A Trip To Remember This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   If it were not for my cheerleading coach, I would not have had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Scituate Senior Center.

On Superbowl Sunday, ten cheerleaders and I brightened up the day of many elderly people by watching the Superbowl and eating dinner with them. After performing various routines, we socialized with the senior citizens.

Interacting with this 65-year difference age group was a fun and worthwhile experience. Spending time with these people was one of the best feelings I have ever had.

As we arrived in our eye-catching blue and white uniforms, a smile made its way to each and every face. Popcorn, chips, cookies, and drinks lined the room of this local center. To the sound of their hands clapping, we performed three award-winning dances and numerous cheers. A few of the women, having been high school cheerleaders (in years such as 1932), recognized some beats and rhythms of the cheers. A round of applause was given, for they adored our performance. Although their physical claps were quiet (only 30 people), it was very forceful in my mind. My heart had been touched by the happiness that our performance brought to them. The difficulty level in the dance, along with the energy we displayed, amazed the senior citizens.

About halfway through our encounter, I began to talk with Gertrude, an 85-year-old woman. She repeated how I was so "beautiful and sweet." My blonde hair had "grabbed her eyes and would not let go." For approximately one hour, we talked about everything from the Green Bay Packers to my boyfriend. Not one minute was silent, or boring. The way we listened to one another was interesting to witness. Looking straight in my eyes, she listened to every word I said. She gave me many words of wisdom and pieces of advice. The relationship that we developed in just one hour was amazing: I felt as if she were my grandmother or my best friend. It is ironic that after spending time with her and the other older people, how they force you to think about life. At the end of our meeting, Gertrude wrote down my name and phone number. I promised her that I would visit once a week to say hello. (I have already visited twice.)

After saying our good-byes, we shut the door and continued on with our lives. However, it did not end there. For the four hours I was at the center my mind was in a new, different world. I began thinking a lot and wondering what great life stories are behind the faces that were looking up to us. My heart was beating to a proud rhythm and a smile was glued on my face. Our experience had been beneficial to them, but most of all to us. After my coach's willingness to do a good deed, going to the senior center has led me to honor the words "Respect your elders." I now realize more than ever that they are the warmest and friendliest people living in our world. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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