Being Kind to a Centenarian (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Friday, August 14, 2015

Looking back, a year ago today, I wanted to remember a dear friend. The centenarian I mentioned, in this post. He died last fall, one hundred years young. I know for sure he is very much missed. There is a Jewish traditional service where the worshipers ask Ha Shem (G-d) to remember those for whom we mourn and grant them rest. Many remember their beloved ones who have died. In this way, I remember my dear friend. (Personally, I think he’s helping people, being kind to those in heaven, right now. Just like he did while here on earth.)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, August 14, 2014

only kindness matters

Being Kind to a Centenarian

Imagine being one hundred years old. Wow. That’s almost twice as old as I am, right now.

I talked with Chuck, a good friend of mine, on the phone recently. We discussed a great many things. And then, he mentioned a dear senior, an aged man we both know and love. “Can you imagine? He turned one hundred a few days ago. A number of us went to see him and had a birthday party for him.”

I know and am familiar with the care center where the senior is now living. I can just imagine the birthday party. The circle of aged and elderly residents, all around the table. The guests, gathered by the birthday person’s side. There are often some employees attending the party, too. Certain residents inspire a great deal of affection, on the part of residents as well as the workers in the care center. I’m sure this centenarian had a number of employees at his party. (He has lived there for a number of years. He’s been a much beloved person to those all over the center.)

Singing “Happy Birthday to You”—I can just hear it. The cake. The balloons. But our dear, elderly friend is not as aware as he once was. So bittersweet, having a celebration for someone who wasn’t sure exactly who was at the birthday party. My friend Chuck thought this dear man understood that it was his birthday, though.

I’ve known this gentle, humorous senior for twenty years. Faithful, friendly, loving and kind. He was truly an example of being kind. Being of service. So helpful, going out of his way to do things for those who were shy of asking for help. Even crossing the street to say hello and find out how people truly were.

I hope and pray that all of us are aided to remember this wonderful, courageous, helpful man who did so much for so many. Without reward, without fanfare, without the benefit of tweets on Twitter, photos on Instagram, or posts on Facebook.

Dear God, bless my dear, senior friend. The centenarian.

@chaplaineliza

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(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Baking Cookies—to Be Kind! (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, December 12, 2014

easy-christmas-cookies-11

Baking Cookies—to Be Kind! (Feature Friday!)

It’s that time of year again.

My husband said just the other day, “It’s that time of year when our kitchen has been transformed into a cookie factory. In keeping with tradition, I have volunteered to serve as quality control, sampling each batch. It’s a thankless job, I tell ya.” (I told him he does a very good job of it, too.)

I have made Christmas cookies for years, to give away as presents. Just like my mom.

My mother, Dolores, was a champion at baking. (Cooking, too. But I’m not going to talk about that right now.) Sadly, she died more than ten years ago, but I still remember her superb Christmas cookies. As much as my husband talks about my Christmas cookie baking, I was a mere beginner compared to my mother. Her cookies were amazing.

She used to deliver them to her friends, co-workers, and to our neighbors. She would give them as presents, and bring them to our relatives at holiday times. They always appreciated them. (And, thought the cookies were delicious, too.)

My mother was so creative, in so many ways. I’d like to remember her creativity—in baking Christmas cookies. Butterballs, chocolate raspberry sandwiches, thimble cookies, and, of course, cocoa drops. She made other cookies, other years, but those were always in the mix, as long as I can remember. Sweet memories—in several ways.

Sure, my mother definitely had a mind of her own. Sure, my mother was loving and giving. And sure—my mother gave away a lot of cookies.

It’s good to remember. Remember my mom, and remember her wonderful Christmas cookies. Remember how loving and giving she was.

@chaplaineliza

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Being Kind to a Centenarian

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, August 14, 2014

BK only kindness matteres

Being Kind to a Centenarian

Imagine being one hundred years old. Wow. That’s almost twice as old as I am, right now.

I talked with Chuck, a good friend of mine, on the phone recently. We discussed a great many things. And then, he mentioned a dear senior, an aged man we both know and love. “Can you imagine? He turned one hundred a few days ago. A number of us went to see him and had a birthday party for him.”

I know and am familiar with the care center where the senior is now living. I can just imagine the birthday party. The circle of aged and elderly residents, all around the table. The guests, gathered by the birthday person’s side. There are often some employees attending the party, too. Certain residents inspire a great deal of affection, on the part of residents as well as the workers in the care center. I’m sure this centenarian had a number of employees at his party. (He has lived there for a number of years. He’s been a much beloved person to those all over the center.)

Singing “Happy Birthday to You”—I can just hear it. The cake. The balloons. But our dear, elderly friend is not as aware as he once was. So bittersweet, having a celebration for someone who wasn’t sure exactly who was at the birthday party. My friend Chuck thought this dear man understood that it was his birthday, though.

I’ve known this gentle, humorous senior for twenty years. Faithful, friendly, loving and kind. He was truly an example of being kind. Being of service. So helpful, going out of his way to do things for those who were shy of asking for help. Even crossing the street to say hello and find out how people truly were.

I hope and pray that all of us are aided to remember this wonderful, courageous, helpful man who did so much for so many. Without reward, without fanfare, without the benefit of tweets on Twitter, photos on Instagram, or posts on Facebook. Dear God, bless my dear, senior friend. The centenarian.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Mutual Encouragement, Mutual Kindness!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, June 26, 2014

THANK God for remembering you Phil1-3

Mutual Encouragement, Mutual Kindness!

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” The words of Philippians 1:3 suddenly popped into my head as I remembered my good friend Chuck. Just thinking of him brings a smile to my face! It is good to know that I have such a wonderful friend as Chuck. True, we haven’t seen each other in quite a number of months, but we have kept in touch by phone. And today, by lunch.

Chuck is an ordained Presbyterian minister, and he’s going to help me out in two weeks. He’ll come to the church where I serve, and assist with communion the first week of July. I really appreciate him! And, I hope and pray he is blessed when he serves with me in church on the first Sunday of the month, Communion Sunday.

But let me return to the words of Philippians 1:3. It isn’t many people who can get quite that instant response from me, but my friend Chuck will. He and I are not all that similar, since Chuck is also a retired science teacher from the City Colleges of Chicago. (And then he went to seminary, where he and I had class together some ten years ago.) I have never been brilliant at science . . . I’m more of a humanities-type of person. But Chuck and I hit it off, right from the get-go. And whenever we meet? We both talk like a house afire! And we can communicate on a deep level, too.

Isn’t that wonderful? How when you find someone with whom you can truly communicate, you are totally yourself. No hiding, no facades, no faking it. Just me. Just him. Talking up a storm.

I feel so encouraged just being with my friend. I hope he feels the same. (I think he does—I’m not absolutely sure, but I think so.) We are mutually encouraging to each other, then. What a wonderful thing! So helpful, such an opportunity for service!

What about my husband, someone wonders? He and Chuck really hit it off. The two of us have known Chuck and his wife for about twenty years. (Scary, now that I think about it . . . ) His lovely wife Yvonne—such a gracious, elegant woman. A wonderful pair, the both of them.

Yes, I thank God for the pair of them, but I really feel a connection to Chuck. Maybe it’s the seminary thing. (I don’t think so, but I’ll just go with that for now.) People need good friends they can pray with. And talk to. Just about any thing. Any thing, indeed. God, thanks so much for good friends. Like Chuck.

@chaplaineliza

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