91 year old Volunteer!

by Joebaby on September 7, 2009

I gave Mac, my former father-in-law, a call the other day. We’ve only talked a few times since his daughter and I split up almost a decade ago. He lost his wife of 50 years this June, and I was checking in to say hello.

He’s 91 years old and talks slow. Something in the way he talks, it doesn’t bother me how long he takes. He lives in Boston and still drives.

We talked about a number of things; his grandson/my son, the weather, what we’ve each been up to. I was ready to ask how he was doing, missing his wife, but waited to see if he brought it up first.

In true Mac style, he shared his sadness with an openness that brought my heart straight into my throat. He spoke a bit, then shared that it was time for him to get back into his life and re-start the singing program he was doing before she got sick.

“Do they have a choir at the home?” I asked, imagining a half circle of elderly folks with walkers and wheelchairs next to a piano, following the lead of some recreational director half their age. He lives in an elderly assisted center.

“No, I mean get back to my volunteer work.”

“You volunteer?”, I said with astonishment.

“I run a singing program for people with disabilities. I stopped doing it and its time for me to get it started again. Do you know what song I start the class with? “Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day…

He’s singing to me, over the phone, across the many years since I’ve seen him. Age has got nothing on him. I’m giggling and crying at the same time.

I learned that he drives across town to some center to give singing lessons to those less fortunate than him.

Less fortunate than him. 91 years old, just lost his wife of 50 years, volunteering to assist others.

I started feeling less fortunate than him, until I remembered how fortunate I am to know him.

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