“Serving with Style,” Ensign, Dec. 2008, 65
When my children became adults and left home, I prayed to find volunteer work. A nearby care center for the elderly came to mind, but I fought the impression because I didn’t like going there. The thought continued, so I met with the center’s recreation leader. We determined that I would return each week for two hours. Doing what? I didn’t know yet. But the ideas soon came.
The first week I stood in the middle of a circle of wheelchairs and helped the residents throw a ball back and forth to each other. Though I felt a bit uncomfortable at first, I was determined to do my best. Soon I was actually having fun. The men and women there seemed appreciative of my company. After visiting a few weeks, I began giving the women manicures during my two-hour visits. They were so glad to see me each week and lined up to take turns. I felt so wanted and needed. The experience was wonderful, and I volunteered there for five years.
During this time I became very close to several of the residents. Though it was hard to watch them eventually pass away, I was happy for the long lives they had lived. When my mother died unexpectedly, I felt gratitude, despite my grief, because she had been able to care for herself at home until it was her time to go. I’m blessed with this enhanced understanding and reassurance as I reflect upon my volunteer work caring for my elderly friends.