“Sitting around watching TV is very unappealing to me,” said Friendship Terrace resident David Jackson, 94, (pictured below with photo of his late wife). He joined the community in April and has been on the go ever since.
Three days a week, he is up at 3:30 a.m., and out the door by 6:30 a.m. (“I hate searching for parking.”) At Georgetown University Hospital, he staffs the information desk until 8:00a.m., then receives a list of patients who are Episcopalians. The next hour or so is spent visiting them, and serving communion to those who wish to receive the sacrament. “I don’t talk about religion,” said Jackson. “I act it out.”
Jackson is a familiar face at the hospital, where he worked for 35 years in the cardiovascular program. He previously conducted outreach for the DC Department of Public Health, and served in the Army at Okinawa. Originally from Sedalia, Missouri, Jackson holds a B.S. in Sociology from Howard University.
He became a licensed Eucharistic Visitor in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington ten years ago.
Jackson is a member of Episcopal Church of Our Savior-Brookland, where he has served as Eucharistic Coordinator and Lay Eucharistic Minister.
His advice for retirees? “Use your time well. It is precious and limited. Time well spent that gives you satisfaction. Get involved with something meaningful. Be pleasant. It helps you overcome pessimism. If you can make any difference, put forth the effort.
“Try to develop some practices that offset your physical limitations,” adds Jackson, who uses a cane due to arthritis. “Be dependable. Be dutiful. Take pride in whatever your work is.”
“I have faith God will help me meet whatever confronts me,” said Jackson. When he finishes his rounds at the hospital, he says he is “walking on air. Because it is authentic experience.”