My Mom, the Volunteer

When I was little my mom volunteered at the school. She did those ears and eyes tests they used to have back then. “You won’t believe how dirty some of the kids’ ears are!”

Her being at my school always embarrassed me. I’m not sure why, but I remember being lined up and walking through the halls to go to the library or lunch or something and my friend ribbing me. “Cammie, there’s your mom!”

I ignored her, turned my head the opposite way while looking out of the corner of my eye at my mom in her dress and high heels frantically waving to get my attention.

She was always up for helping whether it be Brownies when I was a kid or in her later years whenever there was something going on at her senior apartment. She didn’t let an opportunity to provide service as well as commune with others.

In her Bible I found the following verse underlined:
“Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble and prayerful always. When God’s children are in need, you be the one to help them out.” Romans 12:12-13

I recently started volunteering in the spirit of my mom. I work at the Women’s Center of my local hospital greeting patients and showing them to the dressing room where they will shed their clothes for a thin hospital gown. I make sure they’re warm enough as they wait for their tests by providing a nice warm robe.

After my first training day, the volunteer I was working with led me down to the cafeteria where a group of volunteers were eating lunch. (Free food to volunteers, Yay!) I got my sandwich and hesitantly sat with the group. This was out of my comfort zone, sitting with a bunch of strangers.

I was introduced to everyone, knowing I would never remember their names. “I like the community of being with others,” my trainer told me.

That comment was so like my mom! I forced myself to sit there listening to the banter and discussing things like one woman’s new InstaPot. Even though my whole career had been in customer service and acting as a liaison between my company and clients required me to banter about things with folks, I just lost that skill somehow during my time of depression and illness.

I was the first to leave with my bag of Sunchips, “Don’t run off now,” my trainer pleaded. So I sat for awhile longer then made my exit. Next time I will stay longer.

My new schedule has me working till 4pm and the dining room is closed when I get off. Part of the reason I am volunteering is to have communication with others, so I am not so alone during the day. Yes, I communicate for a short time with patients, but comradery is so important to a person as isolated as me.

My mom was a mall walker. After she completed her rounds she would sit in the food court with a soda and talk with people. She got to know them. They became a part of her life.  So I am thinking that I could go early to my 12:30 volunteer shift and have my lunch with the group. I will push through this thing that is out of my comfort zone and talk to these strangers until they become my friends.
That’s what my mom would do.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20

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