Friday, February 10, 2012

My life, or as my daughter wanted me to title this post, now that I am an old sea hag (part 2)

From the time my kids were little, I have always done some type of volunteer work. I have been on just about every town committee and school committee you can think of.  Any classroom function, I was there to help out.

When I finally got all of the kids in school full time, I wanted my volunteerism to be more personal.
I was friends with the woman who ran the senior center here in our town. I started going to the senior center once a week to do manicures for the elderly. I would do maybe three or four each time I went in. At first the ladies balked. It was not the mani/pedi generation back then. Some of these women had never had a manicure in their life. For the first few weeks, I maybe did one or two. You know how hard it is to change an older persons mind about things? After a few of the ladies were coerced into it and came out with their beautifully painted nails, I was quite the hot commodity. It got to a point where they had to start picking numbers out of a hat to see who got the manicures. They would actually fight over me.  I don't know if any of you have ever spent time at a senior center. Just picture high school with wrinkles. Sometimes it is even more brutal than that if they are in the stages of Alzheimer's. I loved listening to how it was "back in the day" and enjoyed every second I was there.

I also volunteered at the hospital a few days a week. I called to see if they wanted me to maybe do nails or something else for their long term patients. When I went in to talk to them they had something different in mind for me. They needed me to be a messenger. Joan of Arc came to mind. They needed someone strong. Most of the volunteers at the hospital were elderly. I was young and strong. My duties would include moving patients on stretchers to various appointment inside of the hospital, making sure patients got to day surgery, bringing blood to the lab, delivering flowers (one of my favorites), discharging patients, discharging mothers and babies and making sure the car seat was in properly (my all time favorite) and waiting with the discharged patients until their ride picked them up. I loved it there. I met so many interesting people. I left when the kids had too many activities for me to keep up with. I miss it there. I called last month and I am trying to get back into it.

I was at work yesterday and a woman that I used to work with at a different spa, brought her daughter in for a facial. You know how kids are. She didn't want her mom doing it because she said she was to rough on her.
The beauty industry is very small. You always end up working or running into the same people. We started catching up and she was telling me how she has some clients come to her home for waxing etc. She also told me she was going to be volunteering for patients who have just gone through chemo. Big companies such as Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder and others donate products for these women. It would be her job to help them feel good about themselves after the chemo. She would show them how to draw on eyebrows, deal with wigs, take care of skin and nails. Just basically pampering them. I almost started to cry.

This is a topic that is very near to my heart. My 21 year old niece died of leukemia a year ago. I know what she went through with her wig and the deterioration of her nails. I know it sounds superficial in the scope of what she was dealing with, but can you imagine being 21 and having to deal with that? That is a post for another day because I am tearing up just thinking about it.
I asked the woman to give me information. I gave her my email address and phone number and I am waiting to be contacted. I want to help. There is a training course later this month and I hope they call me before that so that I can start.

My beautiful, sweet, sensitive niece who was taken too young.
That is exactly what is missing from my life. I have always been a helper and a hard worker. I love to make people smile. I do not like to receive recognition for any of it. I do it for ME. It makes me a better person inside and out. I am happiest when I am doing something for someone else. I believe it helped all of my kids learn about compassion. I really do have very compassionate kids.

My kids when they were younger

I am happy just thinking about getting back into volunteerism. That is what gives my life some meaning, aside from my wonderful family of course. If you have never volunteered for something that held some meaning for you, I suggest you do it. There is no other feeling like it in the world.
I think this is just the remedy I need to break myself out of my funk.


  1. I wish I had more time to volunteer. It is so fulfilling. I'm sorry to hear about your niece. She was very beautiful.

  2. There is nothing better than giving back!! My mom used to go to the senior center and give the men and women haircuts and styles! She loved talking to them about "the good old days." All of your volunteering sounds so rewarding! Sorry to hear about your niece:( Cancer is a terrible terrible thing. She was a beautiful girl! Happy Friday!:)

    1. Thank you Shannon. I knew your mom would be a good woman, look who she raised.

  3. Volunteering is so important - awesome that you make the time to do it! I need to get off my butt and do it too. So sorry about your niece...