“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Everyone needs a mentor, a person who models for you the Christian walk. A person you look up to and say, “I’d like to be like her when I’m that age.”
Anna is this person for me. At 81 Anna lives alone in a small one bedroom apartment in a Salvation Army Senior independent living complex. Her husband died six years ago. Because she’s experiencing severe memory loss, Anna has had to give up driving her car.
But Anna has not a shred of self-pity. Her face was radiant as she told me, “Glen and I had almost 25 years together.” Then she laughed, “Counting our courting days, it was 25 years. His son, Ron, is so good to me. He looks after all my affairs.”
To the loss of her car she said, “Just think how much money I’m saving by not driving a car.” Then she added, “Besides, walking to the mall does me good. I buy my groceries at Save-On-Foods, then haul them home in my little cart. And when I can’t walk anymore, I’ll get a scooter.” She was exuberant that the mall also had a vet office, a bank, a beauty salon and several restaurants. “Everything I need is right here,” she said.
To memory loss she quipped, “Good thing I’m methodical and I write everything down. That helps. And I’m taking medication against Alzheimer’s.” As we talked about the future she expressed absolutely no fear, only a joyous expectancy of heaven.
When I showed her a photo I’d taken of her on my digital camera, she smiled, “Yes, that’s me.” No disparaging remarks about her looks (like I would have made) not even in jest. As far as Anna was concerned life was good and she was making the best of it.
Anna took me out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant within walking distance to her home. She insisted on paying for the meal. “Then let me give the tip,” I said. She agreed and I left a generous tip on the table. Minutes later I heard her say to the girl at the till, “Please add the tip to the bill.” Just like Anna, I thought, to leave a double blessing.
Dear God, Anna has shown me it’s not age but attitude that makes the difference on living abundantly. Teach me to see my daily blessings. Help me to develop a grateful heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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