Something very special happened to me at this last makeover. I met Shirley. Shirley is kind and Shirley is smart. We actually wore matching shirts! It was so cute. Shirley allowed me to gain access into a deeper part of her, which she struggled to share. She tapped into my own heart and brought me to a very vulnerable place. She cried in front of me. During this particular meeting, my greatest fears were recognized. As I painted Shirley's nails and created small talk with her, my questions and her answers grew much bigger than we'd both expected.
Unassumingly, I had asked her about what she'd thought of the senior home. Lest I share some private details she shared with me in secrecy, she told me about her recent loss. She told me about how she had been feeling very lonely lately. Unlike most of the other women I've conversed with, Shirley was very open with me. She revealed to me many dark parts of her life. She even revealed to me her own age! (A sensitive topic among the ladies, totally understandable.) But before this gets too depressing, I should share about how this experience was actually not a sad one but a beautiful one.
Shirley's openness with me allowed me to see in a new perspective. Her situation reminded me of the fragility of life. I thought of how the women at this senior home must constantly be cognizant of the fact that life is not forever. However, how Shirley found such significance in the little beauties of life imparted unto me a spirit of vitality that made me forget how drab and dreary her situation might be. She was so excited over the fresh coat of pink nail polish I had just painted. It was then I realized how much I loved what I do. I, we, do things that are so much bigger and so much bolder. We inspire hope and we write stories. This is mine. Shirley is kind. Shirley is smart. And Shirley is important.
I can't wait to see her again. She told me she would look for me!
-Rachel K., GG chapter PR Officer in Queens