Part II of the story of George Coffey.
By ROBERT LACOSTA
What do you do in your hundredth year?
For one, George Coffey blooms where he is planted at Atria Delmar Place in Delmar. Just call him “a senior to seniors.” Coffey encourages many of the residents at lunch and in the hallways and as the president of their Resident’s Council.
“I leave my life to The Lord,” he says. “I say to God, ‘Show me where to go, how to think and what to do.’
His comforting words include counsel for many of the residents who have legitimate concerns about health problems.
“I tell them that you can’t jump from one doctor to doctor and rely on pills to take care of all of your ills. You have to handle prospective problems sensibly and the way to do that is by relying on God – and most people just don’t do that.”
He speaks of what he knows. First, he and his wife Vera left behind their big, beloved Westerlo home where they had raised Karen and Kenneth and lived for seven decades to move to the one bedroom at Atria. Next, he and Vera trusted God as they faced her death in 2018.
“Vera didn’t want to go on dialysis,” he says. “She said, ‘If God is shutting down my kidneys, the sooner I can go be with The Lord, the better.”
“We’d been married 77 years and I miss her and it’s put a big dent in my life,” he says. “If I wasn’t a Christian, I’d have gone nuts going through that.”
He as a way of keeping everything in perspective. He looks at the past with fondness. For example, he was awarded The Founder’s Award for his part in starting The Capital City Rescue Mission in 1949. In terms of the present, he simply says that you “have to take every day as it comes and live with consequences” – something he had to live out after cracking a few ribs following a fall.
And about the future? He has peace about heaven and a piece of advice for those willing to listen.
“Remember this,” he says, “one day we will answer for everything. If anyone thinks they’re going to get out of it, they’d better think again because they’re not.”
So, what do you do in your hundredth year? Be a senior to seniors.
Robert J. LaCosta’s daily devotional and book Portals to Heaven are available on Amazon or by writing [email protected]. To suggest seniors for this column, call 518-435-1250.