Saturday, November 18, 2023

November 18--The Rewards of Service

It's one of the secrets of strength: We're so much more likely to find it in the service of others than in service to ourselves.  --David Levithan

    I have gained much strength and enjoyment this week taking my brother to 12-step meetings. Though he and I have a different "substance of choice," any time with recovering addicts is inspiring to me. I also took him out to lunch yesterday. He told me some stories about his relationship with our maternal grandfather and all that he taught him on weekly long hikes through the woods. My grandfather was an invalid due to strokes by the time I came along, so it was great to hear stories of him being a vibrant, active man.
    One of my frequent ponderings on my care home visits this week had been this: I know my brother had a highly successful military career. He is a West Point graduate and an Army Ranger who did two tours of duty in Viet Nam. Then he had a good run as a stock broker. He and his wife raised three kids and mentored many grandchildren. I look at the folks around the memory care unit and wonder what awesome lives are locked away inside? I'm sure every one of them has a lovely story to tell, and they may never get told. It's another sadness of the care home experience. 

I'm missing our sweet ultra-handsome Barney!

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