I heard a story about a retired woman that beautifully demonstrates the Power of Giving in Retirement. LInda’s experience shows that sharing our talents and love benefits both the giver and the receiver. Her story seems particularly important during this season of giving, so whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you experience joy and peace during this special time of the year.
At age 68 Linda broke her right leg and wrist in a traumatic fall, making it exhausting for her to use a crutch or walker to get around. The injuries also made it impossible for her to play the piano––one of her greatest loves. As an independent woman, she found it humiliating to have to ask for assistance for so many things, and she began to withdraw from friends and family. Linda’s partner worried that her forgetfulness and confusion were signs she was slipping into dementia. Her withdrawal also seemed to slow down her recovery and made her exceedingly angry.
Fortunately, when Linda left her work place, she had committed to staying involved with her church, her friends and her art community. She played piano for the children’s performances at the local theatre and helped the directors organize each production. She also served as Choir Director at her church and was frequently involved in creating parties for friends. Thankfully, this contact with so many people was her salvation.
One day, a child who was to preform in the ballet at the local theatre came to see her…in tears. “Miss Linda,” she said, “we can’t practice without your help. The performance is only six weeks from now, and we need you to play for our rehearsals.”
This evidence of how much she was appreciated prompted Linda to remember her commitment to stay active, so she promised the child that she would be at the rehearsals in a week. With renewed purpose, Linda began her exercises and accepted that someone was going to have to drive her for a while, and she started smiling again. “How could I let these children down?” she said. “I almost forgot my commitment to them. Thank heavens I had that in my plan. Now I have a reason to get better.” Today, Linda is once again a vibrant, healthy woman enjoying every moment of her retirement.
“When one door closes, another one opens, but we often look so long and regretfully at the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell.