The Bright Lights

Members | December 16, 2020 | by Carol Silver Elliott

Carol Silver Elliott, chair of the LeadingAge board of directors, reflects on the bright spots in 2020.

The Bright Lights             

There’s no denying that it’s the holiday season. Even with the “COVID damper” on holiday spirits and holiday events, I drive home from work enjoying the Christmas lights and my menorah is ready for the Chanukah candles that it will hold for eight nights. What better year for us to focus on light? Truly 2020 has been a year that felt, at times, terribly dark. We were in the dark about this virus, in the dark about how to help our elders, in the dark about where to get the supplies and help that we needed. We found ways to push back that darkness, both for our own organizations and for each other, but it certainly has not been easy and the effort has taken incredible strength and energy, and dedication.

This week we watched as a 90-year-old woman in Great Britain became the first person to be vaccinated. Two days later I learned that my dear friends and colleagues in Montreal were beginning to administer vaccines. My organization has been told by the pharmacy provider we chose that we will have our vaccine clinics before December is over. When I heard that news, my eyes filled with tears. The thought of living without this ever-present anxiety, the thought of giving our elders a chance to live their lives more fully, the hope that we could all “get our lives back” is almost overwhelming.

We have learned so much this year. We’ve learned about ourselves and what we are capable of achieving. We’ve found courage and fight that we didn’t even know we had. We’ve held our teams together, healed our elders, communicated with families, and moved both literal and figurative mountains to do what needed to be done. We’ve pushed through this tunnel of darkness even when we couldn’t see light, even when we didn’t know how there could or would be any light at the end.

In truth, we have had to make our own light. Now there is light for all of us ahead.

May this holiday season’s light carry forward the light we have created and see it build brighter and light the lives of our elders, our staff, our families, and one another.