Learning a Life Lesson

Not too long ago my daughter, who is a sophomore at FAU in Boca, was visiting one of her clients. Mrs. K is an older woman who suffers from memory loss and lives alone. Once a week my daughter visits her and takes her out for lunch or to the store. Sometimes they drive by the beach or my daughter will just make her coffee and sit and chat with her.

Last week my oldest daughter told me that her sister had called her about Mrs. K. She told my oldest daughter that she was so sad… Mrs. K had forgotten her to-go-box in the car and my daughter, realizing that she was planning to eat the left-overs for dinner, drove all the way back to her house to give it to her. She told her sister that when she got there, Mrs. K was sitting in the same exact place that she had left her. She hadn’t put her purse down, taken off her sweater or even changed the expression on her face. My oldest daughter started to cry as she relayed the story and said “mommy, it is just so sad”. I told her that both of my girls learned a lesson that day. That yes, it is sad however they should recognize that it isn’t necessarily the quantity of the time that my daughter spent with Mrs. K but the quality of the time.

Mrs. K can’t afford more than the few hours of care she receives per week. She counts on my daughter to be there – no matter what… Whether she has exams to study for or friends who want to go hang-out at the beach, she puts it all aside to honor her obligation and her commitment to Mrs. K. She makes a big difference in this woman’s life. She matters.Young people don’t really get it until they see what a little time and a little kindness can do to enrich the life of an older person. I think that because Palm Beach County requires all of the kids to complete community service before they graduate, they should require each of them to spend 4 hours or so with a frail, elderly person. There are life lessons to be learned and our elders have a lot to teach us all.

Elayne Forgie, CMC