The Gems of Life: Lessons Learned from Redwood Drive

My mother has been retired for approximately eleven years now. She worked at the local hospital in her town for 32 years, starting as a nurse’s aide and working her way up to being a manager of the Radiology Department. She just mentioned to me how much she misses that environment and the satisfaction of helping patients recover from their traumas. We both agreed that she has helped hundreds of people throughout her hospital career. Reminding her of this fact makes her feel better.

The Challenges & Positives

I need to remind my mother these days because she is battling with dementia and the early stages of Alzheimer’s. She suffered a stroke ten years ago which left permanent neurological damage and cognitive impairment. She has never been the same, but she tries to maintain a sense of normalcy within her life that is a continuous challenge.

One of the positive outcomes from this tragedy has been our weekly walks that we take down Redwood Drive. My mom needs a walker to aid her balance, but she takes these jaunts almost every day which uplifts her spirits and gives her a sense of independence.

An Unexpected Teacher

During one of our most recent outings, we saw a young woman pushing her two small children in a stroller. We didn’t recognize them, but my mom waved her hand and they all waved back. The young woman then started to cross the street and walk toward us. As she approached, her two kids waved at us again. They were adorable. One of the children was a boy, about 6 years of age, and the other was a girl, approximately 3 years old.

The young mother exclaimed that every time we walked by the house, the kids waved to us from the bay window, unbeknownst to my mother and I. The young boy smiled, shaking his head in agreement. Apparently, our walks are a highlight of their day. Who knew that my mother and I were impacting these children’s lives just by taking a stroll down Redwood Drive? The image of those kids waving from the bay window without our realization is a great reminder for all of us.

The A-Ha Moment

The take-away lesson is this: You might not always be aware if someone is observing your actions. So be careful of your words and your deeds for they have an impact upon the people in your environment – positive or negative – depending upon the choices you make.

You never know who’s watching, listening, or noticing You – be mindful of your behavior.


The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company offering a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and Amare Global nutrition products. She lives in Massachusetts.