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AA in the News 2.14.20

02/14/2020

Senior Lexi Easter Delivers Chapel Talk

The unique experiences of her life have shaped the person she is today, said Lexi Easter in her Chapel Talk, delivered on Feb. 12. Coming from a large, extended family in Amelia has meant that almost everyone knows the Easters, Lexi said. Her family has provided in-home care for the elderly for many years. In her Chapel Talk, Lexi spoke about the advantages of growing up with elderly people living in her home.

            She quoted Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This scripture verse encapsulates the in-home care service, she said. “I have seen this firsthand. There is no way you do this kind of care without having a good amount of physical and mental strength.” Through the example of her mother, Lexi has learned to show love and respect for others. She also has learned to the necessity of commitment and compassion, along with integrity and selflessness.

            As a child, Lexi said that her family life seemed typical. “I thought it was normal to grow up with elderly people in my house.” She enjoyed coloring pictures and singing with them and listened as they read books to her. They also shared stories about their own lives. “It made me happy listening to them talk about their childhoods,” she said.

Lexi learned about commitment as she watched her mother work. “Some jobs are 24/7 not 9 to 5,” she said. Providing in-home care means that vacations and days off are not spontaneous. Lexi remembers many times when her mom had to miss her softball and volleyball games, and church plays. “She couldn’t find someone to stay at the house, or she sat waiting for someone who never showed up,” Lexi said.

Sharing the last moments of a person’s life has been part of Lexi’s experience and taught her compassion. “I’ve learned to help those who are no longer able to help themselves and treat them as if God was right beside me,” she said. Showing compassion has also meant holding a hand and watching an elderly person take their last breath.

It requires patience to listen as elderly patients express worries or repeat stories. Despite hearing the same thing over and over, Lexi has learned to be respectful and pretend that she hasn’t heard it for the sixth time in one day. “They cannot help it,” she said.

Integrity and selflessness are another important aspect of in-home care. Her mother has trusted Lexi’s integrity in helping her with tasks. At times, the needs of others must be put first. For Lexi, this has sometimes meant having less privacy and sharing her space. She has learned to be content with this reality, knowing it was the best outcome for the people her family serves.

Some people wonder if providing in-home care will be my career, Lexi said, and her answer is, “No.” However, she does plan to study nursing at John Tyler Community College, beginning next fall. The lessons learned in offering commitment and compassion to the elderly in her home will “help me become a better nurse in the future.” She knows that these qualities will give her patients reassurance and comfort.

As a student at the Academy since ninth grade, Lexi has been active in many programs. She has played volleyball and basketball and helped coach the mascot cheerleaders. This year, she is the reporter for the Student Government Organization (SGO) and serves on the yearbook staff. As an officer of the SGO, she has helped organize student events, including the Academy’s 9/11 Never Forget and Veterans Day programs.

Attending her Chapel Talk were her mother April Easter and her father and stepmother, Tony and Tracie Easter. Other family members present were her grandmothers, Jane Easter and Beverley Shaver, along with her aunt, Diane Easter, and uncle, Jaycee Shaver. The guests also included Stephanie Borum and Ann Smith.