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July 11, 2020
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A Gift and a Gem

Published June 17, 2020

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We are all adjusting and struggling with the new realities the pandemic has brought to our lives. Seniors, being more vulnerable to the effects of the virus, have been the most isolated. Loneliness, fear, difficulty getting necessities, and missing family members are all part of the current challenges. At the same time, the lives of young people have been disrupted with loss of school friends, distance from grandparents and others, fears of the future, and loss of sports and activities.

Recognizing these realities, Heather Noblin, Madison’s assistant director of senior services, created the opportunity for seniors and young people to connect and share their experiences and support each other. I can’t begin to tell you how important and what a delight it has been to be connected to a young person at this time. To hear how they are creatively adjusting their days, planning for the future, asking about other times when we were their age, all are food and hope for the soul.

Life has slowed down for many and in that space is the opportunity to connect in important and profound ways to each other. We have so much to give and share with each other. I entered the program with the intent to support a young person in this difficult time. I discovered that I desperately needed the contact and vitality this new relationship provided. I will always look at this challenging time as having provided a gift and a gem.

My gratitude to Heather and those at the Senior Center for recognizing that in the midst of this challenge, perhaps there was an opportunity. The adage that “It takes a village to raise a child” feels more like “It takes a child to raise up a village.”

Steven Pynn
Madison