During my 8th grade school year, after months of begging my mom to homeschool me, my wishes were finally granted. I absolutely loved being out of the middle school “scene” and was so much happier focusing on my own studies and doing them at my own pace. Now I’m an extremely social person. I found that with being home I needed to find some sort of extracurricular activity to get me out socializing. I had volunteered before but not often because I was in school and at the time only 14.
Somehow (I’m totally blanking now), I was told about this great volunteer opportunity at my local hospital guild coffee shop and they were in desperate need of volunteers. The first day I went in to check it out, I had left with having paid my dues to join which gave me the honor of being their newest and youngest member to the team! I was only 14 and this was huge for me. I took over the Tuesday morning shift every week from 7 to 11 am. I worked with one other woman who only did the cooking. That left me with everything else! I was literally so excited to take on the role of, “waitress”. Slowly I had worked my way up to doing multiple mornings each week.
This was one the best opportunities I have been given and I have met some pretty incredible people. Till this very day I still joke that all my very best friends are in their now mid 80’s and 90’s. If I wanted to invite them all to my birthday party it would have to be held at an oxygen bar I would tell them, this gave them all great laughs!! The age difference hadn’t been a problem for me; I had never felt so accepted and a part of my community before. I had found my click and I couldn’t have been happier.
I never imagined myself having breakfast with the Red Hatters, the local EMT’s and the Doctors of my town. I also never imagined having 80 year old men fighting over who was my boyfriend, but every Tuesday morning that’s just what happened! So many laughs and great memories! During the years I had volunteered there, I had made a few very special friendships that I will forever remember and cherish close to my heart. It’s amazing how you can go from being a complete stranger with someone to then bonding over a cup of tea and in 2 hours feeling like you’ve known the person your whole life. The tough thing that I never took into consideration was that at some point all these lovely people that I have created memories with were either ill or would sooner or later pass away due to old age. This was tough for me and still is to this day. Cherish every moment you have with the people you care about in life. One day they’ll be gone and you’ll only have the memories of the times you both once shared together. I find myself reminiscing a lot back to these days lately; they always seem to put a smile on my face!