My book, The Route, is a fictionalized account of the years I spent delivering meals-on-wheels to a wonderful and wacky group of seniors. Sometimes the loaded food baskets were a bit heavy, many of the home situations were difficult, and some of the older folks were cranky, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. It taught me to value the lives of the seniors, and presented me with the opportunity to evaluate my own choices, and where I was headed on life's highway. It also taught me the great joy of service.
The Buddah instructed that to reach Nirvana (heaven) one had to become selfless and serve others. In fact, the word Nirvana means "the putting out of fire." The fire is the fire of selfishness.
It didn't seem possible that the simple act of dropping off a meal and chatting for five minutes at each stop would make a difference, but it did, especially in my life. The folks I served had made it through a myriad of life experiences and struggles, and most had come through with more resilience, compassion, and humility.
I grew to love Mary, with her down-to-earth sense of humor, Tom with his fascinating stories of growing up in China, and Bea with her quiet kindness. I even grew to love crusty ole Viola with her acerbic tongue and unreasonable demands. Service and love can accomplish amazing things.
I had a great time writing, The Route, because it gave me the opportunity to go back and remember all the wonderful characters and life changing lessons. It was also a way of saying thank you to the amazing older folks who let me share a part of their lives.