I volunteer at local nursing homes. I have volunteered since I was a teenager as it was expected in our home to volunteer, and watching my mother and grandmother volunteer, it just was something that I enjoyed doing.
My mother volunteered almost until her death at 90, even with Alzheimers, we would go to local nursing homes and she would sit with the residents, sing, hold hands, hug…. whatever she could do.
The last few months I have been going to one nursing home and have become friends with three ladies who always sit together in the cafeteria for their meals. Two of the women are always showing pictures of their grandchildren and their relatives, and one of the women never joins in… she always looks so sad when they are showing their pictures.
A couple of times when I have been there she has been eating alone because her two friends have family or friends visiting and are eating with them. Today when I went to visit, I took her a photo album. I have been taking pictures of her and her friends and having the nurses take pictures of me with her over the last few months. I made an album of our pictures.
I added a few of my mom, and made some copies of the picture she had of her husband in her room and put it in the album. It’s just a small little album that you can flip through, but I wanted her to have pictures to show too. I wanted her to have something when her friends pulled out all of their pictures.
I gave it to her today. We looked through it and she smiled and then laughed. She looked at pictures of the Christmas party, of the New Years Eve day party, Valentines Day, all pictures of her and me, and of her and some of her friends and some with the nurses, and then the one of her husband and her on the front of the little album. She was so happy. She told me she couldn’t wait to show her friends, so at lunch today I watched as they pulled out their new pictures, and I watched her pull out her little book of pictures, so proud, she even sat up straighter and pointed at the pictures as they all looked at them. Her friends laughed and giggled at the pictures of them and told her how pretty she looked in some of the pictures with me, some of the nurses and aides even came to look at her pictures.
Then I snuck away. I will go back next week and maybe we can take another picture to add to her little book.
It doesn’t take much to volunteer, as my mom would say, volunteer in your way. – Melissa (Missy) Vaughan ❤