One particular evening I was feeling relaxed and content.  Snuggled in my recliner I thought to myself, I am doing really well.  Life is manageable and low in stress.

During my self-evaluation, the phone rang.  It was Richard, a friend of mine.  Richard called to let me know that he was not going to make his annual trip up from California for Christmas and would not be able to see his brother, Bruce.  He was concerned. about Bruce being alone for the holidays and asked if I could visit him.

Normally I pause and ask myself if I really care to add more stuff to my life, but this was a no-brainer and promptly I said yes.

How could I not.  Bruce and Richard had been there in my life and have helped me several times.  They have become close friends to me and my family. 

Bruce lives by himself and lately he has found it difficult to get out of his home without assistance.  I assured Richard that I would make an honest effort to visit or call Bruce often.

My plan was to see Bruce weekly and if I couldn’t see him, then I would call and assure him that I hadn’t forgotten about him.

For our first visit I picked up lunch for both of us and brought it back to his place.  We spent about an hour eating our lunch, watching TV, and talking about stuff. 

However, the second week I ended up totally forgetting about Bruce.  How I became aware of this was that same day I happened to be driving by his place.  My mom was in the car with me when a realization hit me smack in the face.  I let out a loud groan and slapped the steering wheel.

“I forgot!” I hollered.

Mom stared at me.  “What?”

I told her what I had done.  She then simply said, “Well stop, go in and say hi.  Tell him you’re sorry but you forgot.”

Okay, that seemed simple enough.  I did what my mom told me to do.  I think Bruce appreciated that.  At least I did stop by and say hi. 

I felt so bad that when I got home, I wrote “Bruce” on a sticky note and added it to my calendar to remind me weekly to call and set up a visit time.

My visits with Bruce are good.  Yes, I am busy and I think he knows that I’m busy, but I am not too busy for a weekly get-together with Bruce.

I plan to keep this up and I hope this breaks up some of the monotony in his day.

I can’t imagine what it must be like for a person to no longer be able to get out of one’s home and do things.  Being stuck in a house or apartment all day might cause a person to feel isolated.  I would venture to say that there are folks who don’t have a lot of family who see them often.  The loneliness and the feeling of being forgotten must be unbearable at times.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all invested in someone by giving them at least an hour of our time weekly? 

One hour out of your week is not going to make or break you.  But I will guarantee you that it will make a difference in their life.  Just knowing someone cares and that they are not forgotten will go a long way for them.  Anticipation of getting a weekly visit or phone call will give them something to look forward to.

So, I’m putting out the challenge to you.  Is there a family member, a friend, or maybe a neighbor who is alone?  Make a commitment.  Share some sunshine in this person’s life.  It doesn’t have to be a lunch or something special.  Just your time and presence are what these folks crave. 

Take up the challenge and make a difference in someone’s life.

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