Help At Your Door knows that with aging comes experience and insight. Visits to the homes of our clients give us the opportunity to hear first hand the stories, laughs, and snippets of wisdom that are acquired over the years. And we would like to share some of those memorable moments with you.
“I can live with myself.”
Jennifer has not owned a car in decades and enjoyed walking everywhere. She is in her late seventies now and slowed significantly by chronic disease. Combine that with a third-floor condo that lacks an elevator (but offers a beautiful view overlooking a park), she spends a decent amount of time by herself.
“In my fifties I realized a long-term relationship just wasn’t going to happen. So I’ve had a life filled with a few close friends, but no one special person. And that’s been its own kind of wonderful. But what’s really served me well these last years is that I love reading and listening to jazz. Those have turned out to be really good habits for someone with a lot of alone time. I can enjoy them both, right here in my living room. I’ve grown into a person I can live with—someone I actually enjoy spending time with—and for me, that’s pretty priceless.
“We know who holds the day.”
Sarah has lived in her home for 65 years—just as long as she’s been married to Ron. A lot has changed over those 65 years, most especially over the past ten years as Ron’s Alzheimer’s has progressed.
“Sometimes our ideas for the future turn out to be way off base,” she muses. “Our plan was to retire to a cabin up north. But it would’ve been impossible for me to keep Ron at home up there. Here, thanks to family, neighbors, and friends from church, I manage. My faith is my anchor. Sure, I get discouraged, but I keep things in perspective. I get up early while Ron is still asleep so I can have some devotional time for myself. I choose to remember the good times and practice gratitude for our many blessings.” She adds with the tone of voice that says, ‘listen up’: “We don’t know what the day holds, but we know who holds the day.”
“I just got so mad.”
Carol’s gentle demeanor suggests otherwise, but she credits her life to anger (plus some terrific doctors). Soon after losing her brother to cancer she was diagnosed herself. Her sisters figured Carol was “good as gone” because she “just wasn’t a fighter.” But after five bouts of cancer, a lost kidney, and a heart attack, she’s still here.
“I like getting together with friends; I can’t wait for the holidays when my whole family gathers. We need to enjoy—really enjoy—each other while we can…because you just never know. I’ve learned how precious life is—so I try to really notice the good things. I don’t say, ‘despite everything…’ I just say, ‘It’s a joy to wake up each day.’ Funny thing is, it wasn’t until I got sick that I discovered what a fighter I was. After the second cancer, I just got so mad. And on the far side of that anger, I found joy.”