I’ve always had a tender place in my heart for our children, handicapped, and elderly. Have you ever heard someone say, “getting old sucks?  I can only imagine how one feels when the independent life they have known for so long, comes to a screeching halt. Having to lose your independence and becoming dependent on others, while experiencing the feeling of loneliness and isolation, can really be difficult to deal with. 

I can remember making a special road trip to see an elderly relative in another state a few years ago and how that one trip made a world of difference to that person. He had planned to come stay with us for a week, as he would from time to time, but a week before his visit he was diagnosed with a late stage of cancer. He elected to undergo treatment immediately and postpone his trip home to Alabama. Once he started the treatments things started to go down hill and he had to enter an assisted living facility. We would call to talk to him often, but one particular day things just didn’t feel right, nor did he sound quite like himself. So, that night neither my husband nor I could  sleep, so we decided to pack a bag and make a quick road trip. Well, maybe it wasn’t so quick of a trip, we drove from Alabama to Ohio. We decided that it was time for us to make this surprise spur of the moment trip because he was just too heavy on our hearts and minds.  It just felt like he needed us. 

As we entered the facility and approached his room, we saw him sitting in a wheelchair with his head sunken into his chest.  He was frail, weak and weary. My husband knocked on the door and said, “Hey young man, how you doing today”? And as he raised his head all I could see was a BIG smile and he murmured the words, “I just knew ya’ll was going to come see about me”! Just to be able to hear a familiar voice and lay your eyes on a familiar face can make a world of difference. It sure did make a difference to him. His total demeanor and countenance changed for the better. 

The next couple of days we did a few of his favorite things. It was all about him. He absolutely loved Nick Saban and Alabama Football. Yes, He loved the Cleveland Browns but his heart was with the Crimson Tide. So, that Saturday, we had our own little party. When the Alabama game came on, we made sure he had some of his favorite foods and snacks and he wore some of the Alabama football gear that we purchased for him. Yes, we all represented the Tide well, while in Cleveland, OH.  He was so happy to be surrounded by family doing what he loved. We laughed, talked, cheered on the Crimson Tide and made some good memories that weekend. Yes, of course the Tide Rolled!

Unfortunately, when we returned home, he passed away within a few weeks of our visit. But when I think about the pure joy he experienced that weekend, I find nothing but peace. Not only did we tell him that he was loved, our actions matched our words.

I’ve said all of that to say, aging is a part of life. It is inevitable! It’s a part of life that we will all experience, if we keep waking up in the morning.  Just like they took the time to care for, spend time with and invest in us when we were young and couldn’t do for ourselves, we should in return do the same for them. They deserve all the love and quality time we can possibly give them. It’s not about the materialistic things at this stage in life. They just need our time, attention and love. 


A PHONE CALL– A quick 15 minute phone call can lift their spirit. This is the quickest and most convenient way to let them know that they are thought about, missed, loved and appreciated. 

A VISIT– Being in their presence will not only boost their spirit but it can also be beneficial to you. They are full of wisdom and history. All that we may be experiencing right now they have already been through it and made it. There is nothing like a good testimony.

The simple act of just being present to bring them a glass of water when they don’t have the strength to get it for themselves, means a lot to them at this stage. Maybe a shave, haircut, hair braid or mani/pedi will do the trick. It’s about spending quality time with them and making memories.

DROP A CARD/NOTE IN THE MAIL– A handwritten note is always welcomed.  They love getting mail especially if you have some up to date photos of the kids as they grow, any major announcements or accomplishment that they may have missed. 

PROVIDE A MEAL– They would appreciate a good home cooked meal, or may even have a favorite fast food meal that can be enjoyed. Eating something that they have not had in a while, will definitely make their heart and tummies happy. 

GIFT GIVING– This does not have to be anything expensive. Maybe they enjoy crossword puzzle or word search books, which can be picked up at your local dollar store. Something as simple as a new pair of reading glasses, local newspaper and magazines will do the trick.

The most important thing we can give them is our time. Time is something we can never get back.  I encourage you to take the time to do something that will brighten someone’s day. Remember one day you will possibly be in their shoes, just keep on living.