Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mr. Gordon (Trading Sorrow for Joy)

Here’s another perfect gift, this one in the form of a grateful story. Kind of like a giant verbal thank you card from Mr. Gordon, to Beatrice, Valerie and Brenda all at once.

Hallmark cards are fun to buy, but plain words can do their job, sometimes it’s easy to forget.

Our senior buddies Beatrice and Brenda were sitting right at the table when Dee read the story out loud for Mr. Gordon (because Mr. Gordon is blind, one of us usually writes down his words in advance then read them on his behalf to the group). When their names were called out, Beatrice and Brenda didn’t just smile. They beamed ear to ear.  And Valerie? Since she is an actual staff member at the kitchen, she wasn’t in our classroom. After class, Dee and I found her and made her a copy of this story. She was really overwhelmed. “Mr. Gordon wrote this? Mr. Gordon wrote this?” she kept saying. It was beautiful to see.

Arlin Gordon
Trading Sorrow for Joy

There are some days when some things seem to be bright and cheerful, so we never know what people are going through as they seem to be always smiling.

One day I came here at the senior center and found out that a friend of mine had passed away. It gave me a sad feeling because of our closeness. I was feeling kind of down that day. I walked into the cafeteria and the warm welcome I received when I walked in made me forget about things for that moment. The people who sit with me at the table, even though we all are going through some things, we seem to lift each other’s spirits.  The workers are always so joyful and make you feel so welcomed. Our friend Beatrice (who volunteers in the cafeteria to serve hot soups) and a young lady named Valerie (a kitchen staff member at the senior center) are always pleasant, smiling, joyful and cheerful. We must always try to remember that no matter what we are going through, that there are always good and cheerful people who have been placed in our lives. We don't have to dwell on the sorrowful things in life because joy is always around us.

I look forward to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and riding with the people on the Paratransit bus to the senior center because each one of us helps the others. There is always a joyful greeting as we ride the bus to the center. I thank God for placing these people in my life. I am thankful for Valerie who always greets me with a warm greeting when I enter in the cafeteria.

P.S. Brenda, I didn't forget you!