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Myra Adamthwaite, a PATB member since June 2006, passed away on July 15 last year. A retired physician who lived and practiced in Phoenixville, Myra has been described by one of our members, Lucille, as having “an appetite for life." It clearly illustrates how Time Banks can make a real difference in the quality of life for members, especially elders and others who may need assistance for a myriad of disabling conditions. When Myra was in good health and able to drive, she gave rides to Time Bank members for medical and other appointments, as well as shopping trips and other errands. She also helped with Time Bank community activities and special projects like the art auction. In later years, despite her breathing problems and transitioning to use of a wheelchair, Myra managed to be present at a variety of Time Bank gatherings. With assistance from the Time Bank, Myra was able to live in her own home until she entered hospice in July. Ruth, Jeff, Doreen, Laura and Lael helped with chores and home maintenance. Pam and Sylvia were involved in housekeeping. John and Carla helped with yard work and care for Myra’s cat, as did Krishna. Steve helped with home upkeep and yard work. Greg came to take care of technology, computer work. Almost everyone helped with keeping those vital social connections going, providing much-needed companionship and conversation. Sue was a special “angel” who gave over 600 TB hours of her time to Myra’s care and support as her illness progressed. She assisted Myra’s exploration of alternative arrangements for housing and health care as she aged and became more incapacitated. Sue was a companion to Myra, and she drove her all over the countryside. Sue said, “Myra really helped me learn my way around this new area.” Sue would call to check in and see if Myra was doing all right. She helped her at the end by taking her to the hospital, visiting her there and assisting Myra to get the care she needed. Sue summed it up so well when she stated, “Myra had a better quality of life because of the Phoenixville Area Time Bank." - Phoenixville Area Time Bank, Pennsylvania http://patb.timebanks.org/ . #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days
Reflection by Edgar Cahn
On this day, we celebrate the quality of life that a retired physician, Myra Adamthwaite, had because of the Phoenixville Area Time Bank. We do not know for how many patients over how many years Dr. Myra provided care. We do know that age related disability did not stop her giving through the TimeBank and that she, in accepting care, gave purpose and meaning to the lives of others. In providing rides, shopping trips, errands, she gave. And a reciprocal web of caring tended to her house, her yard, her cat, her computer enabling her to remain in her home connected with her community. And that connectedness continued to her every last day in hospice. Her memory and the connectivity she inspired remain a light and a beacon. Just perhaps, at this moment, it seems fitting to see her passing embraced by the love of others in the worlds of Kahlil Gibran:
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”
By this tribute, may Myra truly sing, climb, and dance.