Client Stories: Harold
Harold lives in a quiet little north end neighbourhood, where all the neighbours keep their grass cut and their driveways shovelled. However, cutting the grass is a job that can take a few days now depending on the heat and how his knees are holding up.
Harold’s not a big fan of the heat. He does a few turns around the yard, comes in the house for a break, then tackles a little more later on. Bit by bit he gets the job done. And he’s happy that he can still do it on his own.
Taking it all in Stride
He doesn’t like to go out much since his wife died a few years ago. At 88 years old, Harold is a retired WWII veteran of the Service Corps. He says he’s seen enough of the world with the army. Since then he’s stuck pretty close to home working as a dedicated Marshall Wells employee for his entire working career, doing just about everything from shipping to driving trucks for the hardware company.
Sitting in the cheery yellow-tiled kitchen, we talk about Harold’s favourite meals and the volunteers who come to his door every day. “My stomach is my religion,” he jokes, “it tells me what I can and can’t eat or drink.” But he’s not fussy, “In the army you learn to eat or go hungry!” Though he admits the meatballs and gravy are one of his favourites.
“The volunteers are very nice,” he says, “but I don’t like to take up too much of their time. I know they have many deliveries to make every day.”
Harold’s son Larry comes to see him regularly. His granddaughter makes sure he has extra food in the fridge and reminds him to keep track of the days on the calendar with big X’s. “You measure time differently at my age,” he says shrugging his shoulders a little.
He seems to take it all in stride, a man with patience for life’s ups and downs, and a quiet gratitude for the help that comes his way.
Harold is one of roughly 85 Winnipeg veterans who rely on Meals on Wheels for a hot meal. Veteran Affairs Canada also makes subsidies for hot meals available to eligible veterans in the city through their ‘Veterans Independence Program’.
For more information on the Veterans Independence Program, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website.
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