Story Submitted by Audrey

Miss Shirley

You never know where you will make a new friend.  That is exactly what happened to me when I met Miss Shirley.  My church organized volunteering opportunities at a memory care facility.  It was nice and I liked volunteering, but when I met Miss Shirley, everything changed.  Miss Shirley was an elderly resident at the facility.  She was a petite woman, with blonde hair, and a kind smile – she was just lovely.

Each time I would visit, I would learn more about Miss Shirley’s life. Miss Shirley would tell me stories of when she was younger and we would do crafts together.  I even got to meet her family, there were all so nice. Miss Shirley always said I reminded her of her own daughter.  She would put her hand on my face and tell me that I was beautiful – it made me feel so special.

In the past I’d only had friends my own age. Some people might think it’s weird to be friends with a senior citizen, but it truly wasn’t. We had so much fun together and had such a special bond. When I was with her age was the last thing on my mind.

When we volunteered for the facility’s Halloween Party, I asked one of the staff if they could bring Miss Shirley down. She took me aside and let me know Miss Shirley had passed away. I was shocked, I simply couldn’t believe that she was gone, I’d just seen her! I’d never lost a friend and my heart was absolutely broken. I closed my eyes and tried to picture us together. Memories of us laughing and chatting flooded through my mind, and it brought me some comfort to remember so many happy moments. It was at that point that I realized what a wonderful lesson I learned through my friendship with Miss Shirley.  If you open your heart and your mind, you can meet friends in the most unpredictable places.