Last night, we took my dear friend Marion and her husband Don, out for a birthday celebration. When I was visiting a few weeks back, I noticed she had marked her birthday on the calendar. Birthday celebrations have always been a big deal in my family, so, I asked if we could take her out for hers. For two home bound seniors, an outing requires conquering fears and leaning on those around you for support. Marion accepted the help of my husband to get her in and out of the car and push her wheelchair. My 16 year old son read the ten page menu out loud to Don, who cannot see. Me, I just planned the event. In the end we had a wonderful time together!
Marion was very reluctant to accept the offer, even though I could see the excitement in her eyes. I knew why she was hesitant; it is very difficult for Marion to leave her home due to her size. She can use a walker in her home to walk about 20 feet before needing to sit down to rest. Asking her to leave her home, requires her to walk, without the walker, to the car, as well as get in and get out of it and then into her wheelchair. This is not only challenging for her, but drums up a lot of fear and requires faith and trust in those around her for help. I insisted we could do it together, as a team, and she accepted. I also wouldn't take no for an answer.
We had a fabulous time together, ate a wonderful meal and the restaurant brought her a birthday treat complete with a candle. She was delighted. Between Marion and Don, we got countless “thank yous” and “how can we ever repay yous”. Little do they know, I feel the same. As I've remarked before, never in a million years, when I signed up to volunteer as a senior friend, did I expect our friendship to blossom and for her to become such a blessing in my life. Happy Birthday My Friend!
If you live in Minnesota and are looking for an organization to volunteer for, check out DARTS.