Meals On Wheels... My Own Story
I have talked about Meals On Wheels before. Ever time I come home from volunteering I have some story or experience to tell Matt about. I guess that is why he went ahead and volunteered me to speak at the Breakfast of Hope fundraiser next month! Awesome!
We had a phone walk through yesterday and my pitts were sweating, I was so nervous...
I tried not to get choked up as I read my testimonial... and the only change I need to make is 'slow down' as I speak!
Whew, now to do that for a room full of strangers! No biggie!
I speak in church often, performing is in my past plenty, but I'm a bit nervous!
There is much more, specific things, I want to write and record here on my blog, but this is a good introduction of my story with this organization and how it fills my heart and life.
My story with MOW began a while ago. My husband (Matt) is on the board so I have been to fundraisers, donated my photography, and have felt this is a great organization. I love it’s purpose.
It hasn’t been until this year that I have gotten involved as a volunteer.
The word I have been focusing on this year, in my own life, is the word ‘purpose’.
I am a SAHM, raising 4 wonderful kids. I am a photographer, runner, blogger, very involved with my church. I do a lot! Part of the reason this word is my word this year is to help me remember why I’m doing the things I am. I want what I do with my time to be meaningful, to have purpose.
One way I wanted to do this this year was to reach to others. Not online, not on the phone, actually being with others. I have done this in several ways and one of those ways has been through MOW.
I have fallen in love! To me it is all divine... the time that I started, the route I was put on, the people I now call my friends, that would not have come into my life any other way, but through MOW.
I am connected to each of these people, whom I call friends! I could tell you about each one of them!
- Richard served in WWII, he goes twice a day to visit his wife who is in a nursing home, he calls me an angel and sings to me every time I see him!
- Audrey is 80 and has been dating her boyfriend for 6 months. She always approaches her door calling “I know who it is! It’s my favorite person!” This last time I saw her she asked if other people are attached to me like she is? I told her that I hope so... and I am attached to them.
(this is Audrey)
- Darryl usually swears when we talk, and I think it’s hilarious!
I really could tell you all about these ‘clients’ that are my friends!
Two things that have become very apparent to me, as I have volunteered are these:
First: When you can’t feel joy, you can feel gratitude.
I believe we are meant to feel joy in this life! But, life isn’t always joyful.
But, when we can’t feel joy, we can feel gratitude, and that is a powerful positive emotion, that can lift us until we can feel joy again.
- Florence has become my friend. She turns 90 at the end of May! She's amazing!
There was one day that I visited her she wouldn’t talk to me. She kept shaking her head, and wouldn’t speak. As I asked what was wrong her eyes started to tear and she told me two of her teeth had broken! My heart ached and I asked if I could hug her. I gave her a big hug and asked what I could do for her. Of course she said there was nothing! As I left I reassured her that she looks fabulous, but I don’t know that I helped her feel any better. I thought about her the whole rest of my route.
After I was finished with my route I ran to Tops, grabbed some flowers, wrote her a note and headed back to her house. When she opened the door she looked so surprised! She asked why I brought her flowers. I told her that friends do this for each other when they are just having a crappy day! I ran down to her basement to get a vase and we visited as I put her flowers in water. I found out that day, among other things she used to love gardening.
This was the beginning of our friendship! I go see her every Monday after I’m done with my route and we visit until I have to go pick up my kids. I adore her!
I have seen gratitude, even for a quick conversation, lift hearts and I hope it has brought a measure of joy.
Second: It matters to matter.
I think it is human nature to feel like there is a reason for us to be here, to live, to do, no matter our age.
As I have gotten to know all of the people on my route by asking about their life, what they are working on, how their weekend was; as I have complimented them on how they look, or how they keep their house, or how they make my Monday’s brighter, I have shown them that they matter to me, and they really do, matter to me.
In return they tell me more about themselves, they tell me they love Monday’s, seeing me, and I know that I matter to them... and that matters to me.
I love MOW!
I love these people I have gotten to know! I don’t spend a ton of time with the people on my route, in relative terms, but it’s enough to know each other and to feel connected.
I bring my kids when they are out of school, I have brought neighbors and friends, and several of them have started to volunteer.
Delivering meals is not something I can do every single day at this point in my life, but what I can give has been so rewarding and fulfilling for me as I continue to consider my own purpose and how I can live with more of it.