Active Aging

A Sense of Awe and Belonging

by Mark Taylor

Months ago, I was invited to visit the new Senior Center and make any recommendations I had for the layout and handicapped access to the building and its surroundings.

At the time, I was introduced to a few of the committed members of the Senior Center and impressed with the amount of work they were doing to Stockbridge’s old Fire Barn. I was then invited to stay and observe the Board of Directors’ meeting. To make a long story short, I walked out of that meeting as the elected Board secretary. I can’t explain how that happened, only that I saw a need for assisting with the overall Senior Center plan and development, and something inside me wanted to be a part of it.

I don’t know the exact age you need to attain to be declared a senior citizen. I suspect my children thought I joined that crowd twenty years ago, and my hair color certainly qualifies for me for this special group. I call it a “special group” because of the feeling I get when I have the opportunity to be with them.

I am in awe of this group. These are the citizens (along with their ancestors) who helped build and stabilize this community. Thanks to them, the community has schools and other services so we can raise our families in this area. This is the group that has sacrificed so much of their time and talent to benefit the rest of us. Their efforts in the service of our country, our state, our town and their families cannot be measured. It is impossible to comprehend the sacrifices they have made on our behalf, and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to personally thank Stockbridge area seniors for their efforts over the years.

Our family has now been in Stockbridge for 30-plus years. We know a lot of you, and many others we would like to get to know. We were welcomed into this community with open arms and felt at home immediately. Even though I was working outside this community, I felt a calm about having my family here as they would be protected and taken care of. Stockbridge is a community not without its challenges, but one with stable roots and the ability to confront whatever the future might bring.

We owe our senior citizens who have built such a strong foundation in the Stockbridge area.

When I’m at the Stockbridge Area Senior Center, I feel like I belong. Smiles and greetings abound, and these encourage conversation and, yes, even a few pranks being played on one another! Old stories are relived and people want to know how you are doing and what they can do to help.

I feel like I belong, in a small way, to this special group of our citizens, and I would like to invite others who are interested or curious to stop by and say, “Hello.” I am confident that, when you get ready to leave, you, too, will leave in awe of all the special citizens you had the privilege to meet.

If you look close enough, one way or another you will find opportunities to join in and assist with the growth of this organization. I wish for you the same sense of belonging that I have experienced.

Mark Taylor is secretary of the Stockbridge Area Senior Center (SASC), a great place to spend time. Visit or call 517-480-0353 for information.

Stockbridge-area seniors helped build and stabilize this community. Now they get to focus on fun with activities like this recent Harmonica Class held at the Senior Center. Photo credit: Dana Blaszkowski

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