Many retirees whose nests have long been empty are finding
themselves the caretakers of those who cared for them as
chicks. Whether at home, or in a nursing home, many of these
loved ones can become frustrated with their loss of
independence and failing health. By the end of the day, the
caregiver's seemingly unappreciated struggle can cause them
to feel very alone.
Arlene Sikorski knows what this is like, having helped cared
for her own father through the debilitating stages of
dementia. In her book titled, Never too late: Stories of
faith hope and love, readers who have become all too frequent
visitors to nursing homes can find a glimmer of hope and lots
This small and unassuming book, with its hopeful title, packs
a punch with every chapter. Each short story that spans just
two to four pages elicits powerful emotions. Sikorski shares
the personal stories of the people she has encountered in her
years as an employee, volunteer and visitor to assisted
living communities. Some accounts are humorous while others
require a box of tissues.
Intermingled with the personal vignettes, she reflects on
God's love and considers what allows individuals to hold on
to their faith after witnessing tragedy after tragedy.
Sikorski never wanted to be so familiar with nursing homes.
Her involvement and resulting ministry to the elderly is a
situation that she came to "kicking and screaming," as she
puts it. Over time and through God's help, she has come to
see the infinite graces bestowed on the family and friends
who find themselves in this painful situation.
She writes, "Nursing homes are not beautiful places
But, I have been taught, by someone far wiser and more
compassionate than I am, that there is more love and life and
longing hidden underneath all the brokenness."
The "friends" in her stories have a lot to teach us. One of
the most important lessons is that it is never too late for
someone to surrender themselves to the arms of Jesus' mercy.
She has witnessed this firsthand in the residents who have
found Jesus in the last year or the last hour of their lives.
Like the assisted living communities described between the
covers, readers can visit this book for a couple pages or
several chapters again and again, visiting the precious souls
that still have so much love within them and so much love to