A Summer Full of Service
Hello, blog-readers! It’s nice to meet you – my name is Jeanne and I am participating in the Spring into Service program at Queen of Peace this summer. I arrived on June 10 and will be staying until the end of September. I am a 21-year-old college graduate, which can only mean one thing: I have no idea what I am doing with my life. But I have learned that that’s okay. The Lord is my rock regardless of my knowledge (or, for that matter, my lack-thereof) of my life’s vocation, and that comfort is enough for me.
This summer I have been truly living a dream: my goal throughout the day is to make the elderly happy, which entails anything that brings them peace and joy. What a graceful blessing to have such a time of uninterrupted and unconditional service to others. I have the privilege to hear their life stories, both the good and the bad, and how those experiences brought them to where they are today. I get to share in their joy when we walk outside together and feel the warmth of the sun; while the grounds at Queen of Peace are certainly beautiful, nothing could stop me in that moment from staring in awe at the breathtaking smile that oftentimes graces the Residents’ faces outside. And in the moments when confusion plagues the mind of those who suffer from dementia or other memory impairments, I have been graced with the opportunity to enter into those quiet moments and bring peace to their mind and soul by simply holding their hand or singing softly with them.
While Spring into Service has given me the opportunity to act in ways that assist the elderly, I have also learned so much throughout the course of the past 2 months. By listening to their stories, I have heard snippets of their lives, enough for me to realize just how much happens to a person in 80+ years on this Earth and how the Lord has His hand in it all. Although the Residents here have come from different walks of life and have been involved in various occupations over the years ranging from nurses and teachers to athletes and secretaries, the Lord providentially ordained that each and every one of them would end up in the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor during their elder years. I have learned what a beautiful, diverse family resides at Queen of Peace Residence, and I witnessed how that familial atmosphere is fostered by the Sisters: the Residents sit outside with each other, perform activities together, and share each meal side by side in the dining room.
So I may be a “fresh into the real world” 21-year-old college graduate who doesn’t yet know the course of her life, but through the Spring into Service program, I have been able to recognize what a special vocation the Little Sisters of the Poor possess as they are charged with the care of God’s eldest children. While He waits for that blessed day when He shall enlighten me with the joy of my own vocation, He has gifted me with the opportunity to serve alongside these most caring, prayerful, and joyful Little Sisters. I will forever praise and thank the Lord for His overwhelming kindness towards me.