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Interwoven Generations: Lessons and Bonds Forged Through Tucson's BBYO 'Better Together' Program

Posted By Nanci Levy | May 20, 2024

By Aaron Handler
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Embarking on the Better Together journey, I dove into a world that intertwined generations, nurturing a newfound respect for my elders and forging invaluable friendships within my BBYO community. This initiative has become a beacon of light, illuminating the void left by the loss of my grandparents and reshaping my daily perspective on life.

Situated in the heart of Tucson, the Handmaker Jewish Senior Citizens Home has become my monthly retreat. Here, alongside fellow BBYO chapter members, I find myself immersed in a melting pot of stories, wisdom, and laughter. Each visit brings the thrill of meeting new faces and the warmth of rekindling bonds with familiar ones. The tales shared by these seasoned lives, brimming with regrets, achievements, and dreams, have imprinted on me the profound wisdom that only years can bestow. Barry, a senior I recently met, left a lasting impact with his words, "The older and older I get, the more and more time I have," a mantra now deeply etched in my approach to life.

My journey through Better Together has also been a voyage of friendship. The program has not only strengthened ties with my existing friends from the Tucson BBYO chapters of Abba Godol and Kadimah but also opened doors to new connections. These interactions, underpinned by shared interests and communal spirit, highlight the program's essence—bringing people together, transcending age and experience.

The absence of three of my grandparents has cast a shadow over recent years, leaving me yearning for lost time and wisdom. Better Together has tenderly bridged this gap, transforming initial strangers into cherished friends, reminiscent of the grandparental bond I've longed for. Their stories, echoing through the halls of Handmaker, have become a comforting balm, filling the void with laughter, lessons, and an undeniable sense of belonging.

Reflecting on Barry's poignant words, I've come to realize the preciousness of our time and the importance of living fully in the present. This program has unveiled the stark reality that, while our later years may offer more time, it is the vibrancy of youth that holds the key to adventure, learning, and joy. The smiles and eagerness of the Handmaker residents during our visits are a testament to the joy and fulfillment such interactions bring, reinforcing the belief that life is indeed "Better Together."

The Better Together program has significantly molded my life's outlook, fostering a deep appreciation for intergenerational wisdom and the beauty of community. It has taught me to cherish every moment, embrace new relationships, and carry forward the legacy of those I've had the privilege to meet. As I continue to navigate life's path, the lessons learned and friendships forged through this program will guide my steps, reminding me of the richness and diversity of the human experience and the profound truth that we are, undeniably, better together.