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An act of cowardice | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I, like so many of you, have a parent in a local retirement/assisted living facility. The facility is a wonderful place filled with delightful residents, all of whom have ways of becoming an extended member of your family. They are a generation most have forgotten, but trust me, this generation should never be forgotten. They are the generation that made this country and we owe them so much — most of all we owe them our thanks and respect.
With this being said, the facility my mother is residing in has, for lack of a better word, a shack behind their residents’ building. This is an area where the residents can go to just get some fresh air and visit. They have cats they take care of, as well as pigeons who come to visit. For some, this is their enjoyment — nobody has the right to violate their space without being invited, or remove anything from their space without their permission.
To make a somewhat long story short, I thought there needed to be some flowers outside this shack to bring it to life. I decided that I would get some plants for them. I went to Fred Meyer, got some large potted plants, complete with plant stands, shepherds hooks and watering can. At one time there were six plants in front of the shack for them to take care of. They loved doing it and it made them feel good about what they were doing and about themselves. It gave them purpose.
One day I noticed that one plant was missing, then another and slowly over several weeks all the plants, and the stands, had disappeared. To clarify — these people use walkers, canes, wheelchairs, etc., so they aren’t able to cart off a potted plant.
We have decided that someone saw the plants, decided they either needed them for their yards or just took them and dumped them along the road someplace. To say these people are sad and disappointed is an understatement. These were items they nurtured and cared for, watched grow, and for one resident was a colorful collage he watched grow as he sat in his wheelchair and looked out his window each day.
This has made me angry and I began to wonder, what has our community turned into? Why do we feel it necessary to destroy and/or take something belonging to someone else? In this case, something of beauty that brought so much pleasure to those who have so little. What and who gives us the right to go onto someone else’s property and bring such sadness to people we don’t even know … all in the name of “I am bored and have nothing else to do” or “The world owes me something so I will do something to these people — don’t know them, don’t care?”
There is no answer to this question. I have become very disheartened to some degree and I really question what our once caring little community has become? Have we all grown so into ourselves that what values we grew up with and taught our kids have all gone by the wayside? What possible enjoyment could anyone get out of taking plants that made some senior citizens smile and that filled their days with joy?
I will continue to provide items of color for “my extended family members” to enjoy, hoping that the thieves have moved on to yet another senior living facility. It is my hope that some of you will do the same for your family members who live in one of these facilities, you will get so much in return. As for the person or persons responsible for the theft at our location, I just don’t understand why you did this and I doubt I ever will. The question I pose to you, the thieves, is why?