November 10, 2016
These past few days have been a significant time in our nation’s history, one that we have all anxiously awaited the end of for the past several months. The road to get here has been a long and arduous one, and I think we can all agree on one thing: this presidential race has been quite a historic one. However, now that the hype, excitement and at times even hysteria has died down, it is time to focus on caring for one another.
Although it is sometimes difficult to realize (especially recently) an election year should signify a time of unity. Yes, at times it may seem to evoke exactly the opposite, but being able to make our own decisions is one of those rare privileges we all share. The ability to make choices is one of the greatest aspects of being a citizen of this country, and in order to stand united we need to respect one another’s beliefs, even if we do not necessarily agree. No matter which ‘side’ you are on, this is not the time for discord. There is actually a way to see the good in all of this.
If there is one thing we all need in the coming months, it is to take care of one another. Fortunately, November is not just election month; it is also National Caregivers Appreciation Month. This very important occasion honors the efforts of tens of millions of Americans who selflessly give their time to care for others. These are the millions of compassionate people in our communities not only giving their time, but their heart each day in order to ensure others feel loved and who are cared for with dignity.
There are many types of caregivers amongst us. You may know the mothers and fathers who relentlessly support and encourage a child with special needs. Perhaps you are a son or daughter who provides later in life care to one or both parents. There are the spouses who have unexpectedly stepped into a caregiver role for a partner, or those individuals and families who lovingly looking in on an elderly neighbor or injured veteran. We cannot overlook those kind-hearted people who chose a career caring for others. Furthermore, it would be an injustice if I did not acknowledge the men and women who have serve this country valiantly, sacrifice their own well-being to protect us, keep our country safe, and preserve our way of life; not to mention, the many, many more that I have not mentioned. (Learn about more ways to help veterans here.)
One hundred and twenty-five years ago this past March Foreningen for Opforelse at et Dasnke Alderdomshjem i Chicago (‘The Society for the building of a Danish Old Peoples’ Home in Chicago) was founded by Emma Thorsen and eleven others. These forward-thinking women wanted to see a positive change in the care of elderly Danes in Chicago. Today The Danish Home of Chicago continues this long legacy of care and compassion for all, and I am proud to support such an establishment.
Learn more about how you can Honor the Spirit of 125 by attending one of these upcoming events or by entering the Danish Home’s Facebook contest. By submitting Scandinavian recipes, stories, photos, jokes, family traditions, etc. to the Danish Home’s Facebook page we can all share in celebrating our Scandinavian pride! Top winners will be posted on our website (DanishHomeofChicago.org) and will be eligible for prizes, including cash and event tickets!