Greetings, friends. Thanks to all of you for reading, as well as respondin,g to my aging article. I am so excited because I just celebrated my 77th birthday! Thank God for allowing me to see another year. I have had a week of celebrating, including a surprise birthday party at the center with my favorite foods of fried fish and slaw and, to top it off, chocolate cake. It was so good! I also had my annual evaluation this week with Lori Sutton. She is the director of the Department of Aging. I got an awesome evaluation. When I thought it could not get any better, my family took me out for a birthday supper on Saturday. Then the meal was followed up with dessert with family and friends at my daughter’s home. It just kept going on Sunday with another birthday meal at the Sandpiper with family and friends. Wow! God is good to me. I am so blessed with good health, strength, family and a good job!
I recently attended a workshop, “Positive Approach to Care,” with Lesia Henderson and Marie Daniels as presenters. I learned so much. If you all haven’t attended one of their workshops, I advise you to seek it out. If you are dealing any way with issues of the “Dementia Umbrella” I suggest you contact Lesia. You can reach her at 910-592-4653. Help is out there just for the asking.
Our hearts are saddened as I write with so much sickness and death. So let’s pray for all those that are suffering, especially the Warren family. We just don’t understand, but I guess we can look at it like this: Some day everything will make perfect sense, so for now, let’s try to laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason.
I remember so well when I wanted to write an article several years ago. I just could not find the right title. Then one day it just came to my mind: “Under the Shade Tree”. I had so many memories of good times with family sitting under the shade of a tree when I was growing up: sharing news, sharing stories, sharing recipes, sharing scriptures, singing and of course gossip! God gave me memories, so I hope as I write, I can share memories and leave a mark. Please stay connected to the shade tree of life. Keep loving, laughing and just be a friend.
Happenings at the center for the month of October include “Breast Cancer Awareness” on Oct. 19 at 10:30 a.m. Exercise and fun things go on daily; bring a friend and enjoy every moment. We do not stay still at the center. But if you should want to take a break, you can do so on the front porch and enjoy rocking.
As I write tonight I think of the approaching holidays and how it should be such a happy time, but we allow it to bog us down. Where is the money for presents? what do we need to plan? where are we going to go? where are we going to eat? Whew! I read an article that touched me. It read, “The best gifts we can give is our time, our concern and compassion. These things do not cost money, just slow down.” I am going to try this, the biggest blessings in life are the small things. If you are wondering what you can do to make a difference, I have a great suggestion. Try volunteering! Being a volunteer is very rewarding. I have a family, I have a full time job, I serve on several committees and I am a hospice volunteer. I love it! Thank God for these blessings. If I can help somebody as I go along, then my living will not be in vain. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
This week I dedicate my article to a dear friend who is so passionate about the aging population. She is a part-time employee of the Department of Aging, but in her heart she works full-time and overtime. She is my inspiration and she keeps me in check. She helps me when I am so busy and she is none other than Lesia Henderson. She is a jewel. With teary eyes, I thank Lesia for all she does for our aging population.
Marie Faircloth is the director of the Garland Senior Center.