Tracey Miller was already a Heart2Heart volunteer, helping seniors at care center craft events with a group of volunteers. But God was calling her to something new.
Recently, she began visiting Cassilda Smith at her home through Heart2Heart’s Relief C.A.R.E. program. Their visits began every Tuesday and soon blossomed into more.
“It’s turned into a very beautiful relationship,” Tracey explained. “I gain so much from her. She has such a beautiful heart, and she loves the Lord with all of it.”
Cassilda lives on her own. She has family in Florida, but not very close. She has friends who visit to check on her.
A home care nurse comes to help Cassilda with personal care tasks for a couple of hours in the mornings. But the nurse isn’t very interested in conversation. And that is what Cassilda craved most of all.
Tracey, on the other hand, enjoys listening to Cassilda reminisce about her life. She’ll watch Cassilda’s favorite soap opera with her and talk about it. She picks her up for doctor’s appointments and helps her run errands.
“My darling Tracey! It’s like I birthed Tracey,” Cassilda said. “She’s very helpful!”
Tracey said their relationship was easy, even from the start.
“She’s a very sweet woman,” she said. “She never asks for much, other than my time. She just wants to spend time together.”
Tracey never misses a week visiting Cassilda. If she has to move the visit to a different day, she asks Cassilda ahead of time.
“It is, I believe, the highlight of her week, just to have someone to sit there and talk to,” Tracey said. “I would never let her down.”
Cassida calls her in between visits, about every other day, just to talk.
Tracey said she is inspired by Cassilda’s faith, despite quite a bit of physical hardships she currently endures.
“Every day, she wakes up and praises God. Through pain and loneliness, she continues to say how good God is to her. That’s been beautiful for me to witness,” Tracey said. “She is definitely someone that I would hope to be like when I get to my point in life.”
Tracey said she would advise anyone considering becoming a Relief C.A.R.E. volunteer to remain open to whatever way God wants to show up in the relationship.
“It’s an investment of your heart, not just your time, because you become attached,” Tracey said. “Expect that it’s going to be special for both of you.”
Relief Care volunteers undergo an additional level of background checks and training. Learn more here.