A Reflection or Two


Holding an 85 year old woman’s hand, even if you don’t know her,
comforting a frightened child, being a provider that listens and
takes the time to know her/his patient, helping a dog, a cat, a
horse or other creature in need, assisting an elderly person in
crossing the street with respect and dignity, becoming a foster or
adoptive parent.

Really seeing a person in spite of their dementia, caring for
someone’s child while she visits an ailing loved one, taking
someone who cannot drive any longer to the symphony or a park
or out for lunch, listening and really hearing a complaint, a worry,
a fear.

Helping a family figure out how to find affordable housing,
shelter, food or clothing. Sharing resources so that families know
their options for residential care, financial assistance, care at
home. Raising money and organizing for a cause in which you
believe, seeing someone as a mentor or teacher, even with
advancing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Sitting with someone who is crying, grieving, in despair and
feeling okay about allowing that to happen. Helping someone see
their best self. Sitting in silence while someone pours their heart
out. Asking someone to tell you their story and offering to write it
down or record it.

Helping families organize their finances, or family homes they may
be leaving. Acknowledging the caregivers who work so hard on
behalf of our loved ones. Dancing with an elder, delivering a home
cooked meal to someone who is homebound or bringing a pet to
visit. Seeing someone, looking into their eyes, and connecting in
that place where no one is separate from anyone else. Doing any
of these things even when no one is looking.

On this last day of 2014, I stop doing, striving, thinking, planning
(at least for 5 minutes) - and give myself the luxury of gratitude. I
will simply say that if you are receiving this, it is because in some
small or large way, you have taught me something more about
kindness, compassion, and generosity. These are qualities I value
and aspire to - I am thankful to have them modeled for me in so
many ways, by so many people, day after day. I see your work in
the world and I honor you for it. And I am overwhelmed at the
pool of collective good you contribute. I bow to you and
appreciate the privilege of being part of this bighearted

If you can stop for a moment and appreciate yourself for your part
in this, that would be a very good thing, indeed. Brava!

Happy 2015 in all ways,


Marcy Baskin, CSA
Founder, ElderRoads
North Bay Managing Director, Senior Care Authority

415 302 2929