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  • Writer's pictureFrank Finamore

From Frank ... | Feb 5

One of the most life changing insights came to me while caring for my Aunt Catherine, who lived many years with Alzheimer’s. Somehow I realized, despite my incredible sadness that the person I once knew was slipping away from me, that I could focus on the loss of the person that I knew so well, or I could celebrate the aunt (and friend) that was there before me. I decided to choose the latter.

When she was still mobile, we had a standing engagement every Thursday night to go out for dinner. While waiting for our food to arrive, we’d usually play cards. For whatever reason, when we’d play Go Fish, she’d always ask me for an eight. I thought I’d gotten smarter by saying, “It’s your turn, Aunt Catherine, so ask me any card that you might want, except don’t ask me for an eight.” Inevitably, she’d quickly respond, “OK, do you have any eights?” and then we’d start laughing. She laughed because I laughed and then it was contagious. The server would arrive and we’d both have tears streaming down our faces. She couldn’t play the game, but we had immense fun and I have memories of those Thursday nights that I treasure.

Members Can Also be Village Volunteers

She said, “I can’t drive so I can’t volunteer.” Of course, I was quick to point out that we have lots of volunteer opportunities that don’t involve driving.

This week especially I’ve thought about that lesson of focusing on what one can do. I was speaking with a prospective member and asked if she’d like to volunteer. She said, “I can’t drive so I can’t volunteer.” Of course, I was quick to point out that we have lots of volunteer opportunities that don’t involve driving. In fact, I think we have a volunteer role for just about anyone! There’s calling other members each month just to check in, sending birthday cards, writing articles for our newsletter, organizing activities that others might find interesting, or helping to plan volunteer appreciation events. Of course, there’s no requirement to volunteer, but if you’re at all interested, know that we can think creatively about what might work for you by focusing on what you can do and what you’d find meaningful.

I’d also like to call your attention to an important fire prevention presentation that we held this past week, which was recorded and is available for you to view. You can check out our blog post here. Most importantly, if you need a new smoke alarm installed, you can call the DC Fire Prevention Division at 202-727-1614. I am told that the department has plenty of smoke alarms, so if you’ve delayed putting in new batteries during the pandemic, please call the DC Fire Prevention Division and ask them to replace your smoke alarms for free!

The fire safety presentation was part of the 13 Village’s collaborative effort called Wellness Wednesday! Next week, on February 10 at 1pm, The Greater Brookland Intergenerational Village (love the name, by the way) will sponsor “Declutter Your Life.” To register for this informative session, click here.

I hope it’s apparent that all of the Villages are working hard to share information on programs that are available across the city, regardless of which Village someone might belong. This week we’ve included several highlights from the Waterfront Village including walking tours of DC. When the weather cooperates, this is a great outdoor activity.

Finally, if anyone needs assistance to obtain a vaccine appointment, please reach out to me personally at We definitely want anyone that desires to get a vaccine to be able to do so and we’re more than happy to assist in that effort.

P.S. – Punxsutawney Phil apparently saw his shadow last week, predicting 6 more weeks of winter!


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