Some time ago, I was returning from an appointment and walked past an older gentleman struggling to get out of his car. I approached him and asked if he needed any help . He said he needed help to retrieve his mail. I offered. He kindly accepted. When I returned with the mail, our unlikely friendship began. Immediately I felt concerned about his overall well-being. I eagerly “Pepper-ed” him with questions (pun intended). Why was he retrieving his mail – all by himself? What about his food, the groceries, transportation, appointments, etc.? I inquired about everything. I soon found out that this 94-year-old man didn't have any assistance -- whatsoever. At that time, his 87-year-old wife also wasn’t feeling well. So, I hesitantly invited myself into their lives. I was pleased that they trusted me and ever since that fateful day, I have been grocery shopping for them.
This simple task takes no more than an hour or so each week. Every time I show up at their house with their groceries, they ask me the same question – “who are you, really?” Together, we laugh -- and, of course, there are expected complaints about the price of food. These two people have lived through many triumphs and defeats. My time spent with them both is treasured. We’ve had some crying moments in our warm exchanges. My new friend graciously hands me cash – the same way my dad used to do, I smile, and then I hug them goodbye.
Now, more than ever, our neighbors, our community, friends and family all need a helping hand. Lend one when you can. I’ve found that it is so beneficial to me. I am lighter, less distracted, and healed in a refreshing new way. The simple things are enjoyed with a new light.
Let’s launch a commitment to help one another. It feels so good.