AMERICAN CULTURE & EDUCATION REMEMBRANCE FOUNDATION

Voices & Votes of Silent Americans . . . .   

The thoughts of my learning to work a computer were intimidating. I did not feel that I wanted to learn something new at the age of 83. I refused the offer of a computer from my son and daughter-in-law, But one day she came in and said,"Here is your computer." So I felt obligated to try.

Now I am really enjoying it. I never liked to write letters, but now it is easy to type a short email to friends and family--even if it is just a line or two.

I also have fun playing games, such as Hearts, Spades and Canasta. This helps to keep my mind sharp and is very relaxing. As you can see, I still make mistakes, maybe one day I will learn how to correct them. There are many other interesting things to learn --- maybe someday!

Myrtle Mizera Orange.CA

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The reports showed that senior citizens in average have only 10 - 20 happy days (Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year , ..etc.) per year and they spend majority of day time by looking outside the window doing nothing . . . . ! 

There is a better way to enrich the daily life and make many more happy days (say 100+ days) for the senior citizens by helping them using Email.  

There is no more need to drive to the postal office, no more need to wait in the line and no postage needed. Senior citizens can read/send emails any time, day or night. One simple email can be broadcasted to many friends and relatives without cost. In turn, many replied emails with articles, photos, voices, . .etc. can be received over time. Imagine that a lonely and sick senior who would be very happy if he/she receives an email with photo from grandchildren out of town/state on a cold winter night. 

Your love and support can help making seniors happy . Please to join and pass the Newsletter to your friends and relatives. Every effort counts, our seniors could not wait too long ! Please contact ACER PROGRAM. 

.Thank You & God Bless

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July, 2002
Heartwarming

By Cabi

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or
twice, wait a minute, then drive away. 

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. 

So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. 

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. 

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. "Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated". "Oh, you're such a
good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. 

It's your turn now. Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to help others in need !!!

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