Category Archives: Florida

>Welcome to the Senate, Senator LeMieux

>Dear Readers,
Below is a letter I wrote to a new Senator. I am not sure how I got on his email list, but since he was sending me an email, I thought I would take the time to write him back. If you want to send him an email also you can send it to


Dear Senator LeMieux,
I want to take this time to welcome you to the senate. I know that you take your job very seriously and I hope you will do your best to serve the people of Florida.

I am also a native Floridian. I, however, grew up in Pasco county. Pasco county has a very large segment of senior citizens. My grandmother, who is in her eighties, lives there and through her I see the suffering of our elderly. She lived during the depression and World War II. She had many children. She has watched some of them die. She is part of the culture that helped America become what it is today, but she only gets enough social security to pay her light bill and phone bill. My grandmother, despite being nearly blind, still cooks the best collard greens I have ever had and remains relatively active. She is not alone though. There are many other seniors who don’t have the large family that I have. Even in the best of economic times, they struggle. They make very hard choices. They need support.

Do you know the heartache of hearing your grandparent tell you that they are no longer interested in living? I do. I’m currently twenty eight. I have friends who are both older and younger than me. I have my brothers and my parents that love me. I have people who have lived through my lifetime and that I can relate to. When you are in your eighties you have, most likely, lost your parents, siblings, and the majority of your friends. You have seen the majority of the people you love, look up to, and look to for support die. That’s in addition to being less able, in many cases, to take care of yourself.

I also ask you to please take a look into nursing homes. I know that the best way to help a family member in a nursing home is to visit often, keep lines of communication open, and to familiarize yourself with the staff. However, some of these people don’t have a family or their family is not local. It is wrong that these people are so often abused or treated harshly. It is wrong that it happens so often that it isn’t news anymore. It is wrong that people have to die afraid and alone. We wouldn’t tolerate it if it was happening to children and we shouldn’t tolerate abuse in the elderly either.

Senator, I am asking you to please take these people into consideration when you consider health care issues. End of life care is not only about keeping the body healthy, but it is about providing a life that is worth living. Happiness is awfully hard to pursue when you’re elderly and you need a hand.

There are many other issues that I could write you about and that are important to me like the ability for people to marry the person that they love, the need for a high speed rail, or the preservation of the environment in the state that I love so much. I can’t promise that I won’t write you about those things later, but I’d like you to please consider the elderly.


Courtney Schoenfeld