There are more than 50% of seniors that have feelings of being lonely, or socially isolated. When this happens your physical and mental health are greatly affected. According to researchers on this subject, sharing, listening, and reading your stories will help to improve your physical and mental health.
When I was a kid, every Sunday we would go to my grandparents house. My grandfather was a a joker and a trickster and a great story teller. Sometimes he would tell the same story but it was always good.
One of my favourite stories was when he was a kid walking 3 miles to school and home again there was a painted pony by the name of Sugarcane. He would stop by and feed Sugarcane some tall grass, and sometimes if there were apples on the ground he would pick one up and feed it to the horse, then reach up and pet Sugarcane. This happened every school day, and on some weekends after his chores were done he would go to visit Sugarcane spending hours with the horse. After about a year or so of doing this my grandfather was approached by Sugarcane’s owner. The owner told my grandfather how he would see him talking, feeding, and petting the horse while he was working in the fields. He asked my grandfather if he would like to come by daily and get Sugarcane’s feed ready for the day and groom him. He would be paid 35 cents per week. My grandfather was thrilled, he ran home to tell his parents. After much thought his parents agreed that he could do this as long as his own chores at home were completed. Even on the days he was exhausted from going to school and doing his own chores, he still made time to go feed and brush Sugarcane. The farmer saw how dedicated my grandfather was to Sugarcane and a few months later he taught my grandfather how to ride the horse. The farmer and my grandfather became very close. A couple of years later the farmer asked my grandfather how much money he had. My grandfather proudly replied that he had saved the money that was given to him for looking after Sugarcane $436.80. Being impressed by this, the farmer gave my grandfather a raise of 15 cents insisting to my grandfather to make sure he saved that as well, my grandfather was very happy about this and said he would save it. About a year or so later the farmer had become ill, he talked with my grandfather and told him not to worry as Sugarcane would be well looked after. My grandfather was heartbroken as he loved the farmer and Sugarcane. He went home in tears letting his parents know what was happening, and that he would not only lose the farmer and his friendship but also Sugarcane. But still everyday he would visit the farmer and look after the horse. A few months later when my grandfather went to see the farmer, his wife told him that the farmer had died during the night. My grandfather raced to the barn and stayed with the horse for the rest of the day. Even after the funeral he would still go to see Sugarcane every day. About a month later before he could leave the house as his chores were not completed yet. He saw a rider on a horse coming to his house, he quickly ran to get his parents to find out what was going on. The rider was the farmer’s brother who my grandfather had only heard about, but had never met. The horse was the painted pony Sugarcane. My grandfather had been in the farmers’ will to inherit Sugarcane. The farmer’s brother handed my grandfather a piece of paper that said: ” Sugarcane is now yours as she will always be well looked after.”
Sugarcane stayed with my grandfather for many years until she died, and my grandfather always had that piece of paper from the farmer which he would show me with pride.
If any senior would like to share their stories email Colleen or call the office 250-547-8866
Whitevalley Resource Center would like to thank our sponsors, The United Way, and Interior Health.