At the end of last month, I attended my granddaughter’s high school graduation. Naturally, I am very proud of her and all that she has accomplished during her four years. As she prepares for college in the fall, I’m excited to see her future unfold in many promising ways.

There were about 250 students in her class and so many of them were highly accomplished. Not just academically, but also socially as well, as many of them were recognized for their volunteer activities.

When it came time for the Valedictorian, Mark, to give his speech, I was not sure what to expect. Prior to standing up at the podium, the high school’s principle listed off several of Mark’s accomplishments.

Mark’s speech started out quite unexpectedly. For about ten minutes he poked fun at several of his teachers, his parents, his classmates, and himself. But then the speech took a turn, and he began to talk about one of his volunteer activities in which he has been helping out at the nursing home where his grandfather is living. His grandfather, who is 90 years old, has been in the nursing facility for the past five years and Mark goes to see him regularly.

When Covid hit, like many families, Mark could only talk to his grandfather via an I-Pad or I-Phone. It was a hard time, but he made a promise to his grandfather that as soon as all the restrictions were lifted, he would visit a couple of times per week. Fortunately, he was able to keep his promise and for the past three years, Mark has been a weekly ray of sunshine in his grandfather’s life.

Sometimes when Mark visited his grandfather, he was asleep, and so he talked with one or two of the other residents, making their day a little brighter. One day, the nursing home manager asked Mark if he would ever consider visiting with other residents who had no family and were always alone and lonely. Without any hesitation, Mark agreed and so whenever he visited his grandfather, he would extend the time by a couple of hours to visit a few other residents who had no one else to come and visit them.

As Mark continued with his speech, he explained how the visits with the other residents were so pleasantly surprising. Gradually, as they were getting to know each other, they were joking and laughing together. Mark was also learning that at one time they had very exciting lives and had accomplished and given so much. Moreover, Mark realized that one day all of us will be old, and when we are, we will want someone to visit us, and for a short time, make us feel valued and cared for.

“Our society has a terrible problem in that we often relegate our elderly to the sidelines and treat them like obsolete inventory. But, if you take a moment and talk to our elderly, you will find that you can still learn from them and that they still have a great deal to offer you.” Mark so eloquently stated.  

In closing, Mark made a point of letting everyone know that he has decided to stay close to home for college so that he can continue visiting his grandfather and the other residents. As he put it, “Talking and being with the residents has shown me what it is to have a life filled with love.”

Nancy Seiverd

CMI Credit Mediators, Inc. 

All Rights Reserved

Image by 

Sign Up for Our Free Monthly Newsletter – COLLECTION CONNECTION!

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!