Topics on Aging

By Juan Gallo

A Song in His Heart 

August 15, 2022

Alive and Well: Les’ perspective on aging
Les Weiner turned 75 last month. As a volunteer, he leads Bible studies at care centers and visits the Heart2Heart office to entertain the staff with a song. 

We asked him, and three others, to tell us what it means to grow older. Here’s what he had to say. 

I just turned 75. So I guess I am a senior. My maturity level is not quite up there.

I do view most people as older than me. Many of us, men and women, really picture ourselves in our 20s. And that’s where we stop as long as we retain that ability to be relevant.

I look at myself as relevant. I’m keeping busy.

I also have many of the problems that seniors my age have. I’m a cancer survivor. I plan my life around doctor’s visits, which I didn’t think I would.

I don’t ignore my age. I just don’t let it define me. I don’t see myself as old until I get offered a senior discount.

Not everyone has had the greatest life. I get that. All of a sudden, they wake up and they’re old. Maybe they don’t have a song in their life. Maybe they didn’t dance enough when they were able to dance.

Our tents break down. That’s a fact of life. At a memorial service, you realize that it’s about what a person does with that dash between those years, between the date of birth and death.

I visit four nursing homes. There are some people I see that have given up, and you can see that they’ve given up. They’re cranky, they have their head down. They’ve lost their reason for living.

I don’t think I’ve lost my reason. I try to find the fun in everything I do.

Some volunteers would pinch a senior’s cheek and say, “Oh, aren’t you so cute?”

I’m not going to pinch their cheek. I’d rather hug them and say “thank you” because they’re relevant.

Recently, I had to have an emergency surgery. I was on my back for two and a half months. While I was in the hospital, I led a couple of Bible studies. I couldn’t wait to get back.

But my focus wasn’t on myself. Before, in my younger years, it was all about me.

I grew up. It’s not about me.

I’d like to continue on the same path I’m on.  I have a great, loving wife who is my partner in everything that we do. I’m excited that I wake up every day.

My hope is that I’m able to share something with younger people to help them find their way to their ministry.

Not everyone has had the greatest life. I get that. All of a sudden, they wake up and they’re old.

Maybe they don’t have a song in their life. Maybe they didn’t dance enough when they were able to dance.

I’ve tried to dance every moment of my life. And I sing when I feel a song in my heart.

To volunteer with Les, check out Heart2Heart’s outreach opportunities

Read more about:
Juan Gallo
Juan Gallo is the CEO of Heart2Heart Outreach, where he oversees the mobilization of volunteers to provide hope, share love and restore purpose to the lives of the aging population across South Florida.

He also serves as a local pastor and as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, where he is teaching a course on diversity and aging. Juan has a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor intern.

Latest Post:

Juan Gallo

This blog is a frank conversation about what it means to age in our society.

I want us to consider what a wider range of diverse experiences when we talk about aging. I want to reflect on how we, as a community, want our neighbors and our mothers and fathers and our grandparents to live out their latter decades of life. I want us to consider each one of their voices as we strive to meet their needs.

Join me for weekly discussions about what it means to be a senior in South Florida and how we can and should respond to the growing needs of the aging population.

More Topics on Aging ...

We Need YOUR Help as Food for Hope Relaunches

We Need YOUR Help as Food for Hope Relaunches

Food for Hope is BAAACK!!! And the volunteer-led meal delivery program is bigger than ever!

So we need your help!

To deliver meals to Broward County seniors, we need 118 volunteers to give 2-3 hours each week.

This month, our CEO Juan Gallo made a special appeal to Broward County churches for this community-wide effort.

If you’re reading this, we need your help, too!

Read about the (relaunched!) Food for Hope

read more