I don’t usually report on healthcare as it’s not my area of expertise. I suffer from believing just as much of the murky mythology surrounding it as anyone else. A Mission of Mercy is a classic in promoting the resilient community. In a way, the local volunteers aren’t delivering healthcare, they are delivering hope.
My reports more often describe the interesting places and quirky things you might see while touring Phoenix. I like to include adventures that fit the senior lifestyle or assist disabled tourists in some way. Let’s face it, we all want to see what’s out there. The more I thought about it though, A Mission of Mercy is, in fact, an interesting place…..er… places. It’s mobile, you see.
Dr. Seuss once called “The Waiting Place, a most useless place.” He had an entertaining way of describing this level of broken. In his book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, he described people
“Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.”
A Mission of Mercy volunteer chooses to wait not at all. They go. They serve. They deliver.
Sometimes it really pays to use a little of your leisure time as a local tourist. Arizona state parks are great places to visit although they might not be the first tourist venues selected. We just don’t travel to those amazing spots though, even within a short drive. Perhaps we think of “vacation” as a distant place. Unless, of course, the place happens to be on a visitor’s wish list while they are touring Arizona because it is a distant place.
I confess. I have a leisure time activity, a favorite hobby. I love to explore the unique, the quaint, the curious in my new hometown. Two absolutely delightful lunches at the University Club of Phoenix inspired me to share this captivating restaurant with my neighbors and literary friends here in the Valley of the Sun. Dining here reminds one of the Orient Express somehow, without the train, of course.
The recent popular film Sully was based on Capt. Sullenberger’s account of his ordeal, a memoir of the 2009 aircraft mishap known as the Miracle on the Hudson. His reason for writing it was truth. There was a threat that truth would be overcome by industrial propaganda. And, so his version has been preserved. This is only one good reason to write a memoir.
The stories told in oral tradition and memoirs were cultural adhesives long before the average person could read or write. Today we are fortunate to be able to capture our memoirs in various formats that can be preserved and interpreted easily. Various media can be used to preserve and protect the truth of our experiences and pass those truths along to the next generation. There is no need to be in a specific place at a specific time to absorb the memory, we can tune in from anywhere and at anytime. This ability is becoming ever more important as we are deluged with more data in the past 50 years than at any time in history. Yet, the raw data is ever less helpful to making decisions.
Full-time caregivers deserve a medal and may well qualify for sainthood (mostly) but not for benefits. If accepted workplace standards for health and welfare were applied, most would be due a vacation. They are for the most part unpaid, whether volunteers or not. Chances are pretty good that they won’t get that vacation.
We’ve discovered an emerging trend, an aging in place alternative to those elegant and expensive 55+ active adult resort style communities springing up across the country. Those are, of course, a uniquely capitalistic (sometimes nonprofit) approach to the changing needs of aging but active residents with adequate resources.
Would it surprise you to learn there are other approaches to the problem? We looked for alternatives to the notion that once of a certain age one must go somewhere else or be someone else. Instead of evacuating and leaving homes they have known for years, some seniors advocate for making local changes that will accommodate their needs as well as allow for continued healthy interaction with family, friends and resources. And some communities are listening.