I’ve been volunteering with Hospice of the Valley for a few months now. My first experience is with a dementia patient with Alzheimer’s. I’ve never known anyone with dementia, and wasn’t sure what to expect, even with the training that I received before I started volunteering.
My experience has been well beyond any expectations. She is such a wonderful lady, and her family is pretty amazing too. They have been dealing with this awful disease for several years now, and all of the kids are pitching in where they can to help out. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and a true honor to be a part of it.
I got an unexpected call from their daughter-in-law a few of days ago, and picked it up right away with some concern. The call was nothing to do with my patient, but instead, an invitation to Easter dinner! She said that I’m a part of the family and that they wanted to invite me over to join them for the holiday.
I was awed and so incredibly honored. Here I am, a volunteer who visits once or twice a week. I don’t really do anything beyond spending time with and keeping an eye on my patient to make sure everything’s ok. It gives her husband and caregiver some time where he can get out of the house and run errands, so he’s appreciative, but to me, the few hours hardly seems like anything at all. And they invited me over with the entire family to join them for Easter dinner. Wow.
People, myself included, tend to place a lot of value in money. Money often dictates the value or worth of things. As a volunteer, I’m not paid and only spending my time to hopefully bring some comfort to my patient and her family: to help ease their burden of not only keeping her safe, but watching her slowly deteriorate.
What Money is
Money is the currency that we use to purchase things. We trade money for the items and services that we want, and that we need.
What Money is Not
True value is not derived by the cost of something, or by what someone is willing to pay, but in how things make us feel. It is not proof of worth, it is not esteem, it is not proof of success. It is money, which is used to barter for things and services.
As I build my new life, of course the income that I derive from work has some importance as I have bills to pay. However, what is the value of money for me? It’s no longer equal to my self-respect, my esteem and my belief in my success. It’s purely to purchase what I need or want.
The reward that I get from the work that I do helping others: priceless.