Our oldest volunteer at the Red Cross is Blanche. She will be 99 on March 13. She volunteers every Thursday in our blood center helping to register the blood donors. She lives alone, and recently gave up driving. She has her day out on Thursday, but otherwise she might only get out one additional time during the week.
Knowing that she is now housebound most of her days I thought I would see if she wanted to go for a tour of Christmas lights tonight.
I called her up, and we made plans for me to pick her up after work and we would go take a tour of the Christmas lights around town and go for dinner – her choice.
We toured all over town to some of the biggest lights displays. She was in awe of the new Schreiber Foods building and how beautiful it looked lit up, she was telling me decorations she liked and those she didn’t like, she shared with me stories of how she used to work at a bakery on Adams Street and then they moved to Broadway.
She also shared with me how much this meant to her, because when you live as long as she has all your friends are dead. Blunt, but true statement. She used to play cards 3-4 days a week, and none of those ladies are alive anymore. As she said, “I make new friends as I get older, but you still miss all your old ones.”
Our final landmark on the tour of lights was of course Lambeau Field. I told her all about the new construction and pointed out the new sections and as we round the corner in the parking lot by the new Lambeau Leap statue I said, “Blanche, how would you like to Lambeau Leap at almost 99?” Greatest picture ever!
We finished our tour with greasy burgers, fries and cheese curds at Kroll’s West. As I dropped her off and gave her a big hug, she told me again how much this meant to her. Looking back on this night, it meant the world to me as well.
If you know of someone who is housebound, take the time and visit or pick them up and go for a drive. It will mean the world to them, but trust me, it will leave a pretty big impression on your heart too.