For Terry Meyers, what began with heartbreak ended with immeasurable joy.

After the passing of Terry’s husband, she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his clothes in a forgotten pile. So began Terry’s first introduction to GRACE, when she donated her late husband’s wardrobe to Donation Station. Despite the emotional experience, the compassion and warmth from the GRACE staff made a lasting impression on her.

As Terry learned more and more about the many ways GRACE serves the community, she was compelled to get involved. Since Terry was recently retired and had vibrant health and energy, the Friends & Family senior assistance program was an ideal fit.

Soon, Terry was a mentor to not one senior citizen through Friends & Family, but two. At 93-years old, Terry’s second senior, Catherine, is legally blind. The two women shared an instant connection. Terry visited at least once a week, sorting mail, tidying up the house, and taking Catherine on errands.

Recent events at Catherine’s home are nothing short of a miracle. Terry usually calls ahead when she visits Catherine every Monday, but this on this one particular week, Terry decided to come on Sunday instead. When she neared the house, she could hear a fire alarm blaring from inside, and rushed in to help. The house was filled with smoke that was so thick that she could barely see Catherine in the living room, who appeared to be in shock.

Immediately, Terry whisked Catherine to the yard for fresh air and put out the small fire over the stove. Her seemingly spontaneous decision to come over a day early can only be described as a “God thing,” says Terry, which undoubtedly saved Catherine’s life.

Catherine’s nurse, who—as it happened—also felt the need to drop over on a different day, found Catherine suffering from her unknown severe kidney infection. Terry and the nurse were able to call an ambulance for Catherine, who later made the courageous decision to accept assisted living due to health and safety concerns.

Terry was Catherine every step of the process. As Catherine walked from her room to the medical station, Terry could hear her counting eighteen, nineteen….twenty steps. Soon Terry realized that she was counting the steps from her room to the nurses’ station, just one glimpse of the tenacious, determined woman Terry has been privileged to call friend.

“To be honest, I know I’ve gotten more from this experience than anyone,” says Terry, “Catherine never ceases to amaze me. Although she is legally blind and faces health issues; she is remarkably sharp, determined, and has a great sense of humor. Before coming to GRACE, I prayed God would give me the right direction; I’m so thankful He led me here.”

Terry also volunteers with administrative tasks at GRACE, donating over 300

Terry (pictured second from the left) was recently a nominee for Outstanding Older American in 2015
Terry (pictured second from the left) was recently a nominee for Outstanding Older American in 2015

hours of service in a little over a year. If you have a heart for senior care, or would like to learn how to get more involved, the staff at GRACE is eager to find the perfect area to serve.

The next volunteer orientation is on June 3, and typically lasts an hour or less. Contact GRACE Volunteer Manager, Lara Hohweiler for details at lhohweiler@GRACEGrapevine.org.