We all know that giving service is a good thing to do. We think about it from time to time, and we generally stop to lend a hand when the need occurs right in front of us, but how many of us actually leave the house with the specific intent of going out to serve? I know I don't do it a whole lot, and I found Gale Sears' new book, "The Route," to be highly inspirational. It's the story of a woman who did this very thing - she left her house every single week to do some good as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Carol is an older woman who is looking for something just a little more in her life. She wants to feel of use even though she no longer has the demands on her time she did as a young woman, but at first, she's intimidated by her assignment. She must pick up the meals by a certain time so they can be delivered when the recipients need them, and one client in particular is very persnickety about her lunch. Carol meets people from all walks of life, from the very active to the homebound, from those who are still brimming with life to those who have practically given up. In each person, she finds something to love, and she learns something from each of them in return.
I have always felt an affinity for my elders, and "The Route" reminded me of just how important it is that we stay connected to members of every generation, even if we sometimes feel a little shy about reaching out to those older than us. Their stories and their strength can give us courage in facing our own trials, and I loved reading about Carol's experiences with the program and how she found those missing pieces of herself in those she served. I give a big round of applause to this touching novel.
(Published in 2009 by Walnut Springs Press.)