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Posts Tagged ‘flowers for senior citizens’

The sun was low in the sky on a crisp and breezy autumn day. It was the kind of day that beckoned for a stroll in the park. As the black lab puppy strained against his leash to see more, smell more, and play more, my husband and I walked and chatted. As we rounded a path leading down to the bay, I suddenly yelled out to him, “Stop! Don’t step on someone’s hope!” There at his feet, scrawled in the decomposed granite path, were large letters spelling out the word “hope.” As we continued our walk, my mind filled with questions. Who wrote that? And why? Does that person have hope or need hope? Or was it just someone’s name? I’ll never know the answers to my questions, but I do know that hope can be found everywhere.

#1 – Convoy of Hope
Recently in my small area of the world a Convoy of Hope came to town. Over 13,000 people attended this outreach to receive assistance ranging from “health and dental screenings, family portraits, groceries, clothing, shoes and employment – all of which were free of charge.” Convoy of Hope has ambitious plans for 2012; their plans include outreach events in every state. To read more about this charity that has won the Charity Navigator Four Star Award for seven years in a row and to learn about ways in which you can help, click here.

#2 – Flowers of Hope
My husband called me from work the other day and asked, “Do you have any use for a box of assorted flower vases, because if not, they are going to be thrown away?” He knows me too well. Since it is not in my nature to throw things away, I replied, “Bring them home. I will fill them with flowers and take them over to a senior care home.” Although vases are not required in order to give a bouquet of flowers to someone in a senior center or home, they certainly make it easier for the staff to distribute the flowers. I mentioned in a previous post, that glass jars work great for this purpose, too. So before you get rid of those inexpensive vases you get from the florist, fill them with lovely flowers from your yard or from a store and give a home-bound senior hope that someone still cares about them.

#3 – Is There Hope For Mom and Dad?
The text I sent my daughter read something like this, “@ emerg room. Dad mayb hd gdasu buvacj!” I admit that sometimes when I text, I inadvertently send jibberish instead –  thanks to clumsy fingers or that darn spell check program that keeps changing what I write! I’m sure I’m not the only one with texting issues. Read these amusing texts that appeared on the Huffington Post Parents page or read many more funny texts by going to When Parents Text. I hope my kids haven’t submitted any of my bloopers!

#4 – Hope For Creativity
This four minute TED video presented by Gever Tulley shows hope exists when creativity is fostered in children. His Tinkering School allows children to design, create, succeed and fail. Life skills are learned when they have to figure things out. I love this idea!

#5 – Words of Hope
“Men and women are limited not by the place of their birth, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope.” John Johnson

Give thanks this weekend to the many people who gave hope to our country by serving in the military! Have a safe Veterans Day weekend!

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In a disarray of discarded plants and flowerpots, a neglected, but tall and proud-looking amaryllis caught my eye. Surprised by the sight, my heart rapidly filled with emotion – first sadness and then happiness. With its sturdy, solitary stalk and two huge Christmas-red blooms, this plant reminded me of a dear friend I once had. Her name was Martha, but I knew her as Marty.

About ten years ago my daughter and I volunteered to paint fingernails at an assisted-living care center for senior citizens. Walking through those doors that day we could not know how our lives would change. It was fate. Of all the women in the room we could have helped, my daughter chose the feisty, diabetic, and wheelchair-bound Marty.

For six years, we regularly visited Marty at the center. In an attempt to make her life better, we brought her books to read and movies to watch, as well as holiday decorations to bring cheer to her room. And whenever we went on vacation, we made sure to bring back a souvenir for our friend. As many a great time we shared with her, we also endured difficult ones. Witnessing her decline from an opinionated and independent woman to a bedridden and silent one challenged our spirits, but never our commitment to her. Towards the end, we braced ourselves whenever we entered Marty’s room. One thing was for sure, though, no matter what physical condition she was in, Marty’s bright blue eyes always lit up when she saw our faces and we, in turn, always tried to smile, covering up any alarm we might have at seeing her situation.

Four years ago, in the month of November, the phone call came – Marty was gone. After hanging up the phone, I looked at the potted amaryllis bulb that sat on my kitchen counter. It was to have been Marty’s Christmas gift and my daughter and I had been eager to see the expression on Marty’s face when we presented it to her. Sadly, I picked up the plant and carried it outside and placed it amongst a pile of old flowerpots. I stood there remembering an earlier Christmas that Marty received an amaryllis from her son and how she spent the following months marveling at it. After the giant blooms faded, she had asked me to take the bulb home and replant it for her. Regretfully, I never had the opportunity to do that, because the plant, pot and all, disappeared from her room. That’s when my daughter and I decided we’d buy her a new one  –  one that she’ll never see.

Following Marty’s death, bad weather ensued, months passed by, and soon the plant was completely erased from my memory. Then one gorgeous early spring day, when the warm sun beckoned me out to the garden, I walked over to my garden shed. That’s when, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a patch of bright red. There in the heap of garden rejects was Marty’s Christmas gift! A magnificent red blossom, in all of its glory, was swaying in the breeze and calling out, “Don’t forget about me.”

Every year since Marty died, the amaryllis has bloomed. And today as I stand here and admire its beautiful spring offering, I can hear Marty’s soft voice say, “Isn’t that something!” Picturing Marty’s face and thinking about how she graced my life, I reply, “Yes, Marty, it most certainly is!”

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