Thursday Volunteer Work

Today in St. Andrew’s Village hair salon, I was doing a lot of the same things that I always do. I worked with Jean (who is slowly becoming more and more of a good friend to me), take people back and forth, and hand and remove rollers for people’s hair. One thing that happened today that didn’t happen any other day was the meeting of a new person. She is definitely one of my favorite residents. She is a good 6 inches shorter than me but looks like she can hold her own. She’s 96 and living there with only a little bit of help. She doesn’t even have a walker! When I went to get her today, I had to walk a good, steady pace to keep up with her. She carries herself like the whole world is in front of her and she’s ready to grab it. Her face lights up when she sees people, as if she can see what beautiful creations they are. She has a heart as gold as the rings she wears around her neck and a smile that lights up her eyes and makes them start to disappear. She’s so small that when she sits in the salon chair, she swings her little Mexican sandal-clad feet back and forth like a child waiting for the greatest news in the world. Needless to say, I want her to be my adoptive grandmother.

I learned today that I really, really enjoy spending time with elderly people. They are so sweet (most of them anyway) and they give the best hugs. It’s funny how when people get older, their hearing starts to go and so does their sight. But, they listen better than anyone and perceive things the way they should be seen. I suppose that it’s the wisdom increasing with every year that goes by that does it. I pray that I am constantly softened to the Holy Spirit and become a sponge that soaks up God’s wisdom and compassion so that I can be like some of these ladies in St. Andrew’s.

One piece of new knowledge that I gained today would be that you should never judge a person by their size. Great things come in the smallest of packages. Again, I wasn’t met with any problems today or difficulties. However, I did learn some more leadership skills. My leadership will be more effective in the future because of the interaction I had today with the sugary spitfire I met. I’ve decided that I want to be as sweet a person and as strong a person (inside and out) as the sugary spitfire. She’s sweet, funny, compassionate, and kind. When you treat a person with such attributes, even if not right away, only good can come of it.

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