Gardener's helper

Member First Name
| November, 30 2022 | for Karen-Gail Brandse, MD

A year and a half ago I asked a friend, a member of our local garden clulb, if she knew someone who would come and clean up my overgrown garden since I cannot do that anymore. The woman who came to do that greeted me at my door with "Oh my gawd you've got pink hair!" and I do have tints of pink . She never did get to do much in the garden because we spent a lot of time chatting and getting acquainted. Since that time she and I have become THE best of friends. She has a key to my house, a list of my medications, all the important phone numbers we hope she never needs, I leave the door unlocked when she is coming which is at least once a week. She has helped me in so many ways I can't count them and probably, right now at holiday time, she is helping me make most of the many wreaths and other decorations I plan to sell at the local holiday market. She keeps me informed of all local happenings and drives me to my errands and she makes me laugh. My life would be totally different without her. And the most special thing to happen took place yesterday. She is so wonderfully happy that finally, she is going to be a grandmother that her whole family (including the mom to be) have appointed me honory great grand mother since I am ninety one, the grandmother to be is sixty nine and the mother to be is thirty two. Its an honor I never expected and I'm pleased that Gena;s whole family loves me enough to want to do this. Is a friend important to a happy life? No doubt and if we didn't have any life would be sad and almost useless and almost pointless. Gena has helped me in my favorite activity, delivering food to others which makes us both feel wonderful and brings joy to many others. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life following the example set by my father and which I have instilled in my children . As a result of my volunteering I was hired to run a program organized to "rescue unused food" from hotels, restaurants, etc and deliver it to the many shelters in ny area. I had the job for twenty two years and thru it meet many people, several of which are now good friends, I attended many activities where food was collected and made met people who were interested in supporting the program. I had the fun of going into many commercial kitchens and meeting chefs and wait staff and there were several unrelated donations as a result of the interaction with those people. In that job I met ladies who moved out of the area but who stayed in touch and who eventually invited me to visit them in Beveraly Hills, Pasadena, and Long Beach in California. Two of these ladies moved to Washington state where I visited them in Seattle and Tacoma. And another who moved to Maryland and whose two children consider me their aunt. Each of these wonderful ladies have added love and friendship to my life and I consider myself lucky to have met t hem and that happened because I volunteered to deliver donated food to people in need. I strongly believe in volunteering and encourage everyone to do so. It adds a wonderful feeling to life. When an opportunity comes along to volunteer I hope people reading this will take advantage of it . It will get then out of the house and possibly lead to new friends and activities. VOLUNTEER whenever possible, you will never regret it. I recently hosted a party to celebrate turning ninety, at least eleven of my guests where people met thru my volunteer/job and who have included me in many of their own activities. How wonderful is that. And of course, this is being written on a computer which I use frequently and which very few of my friends have and are sure they could never learn to use. If they would try it they would enjoy it as I do, It is another way of keeping in touch with friends, especially considering New England winters when getting together becomes difficult. Anything that makes it possible, and easy, to keep in touch with friends is worth the effort. Finally, a questionm what would we do without friends.? I would say the best word in any language is FRIEND. Its important to make them and not wait for them to come to us. Gena is the exception, she is the most wonderful gift ever to arrive at my door. May we continue to share many years together.