Celebrating our seniors — and our seniors —  in 2020

While all of us have had to adapt to the challenges and restrictions imposed on us by this recent crisis, two of those whose lives have been most turned upside down are our seniors — both high school seniors and senior citizens.

Both groups deserve to be celebrated, and there are things we can do to let them know how special they are and how much we appreciate them.

For the Class of 2020, this is the year that they are in the spotlight, the year they come of age, graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives.

No doubt all the closures, cancellations and isolations have put a damper on that special time for them, but this is a group that will long be remembered for standing strong through difficult times, and for making the most of things during a time of sacrifice.

In Live Oak County, one woman suggested that since graduations may be impacted, the senior class of 2020 should be honored with a parade through their community. 

That sounds like a wonderful idea for communities in Refugio and San Patricio counties, too, and it keeps intact the necessities of social distancing.

Teachers in some school districts have already had similar parades to offer encouragement, hope and a sense of camaraderie to the students in their communities.

Parades could start in a certain location and go down a predetermined route that is special to our high school seniors. I’m not sure how difficult the logistics would be – probably easier in some communities than in others – but it would certainly be a memorable and uplifting way to honor those poised to graduate during these challenging times.

For our senior citizens, the sense of isolation has been one of the most difficult aspects of this challenge for many.

Senior centers normally offer a refuge for them, a place where they can gather together and talk, play games and enjoy the  company of other people.

With these facilities closed in order to protect people’s health and safety, it’s now more important than ever that we remind the seniors that we care about them.

A simple phone call can make a huge difference and brighten their lives. While we are all busy, taking a few minutes of our time (or a little longer) can help offer encouragement and a smile to someone who greatly needs it.

If even a cup of water to a thirsty person is a great blessing, a spiritual cup of water — some simple encouragement — surely would be greatly appreciated, too.

Here’s to our seniors! Both the Class of 2020 and the elder generation. Both offer incredible value to our communities.

Jeff Osborne is editor of the Refugio County Press and the News of San Patricio.

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