A Story by Volunteer Transportation Driver Joyce Foy:
Volunteer driving for Senior Services has been quite an experience, and one ride in particular will stay with me forever. I picked up Eloise in Kirkland and drove her to her scheduled doctor's appointment. On the way home, she asked if we could stop at a new French bakery in town. I hadn’t had the best day so far, my to-do list was a mile long, and my first thought was that I simply didn't have the time. But then I decided that the bakery was only a couple miles south of the way – how long could it take?
When we arrived at the bakery, I parked the car and helped Eloise into the store with her walker. Instead of getting something to go, as I had assumed she would, she ordered a French pastry and coffee and offered to buy me whatever I wanted.
Uh oh, this wasn’t going to be a real quick stop. I began to mentally reschedule my plans for the day.
The bakery was packed and all the seats were taken. Even though Eloise was using a walker, no one volunteered a seat. Wondering how she could eat balancing French pastry, coffee and a walker, we decided to go outside where there were some chairs set up on the sidewalk. We scooted our chairs up to a retaining wall, which became our makeshift table.
Eloise was amazing. She was so appreciative of everything. It was a sunny, but cold day. Eloise saw the sunshine. She remarked at how exciting it was to see the birds close by eating the crumbs that others had left and the flowers that were so pretty, the delicious pastry, and the great coffee. She never mentioned the goose bumps we were both experiencing from the chilly temperature or the fact that no one offered her a seat inside.
We sat, talked, and enjoyed each other’s company. My to-do list wouldn’t get done, but it didn’t seem to matter much now. Eloise was so happy just to be out and doing something new. I was really enjoying getting to know her, and feeling quite blessed to be in the company of someone so positive.
At last, it was time to go. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said: “I can’t thank you enough. This meant the world to me. Tomorrow is my 92nd birthday and this is my birthday celebration.”