5274 Scotts Valley Dr., #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 831-430-0616 www.VisitingAngels.com/CentralCoast 229 Reindollar Ave., Suite E Marina, CA 93933 831-392-0876
The Best Present Ever
How Do You Give the Gift of Time?
M any years ago, I sat down with one of our clients who was on hospice. He was dying, but he was able to enjoy his last days in the comfort of his home. And what a lovely home it was! When I went to visit him one day, I was amazed by this beautiful house with a view of the ocean, classic cars in the garage, and a personal movie theater. But when I complimented him, he shook his head. “I worked hard my whole life,” he told me. “And I have all these wonderful things, but none of this really matters in life. What really matters is the relationships you have. My greatest regret is that I never spent more time with my son.” Recently I was thinking about Christmas presents. My girls are grown and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to buy them for Christmas. Then I remembered what that man told me on his deathbed. The best gifts in life aren’t things you can order with two-day shipping and have wrapped under the tree; they’re the time we spend with our loved ones. The gift of time is the most precious thing we can give to those we love. I took this lesson to heart when planning presents for my girls, so I called them up and planned some time to spend one-on-one with each of them. I already got to enjoy some wonderful quality time with one of my daughters this year when she chose a spa day. Together, we went to this place in Carmel that doesn’t allow technology or talking. It was complete silence. Of course, we did lots of talking on the drive over, and then we enjoyed a day of massages and relaxing by the pool. The experience was great, but what made it more special was sharing those moments with my daughter.
Quality time doesn’t have to be a big trip or a spa day. We can have rich time with our loved ones by just making a point to be with them. When my grandmother was alive, we’d watch “It’s
a Wonderful Life” every year around the holidays. This was my grandmother’s favorite movie. We’d put it on and just sit to watch the movie together. We didn’t talk; we shared the experience. I know that time meant a lot to my grandmother, and I still cherish those memories. To this day, I make a point to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” at least once during the holidays and remember all the lovely times I shared with her. Companionship and the gift of time are necessary components to everyone’s life, especially for seniors who often have little interaction day to day with other people. One of the most important gifts that our Visiting Angels caregivers offer their clients is their time. Time to sit, talk, and listen to a client about what’s important in their life is just as valuable, or more so, than completing the daily tasks at hand. The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with our loved ones. If you’re still trying to find that perfect gift, I recommend giving the gift of your time instead. When we make time for someone, we show them how much we care. Happy holidays from all of us at Visiting Angels! We hope you have plenty of opportunities to spend time with the people you love.
Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
831-430-0616 | 1
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