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There are people whom I have met that have changed me for the better. That have touched me in ways more beautiful and life-changing than I could have hoped for. My husband’s grandma June is one such person. From the moment I met her I was smitten. She was always smiling and very welcoming. She reminded me of Marjorie Hinckley and that might be why I took to her instantly. I felt from her that she loved her family and loved the gospel. I watched her and hoped that I could be that loving and that kind. I never heard an ill word escape her lips. My favorite memory of her was how she would talk to me about her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. I can hear it now as I type this. With a smile in her voice and her face lit up she would tell you something wonderful they had accomplished. Even if it was something as simple as how they learned how to walk. Several years ago dementia started to set in. When we bumped into her one day she had no idea who we were. She still greeted us with a smile and of course was sweet as pie. We walked away with sadness in our hearts. Grandma didn’t know we loved her. She didn’t know how much she meant to us and that was hard. Grandma now lives about 15 minutes from our house and doesn’t have very long to live. When I heard the hospital was sending her home to die I kind of felt mad that our poor bodies have to go through the dying process. Why after living a full life does one’s body shut down and then they are as if babies again, needing diaper changes and being hand fed? I was quickly going to get a greater understanding of why. Before I found out about grandma I had been praying for someone to help. Sadly that is not something I normally pray for but I felt compelled to on this particular day and I am changed forever from the answer that came. So when I heard that Grandma was so sick I immediately jumped on the opportunity to help. I offered to help with food and I brought Grandma her favorite red flowers in a red vase.  I was worried I wouldn’t get to see her before she passed so I went to the hospital before they sent her home. Seeing her excitement from the flowers will stick with me for a very long time. But while I was there I found out they were going to need some help once she got home. Most of the family who lives around here were going to be heading to a wedding. I thought my prayer was being answered by bringing flowers and food. What I was given instead was an opportunity to help Grandma. I got to see her a couple of times a day as we moved her from the bed to the couch. I got to help get her dressed. But more than any of that, I got to rub her leg and talk with her. I took it upon myself to see if I could get her to smile or talk to me even if it was just a simple response like yes. My whole day was better when I left her home. She probably doesn’t know who I am or what the little way I was able to help. I felt God’s spirit when I was with her. I could feel His love for her and I could feel His nearness. As I read in the scriptures this morning

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Mosiah 2:17

And all of a sudden I understood. Growing old allows us, the younger generation, to give back in some way.  Not just to the one we love, but by serving them we serve God. That must be why I felt so happy giving to Grandma. In my small little way I was serving God. Heavenly Father doesn’t ask us to move mountains for Him. He doesn’t even ask that we change the world. But He does ask that we give where we can when we can. Maybe it’s babysitting for a friend in need. Or just being a listening ear. We have all been blessed with gifts and talents and more ways to give back than we can fathom. Even in Grandma’s state she has taught me again. She has shown me the power of serving. I would not have learned this lesson had she not needed my help. So maybe growing old isn’t for the weak in heart, but I now see the blessings that can come to those who get to love them and serve them. It’s actually much more glorious a thing than I could have previously seen. – SUSAN

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