When it comes to helping parents age well, my friend Monique is one of the best daughters I know. While its contents can be priceless, turning Monique’s Valentine idea into a reality takes as little or as much time as we want to spend. It’s handmade (a card or small booklet) with as many pages as we wish. What’s inside, is the key.
A poem, a saying, a quote, a photo, a shared memory, a note fill the page(s). No artistic talent necessary to write or glue these onto a piece of paper. Example–a photo of a treasured, shared time together with simply, “I Love You.” One piece of paper folded in half makes the card.
Monique sent this kind of “card”–with some meaningful photos, a little saying and some heartfelt words–to her far-away-living mother a few years ago. Her mother said “it made her cry.” No doubt tears of joy for having such a considerate, loving daughter. And possibly tears of sadness because her daughter lives so far away.
When adult children and grandchildren make the effort to send something special, thoughtful and loving on Valentine’s Day, aren’t they filling aging parents and grandparents with feelings of love, thus lifting their spirits?
Connections to others are important in helping people age well. It’s proven; we realize that. We also know many older people enjoy the old-fashioned excitement of seeing there’s something from someone they know– in the mail box. Isn’t sending a Valentine a perfect connection?
Seeing in writing that someone loves and truly cares about us is as meaningful to our elders as it is to us. Perhaps even more so, the older they are–when connections with others are fewer and opportunities for caring, loving words and shared memories are in short supply. The Valentine fills this void–whether we handcraft or buy it–adding anticipation and a bit of excitement when found sitting in the mail box.
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Getting A Head Start of Valentine’s Day–1 (with Monique’s unique Valentine)
Valentine Poems from the internet (scroll down for “mother” etc.)
Hearts on the card photo above come from an inexpensive hanging decoration sold at Michaels Crafts, cut to desired size, then glued onto sturdy paper.
Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.