This special edition blog post is written by our Executive Director, Chrysti R. Britt. Check out her last blog post about being present here

Shortly before my 13th birthday, my mom rushed me and my sister into the car to go to school. It was the same ride that we had taken every day for years. As we rounded a bend on the north side of Standley Lake, little did I know that this ride would change my life forever. The wintery Colorado weather had covered the two-lane road in black ice, which went undetected until the car did not round the bend like normal. I only remember flashes of that day. When I woke up in the hospital, I learned that the front passenger seat where I had been sitting had slammed directly into a rather large tree after we plunged into a ditch. The most severe injury of the accident was my fractured right pelvis. We all went home from the hospital later that day, and after a few days of rest, I was wound up and ready to go!

At 12 years old, I thought a fractured pelvis only meant being careful while going about my life like normal. My doctor had different instructions—I was to use my crutches for everything. I was supposed to rest and keep weight off of my entire hip and leg for eight weeks. Yeah right! Despite my mom’s constant reminders, my hip hardly bothered me so I would “forget” to use my crutches. I healed up just fine and went on with my life.

Fast forward 20 years and I wake up on cold winter mornings to my right pelvis aching in a way it never did as a teenager. For the first few years I brushed it off since it didn’t last long and was only occasionally bothersome. Then it started to progress. The next level was severe pain every cold morning. At times it would completely lock up with an unsoothable ache. The arthritis had finally set in from a childhood injury that I did not allow to properly heal. It’s a reminder for the rest of my life that I should have used those crutches (or as my mom jokes, “A reminder that you should have listened to your mother better!”).

Despite our best efforts to age gracefully, some things simply can’t be changed! If I knew then what I know now, would it have made a difference? Probably not. Although I do what I need to now to take care of the old injury, I cannot reverse the effects. I know that it will continue to degenerate as time goes on.

This is why quality of life services are so critical to our community. No one is immune to the effects of aging. There are certain tasks that will become difficult, if not impossible, as we grow older. These limitations can be a result of our age, our environment, our medications or a decades-old injury. But they shouldn’t restrict you from being able to enjoy your life to the fullest, even if we need a little help to make that happen.

For me, I rely on the shoulder of one of my kids when having a difficult time walking in the cold. For our senior clients, they may have to rely on a friendly visit from a Fix-It volunteer to change that flickering light bulb in the ceiling. They may rely on a cadre of dedicated volunteers to have personalized groceries delivered right into their kitchen cabinets by a smiling Carry-Out Caravan driver. Whatever the situation, Cultivate volunteers provide that little bit of extra support that our senior neighbors need to make the most out of life. We would be honored to have you join us by helping to provide that little bit of extra that makes a whole lot of difference!