As many of you know, I care for my father who's inching closer day by day to 100 years of age. He's a man who has always extended himself to others, offering assistance for free and taking pleasure in the skills he developed to be able to do that.
Aging has limited that, and I've been struggling to find ways that need to help can still be accommodated, in a different fashion. This morning was a eureka moment (undoubtedly due to the chocolate covered cherries I munched on last night!).
But I'm interested in feedback, as well as how to address specific situations.
1. We both get free holiday cards from charities soliciting money. Some are beautiful; others go immediately to the recycle pile. Suffice it to say that with our accumulated stocks over the years, we have enough excess cards to give to 100 or 200 people, more or less.
2. I plan to print out a short holiday greeting on some of the lovely stationery I've bought over the years, when people still did write letters. Or the greetings might be on small holiday note paper. The message will be something short and simple, but not the cheery one message fits all of having happy holiday. The target audience is not one that will be celebrating as those w/o medical needs can.
3. First choices for those in need are the VA outpatient clinic and in-patient hospital nearby, the VA home in Grand Rapids, the infusion center where my sister got chemo and radiation, and oncology units of children's hospitals.
We'll also send cards with different greetings to Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers and the local EMT staff.
4. I wanted to make up special holiday baskets with silk flowers and sprays, but some years ago I discovered that baskets from China came with dormant little insect infestations that apparently liked the atmosphere of my home. So I'll probably just buy some inexpensive melamine or plastic bowls, put the cards in, and ask the facilities to place them where visitors can take them. I'm open to suggestions on this, as well as what besides fruit to offer them. I'd like our gifts to be unique, and nonperishable. There's always chocolate!
5. My dilemma is what would be appropriate to say to the groups in 3. above. What are kind, thoughtful, warm wishes to extend to veterans in homes, or in hospitals? What can I say to parents of children with cancer, and to those still getting chemo or radiation? Everything I would want to wish is just that..a wish. Can anyone help me with this?
I'm really excited about this but don't want to include any notes in cards that might upset someone already suffering physically or emotionally.
And thanks to anyone who reads and/or posts.