Forgotten valentines

The gratification you will feel in your heart, knowing you have made a difference in the heart of someone else, is truly without parallel.

The gratification you will feel in your heart, knowing you have made a difference in the heart of someone else, is truly without parallel.

by Mary Sanders — 

Have you ever really thought about Valentine’s Day? We associate the month of February and St. Valentine’s Day with flowers, candy, chocolate and cards. Your may have a personal tradition of finding a special something for your sweetheart.

Or, you might be the person who dashes into a convenience store and grabs the first thing that resembles a valentine gift. This ritual has been instilled into us for generations, but maybe it s time to sit down and consider the impact of our gift choice on that “special someone.”

Sweethearts come in all sizes, shapes and ages, from the just-born to the aging population. Of course, newborns and minor children have their mommies and daddies to share cards, candy or stuffed animals with.

As a person grows older, having found their spouse or significant other, St. Valentine’s Day may follow a more mature course of cards, flowers, chocolates, jewelry or candlelight dinners for their sweetheart.

As one approaches the later years of life, St. Valentine’s Day will change courses again. The senior population is commonly challenged by allergies and restrictive diets, thus needing to eliminate chocolates, sugar, certain foods and alcoholic beverages. Many times, seniors have lost their sweethearts to a celestial place and are left behind. These sweethearts could be referred to as “forgotten valentines.” Seniors often live in independent living residences, assisted living homes, skilled nursing facilities, group homes or at home, alone.

So what can you do to remember your senior sweetheart? The following hints will give you some ideas.

The gratification you will feel in your heart, knowing you have made a difference in the heart of someone else, is truly without parallel. Giving to another allows you to receive in many ways. A valentine is a heart — where is yours?

Hints for remembering the forgotten

  • Include your grandparent(s) or a senior you know in your St. Valentine’s Day giving.
  • Make a special telephone call to your grandparent(s) or a senior you know.
  • Seek out and visit an elderly neightbor or friend.
  • Visit a senior residence and give the activities director cards and/or pictures to share with those seniors who are alone.

Senior informational resources

  • Pat Horton of The Madison, Sun City West, elegantliving100@hotmail.com.
  • Ginger Dawson of the Life Care Center of North Glendale, Gingerdawson1000@cs.com.
  • Visit a nursing home in your area.

 

Mary Sanders was the 2005 Mother of the Year, Entrepreneurial Mothers Association-West Valley Chapter. marymarysanders@cox.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.

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