23rd Feb 2023
This blog post is part of our “We Are CPLC” series of letters from CPLC staff. We hope you are inspired by these stories of our community by our familia. When you donate to CPLC, you directly support their work.
Though every stage of life carries its own beauty, nearing the end of life can be scary or overwhelming.
For some, you retire from working. Your energy levels decrease. And eventually, you start depending on others for your basic needs.
But I work with mayores who have shown me a different story.
My name is Esmeralda Herrera, and I’m the Wellness Coordinator at Casa de Primavera, one of our Healthy Aging facilities where we serve seniors in our community.
During my time working here, I’ve found they are some of the happiest, most cheerful people I’ve met. I think they even have a lot more fun than me, because they turn everything into a celebration.
And after working with them for a while, I’ve learned why they're always so happy—it's because they’re grateful for every second they have left on this Earth. They treasure the value of time.
Sometimes, I come into work thinking I'm having a terrible morning, only to be corrected.
“No,” they tell me. “It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. You have to take life by the horns.”
One of the mayores told me about how she was kidnapped as a teen. It was one of the worst times of her life. She also lost multiple of her kids at a young age.
How do you come back from something like that?
And yet, she seems so happy whenever she is at the Center.
Her depression is the reason she spends so much time here, playing lotería and dancing Zumba—because she prefers enjoying the moment to staying at home and succumbing to those feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Working with seniors changed my outlook on life.
I’ve come to understand why it’s important to see the positive side of things—and more importantly, to slow down.
When I ask them what advice they would give their younger selves, I often hear them say it would be to not grow up too quickly. Life is short—but there’s time for everything. So why not enjoy the moment while it lasts?
Growing old doesn’t have to be scary. It can be exciting, liberating, and fun.
That’s what the mayores at Casa de Primavera have taught me.
Click this link to see our seniors for yourself—you might be surprised by what they can teach you.
Wellness Coordinator, Casa de Primavera