Friday, January 23, 2009
making a difference
I'm fortunate enough that my work allows us to participate in Meals on Wheels. It doesn't involve a lot of time, really only one morning a month, and my day happens to be the fourth Friday. I've been involved with this several years, and quite a few of the clients have been on the delivery route most of the time, and others maybe there just awhile before they drop off the list for whatever reason.
One sweet little lady, Effie, is probably close to 90 years old. Independent, she is usually sitting in her recliner by the front door, reading the newspaper with her magnifying glass. Occasionally a visiting home-health care giver is there, but not this time. Effie forgot to unlock the front door this morning, so it took her a few minutes to get there, wheeling herself along, then reaching out with gnarled hands to hold onto the arm of the recliner to stand enough to open the door. I took the food into the kitchen, helped her back into her wheelchair, and rolled her to the table. She unfolded her hands, revealing some pills she needed to take. Rather than take them before letting me in, she just held onto them. "I didn't want to keep you waiting, dear." Sweet, sweet lady.
And you realize some of the people need a bit of conversation as well as the meal. My list was shorter today, allowing me a bit more time. This one particular client is from another country, but I couldn't place where. "Italy," said with a lilting emphasis and more than a touch of pride. She shared with me how to make meatballs, using a "little" bit of garlic. I hope to be able to tell her when I see her again that I've given it a try. She also told me she really liked my haircut (she's said this before). When I got back to the office, I told Kathy how talkative this woman was today, and she's glad of the outside contact. Kathy told me, "yeah, she always tells me she likes the color of my hair". Hey, if this works to be a good conversation starter for her, I'm all for another compliment!
We don't have to do a whole lot to make a difference to someone, do we? And you know, I think in turn we're making a difference in ourselves.