Kindness is a Blessing For the Giver

All I knew about Mae Vanderboss was that she was the mother of my son's friend and was in the assisted living program at Walnut Manor in Anaheim, but my heart told me to go see her. When I arrived, Mae was in the dining-room sitting in her wheelchair, not eating, and with a blank stare in her eyes. She was surprised when I introduced myself and began to feed her. When she was done eating. I wheeled her to her room and gave her a new pair of slippers. Mae and I became good friends. Every Tuesday I helped her walk, exercise, and read her favorite bible scriptures in the garden. As time went on I got to know her and gained her trust. She did not participate in the activities offered in the program. I asked her what she wanted to do. She said, "I would like to write a letter to my sisters, but I can't. I have glaucoma and can't see. I haven't written in years." I felt her sadness. The next time I went to visit her I took a big flip-chart and a black marker. It was a warm day, so we sat outside in a sunny location and started to practice. With my hand guiding her hand, she began doing writing exercises. After a few days of practice, she started writing the alphabet. I always made sure she got a star, an A+, and a happy face. It was a blessing to me. I was teaching a retired school teacher, of thirty years, how to write again. In the two years I assisted her, Mae wrote five letters. The big reward was, her sisters wrote back and I read the letters to Mae! I watched over her until she went home to be with the Lord in 2001. I selected her outfit for her funeral viewing and had her favorite scripture Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 printed in her service memorial. What started out as an act of kindness turned to care, courtesy, love, and respect. I still have the flip-chart, copies of her letters, and her picture. What an honor it was to have known Mae. Kindness is a blessing for the giver.