A Small Act, A Big Change

Joy - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

A Small Act, A Big Change

When I grow old I expect my kids to take care of me, to love me, and spend time with me. To take me in when I’m sick, and put up with me when I forget my life. I believe that everyone deserves to feel wanted and appreciated. Unfortunately as I look around me at the fragile, wrinkled faces I realize that my belief is not shared by everyone. For this reason, I go to the nursing home every Sunday and appreciate the elderly that are left behind, deserted. Not all are forgotten though; many still get family visits, and occasional trips home.

One Sunday morning as I walked into the nursing home I met Mr. Sheppard. “Hello darling, what is a young girl like you doing here?” he asked with a grin on his face.

“I am here to get to know you, if of course you have some spare time!” I said smiling back at him. We went outside on the porch, and started a conversation that made me have a new point of view on my ability to make a change in somebody’s life.

“Do you have any grandchildren?” I asked cautiously not knowing what to expect for a reply.

“Yes I do, I have a beautiful granddaughter.” He replied.

“That’s great! Do you see her often?” I asked getting excited, knowing he was not alone.

“No, she hasn’t come to see me since she started high school.” The old man said, his voice breaking.

We talked about his family some more, and then quickly changed the subject to a much lighter topic. I had stayed longer than usual, and needed to leave.

“Mr. Sheppard, it was an honor to meet you.” “I hope I will see you next week and then we can play some bingo, but we can’t get too wild now!” I said to him, only expecting a goodbye back.

“Goodbye darling, I really appreciate that you come here every Sunday.” “It is a very kind thing to do, and I know that it makes the day of many people here.” He said to me with a loving smile.

Hearing this I realized that I had made a change. I realized that just one hour a week can do something extraordinary. It can make the left behind and the deserted feel valued. It does not matter if they remember for the rest of their life, or for the next ten minutes; because somewhere in that time they were content with themselves. Whether it is at a nursing home, a school, or at home, I believe that a small act can make a big impact on a person’s life. I believe that taking your time to speak to a person can make them feel wanted, and cared for. And I believe if one does these things, they can make a change.