an hour that you are willing to give, call the Lewisville Senior Center – 972-219-5050. They can set you up once a week, or once a month. My route never takes more than 45 minutes to complete, but the benefits last so much longer.