Today was a beautifully touching day. A local radio station, NJ 101.5, held a contest called Salute to Seniors. The premise was if you knew of a senior who has made a difference in their community you could nominate them to be recognized.
I decided to nominate my Mom for her dedication and compassion while volunteering and cooking at a soup kitchen in Jersey City and for her volunteer work at the local hospital community thrift store. To my surprise and delight, she was chosen along with some other extraordinary senior citizens!.
I was driving home from work one day when I heard them announce that Stella Pivano of Jackson would be one of the seniors that they would be saluting. I thought…could there be another nominee with the last name Pivano in town because my Mom’s name is Anna not Stella! I went to their website and to my surprise and delight saw the picture that I submitted of my Mom (not Stella)!
The station held a luncheon to honor the winners and we met some truly amazing people.
There were a few veterans there including a very nice 85 year old man who I believe was named Howard. He lost his wife to cancer after being married for 58 years. After she passed, he started volunteering with the same hospice organization that tended to his wife in her final days.
He also shared with us a touching story about a Korean War Veteran that he visited. He gave the veteran (who was in a nursing home suffering from dementia), an army pin which made the man so happy. The man passed shortly after that but at least Howard gave him that special moment. Howard and Mom got along well; they talked about WWII because my Dad was an army veteran stationed in the South Pacific. Howard enjoyed speaking with my Mom and kept kissing her hand. It was so sweet.
Some of the seniors included a woman who had a theater company that allowed children with autism and down syndrome to act out in productions. There was also another veteran who at 91 years of age volunteers regularly at the hospital.
We all got to go in the radio booth when they were on the air. My Mom was so excited; she was like a child on Christmas morning. As she put it, she never thought in her wildest dreams that she would ever get to visit a radio station! It made such an impact on her. Possibly because she grew up on radio; it was their entertainment at the time before TV.
My mom was very touched and appreciative that I nominated her. She said that she didn’t help others for recognition; she did it just to help others out of the goodness of here heart.
It was inspirational and heartwarming to be in the presence of such caring, unselfish seniors. I’m proud of my Mom and all of the others.