From what I remember from our first meeting, my Silver Club partner and I were very, quiet and awkward with one another. I was full of nerves and deathly afraid she wouldn’t like me and that we would have nothing to talk about. But little did I know that meeting with her week after week, I would gain such a wonderful and pleasant friendship with my member.
During our meetings, she and I would talk whilst doing art, discussing her childhood, teasing each other about the men in our lives (or ones we soon hoped would be!), my college life and the best part: we would sing together. Each week I went, I would find out something new about her she had never told me before and also remember the stories she recounted to me earlier. Our conversations were ones that were lively, full of laughter, and sometimes some silence too. Both of us developed a nice rhythm with one another, a comfortable rapport and silence in which both of us understood each other and became a part of our weekly interactions. With this, our friendship has grown, and I cannot be happier.
When I signed up for this class, I was extremely curious about dementia and how it affects somebody’s life. Since I’ve only had one experience with it in my family, I wondered what it would be like in the lives of others’. After working with my Silver Club partner and learning all that we have by taking this class, it is clear that some things never will be the same when dementia affects someone. Yet, I’ve realized that dementia brings out so much in a person in a different way.
On our last day, we had the exhibition of all of the Silver Club and Elderberry members’ artwork that we had completed during the semester. Looking back, I couldn’t have been more proud. The hard work and dedication our partners have put in to our weekly meetings throughout the entire semester were up on easels and were a sight to behold. I was so excited to take my Silver Club partner and show her the work we had created together displayed so nicely amongst all the work that was there. Everyone’s work looked fantastic and was definitely a great self-esteem boost for every member who saw his or her work in such a formal setting. Overall, I have to say it was a wonderful experience for everyone who attended.
I want to personally thank my Silver Club partner for all that she has been to me. She has become a great friend and I am so happy to have met her. I would also like to thank the Silver Club and Elderberry members and all the staff who helped us. Thank you so much for making this experience the best it can be. I know for sure that I would like to come back and I can’t wait till I do.
~Aditi, University of Michigan Student