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DEAR EDITOR:

It was in the early 1990s my grandmother, Marie, had begun attending Mercy Senior Care located on West Third Street. This was a special place for senior citizens to go and fellowship, participate in physical and mental activities. They served meals and administered basic clinical healthcare needs. I did not know this at the time my grandmother began attending this program, so I would periodically stop by just to check on her to make sure she was happy. In due season I found out she not only enjoyed going to Mercy Senior Care, but in her mind perhaps she thought she was in charge.

It seemed to be a very relaxed placed for the clients, I felt so a part that I soon became a volunteer as a motivational speaker. The good part about that is I could visit once a week or once a month, whatever was best for my schedule at the time. What I liked most about this program is that I could see it making a difference in my grandmother’s life. It’s amazing how learning a dance routine, playing bingo, working puzzles or hearing stories about famous people or characters in the Bible adds thoughts and value to people’s lives. Some of the clients at times would not participate in any of these things, but they observed, analyzed and gave their input. That was my grandmother sometimes. The bottom line is Mercy Senior Care enhanced and increased my grandmother’s life. There came a period of time in her life where for health reasons she no longer attended, but I know her time there had extended her life. She told me she was all ready to go see her Lord Jesus, family and friends. At the age of 90, she bid me farewell. I know I will see her again one sweet day.

It was a difficult time for me, my greatest help was my continued relationship with Mercy Senior Care. I knew other clients from my childhood and they were always glad to see me as well as those who I came to know. When Mercy Senior Center outgrew the West Third Street location and moved to the newly-renovated Chatillon address I moved with them. It was like family, and now my wife’s mother, one whom we affectionately call Nanny is now a client. She and others continued to make my visits most interesting. Add to that my wife worked there for a short period of time helping dislocated workers find new jobs. Several times I shared the story of my grandmother raising me with the “Grands who Care” group to encourage them and share the good life I had because of her.

Last year, I was asked and consented to serve on the local Mercy Senior Care Board. One day as I was leaving one of those meetings, I peeped in the room to just see some of the clients and realized I had been a part of the Mercy Senior Care Program for over two decades. Here and there, weekly, or once a month, sharing in different capacities, and yes, seeing many of my senior friends leave this earth. Most important is the fact that I have come to realize that I had not been nearly the encourager and motivator to the clients as they have been to me. When I have been speaking, some could finish my sentence or add words of wisdom to my thought. Or maybe I would begin a song, and we would become a melodious choir. It has been indeed an honor and privilege serving my senior citizens. I am blessed to be a part of the Mercy Senior Care family.

Consider this program for your loved one who has reached that senior status. And please consider making a contribution to one of the few organizations like this in the State of Georgia. Mercy Senior is a blessing to our community. Let’s keep it strong and vibrant. It might make a difference in your life one day. For more information contact Elizabeth Molina at 706-291-8496. Make a call and go visit this special place. I promise you will not leave the same as you came in. Our senior citizens still have so much to offer. They just need our support and encouragement.