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Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5426)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 6:28 PM


Our new president asked us all to be a part of the change in America. As part of that I have been thinking a lot the past several days about a very dear friend who died three years ago as of the end of May.

A little background on her: She had a phobia about going to the doctor and never went to the doctor. When she wasn't feeling well towards the end of the school year (she taught special education), she blamed it on various things from asthma to exhaustion. When she became so ill she could no longer deny it, she entered the hospital. One week later she was gone from breast cancer. So ladies, keep up on your mammograms and self-exams.

But that's not what I want to focus on in this post. Terri confided in me one day that every December she called each nursing home in our town and asked what their population count was. She then bought birthday cards, signed each one with "A friend" and took a year's supply of cards to each nursing home. The administrator was instructed that the residents were to have cards given to them on their birthdays. She was told that for some residents that was the only acknowledgement of their birthday as they had no friends or family remaining - or their families ignored them.

This is something fairly simple all of us can do, whether it's one nursing home or four or five. Whatever your budget allows is what you can do..The cards don't have to be fancy. In fact, Terri went to garage sales and thrift stores looking for birthday cards. If the cards are old-fashioned, that's OK.

I've thought about this for some time now. Terri was such a private person and rarely shared personal information. Maybe she was led to tell me for a reason neither of us understood, I don't know.

This is one way we all can be a part of the change the president talked about in his speech.

Quackinator  (Level: 176.2 - Posts: 151)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 6:37 PM

What a great idea! I'm going to propose this as a project for our student council!!!

Caramel1  (Level: 136.2 - Posts: 21613)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 7:09 PM

That idea is in keeping with your overall persona of kindness, Pat. There is a nursing home a block away from me and I can certainly start there-thanks- Linda

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 4447)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 7:47 PM

Great idea, Pat! Thanks for sharing your story!

-- Geri

Seniorrita  (Level: 140.1 - Posts: 223)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 8:18 PM

What a great idea! My Ukulele Band concentrates on old folks residences and schools. I'll bring this up also to the folks I see in the drugstores stocking card racks, etc. One of my friends used to have hundreds of cards she accumulated as a Hallmark representative. They got tossed! Wish we had thought of this.

My Uke Band plays to folks who sit with their eyes closed but sing along with us. They love our performances as we custom them to the music they knew... Abilene, Dont Talk About Me When I'm Gone, You Gotta Have Heart, plus the old favorites like Home on the Range. They love it. I love to hear them laugh and enjoy us. Old folks need to LAUGH!

Mplaw51  (Level: 184.8 - Posts: 1581)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 11:09 PM

What a lovely idea. Lovelier still that you get to remember a dear friend and pass her legacy on so to speak through us here at Sploofus. It's heartwarming.

Monkeynips13  (Level: 21.5 - Posts: 647)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 11:36 PM

What an absolutely beautiful idea! My parents own their own hospice, and a large number of their patients are in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities simply because they have no family to take care of them. I'm going to tell my parents about this idea, and with all their staff involved I'm certain that the birthdays of all nursing home residents in our are will be remembered. Thankyou so much for posting this.

Bigbird  (Level: 250.2 - Posts: 3345)
Wed, 11th Feb '09 5:21 AM

I've always been a believer in "giving back" to the community in which you live in one way or another. I spent 20 years on the Board of Directors of a local child care center, and am currently President of the local Historical Society. It is really easy to get involved in groups in your community - sadly, there aren't that many folks who want to get their hands dirty. There are so many ways to make a difference!

Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5426)
Wed, 11th Feb '09 12:21 PM

Thank you, everyone, for your positive input. I know Terri would be pleased that her idea has been carried on.

Lucimoore  (Level: 193.9 - Posts: 1737)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 10:55 PM

Bump it forward

4getful1  (Level: 184.9 - Posts: 3078)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 4:42 AM

Thank you so much for sharing Teri's story, and especially for suggesting this outreach project.


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