Feeling at home!

Photo on 4-6-16 at 9.54 AMDear friends,

It is the end of June. I luxuriate in the warmth of the morning sun,
dazzled and delighted by the large flock of parrots that flash past our
garden with their splash of tropical colors and loud sounds. It is hard
not to smile as I observe them land briefly on the trees’ canopies which
provide the food and shelter they seek. I know they are destroying the
fruit buds, but their energetic display reminds me to move and stretch,
which I encourage you to do also.

Yesterday was the semi-annual assembly at the Senior Residence in Atenas.
I arrived early and sat in my car for a few minutes gathering my belongings
before heading to the assembly area. My view was of one of the pavilions
that is home to about a dozen women. I noticed the staff was busy setting
up for the afternoon coffee break so I decided to stay in my car until they
were finished so that I didn’t interrupt their schedule. From where I sat I
could sense that the staff was engaged in their task with genuine affection.

coffee (1)

On my way to the meeting, I had to walk through the halls where many of
the residents were enjoying their snack and receiving visitors. The aroma of
freshly made nutritious pastries wafted through the atmosphere. Several of
the residents reached for my hand in greeting as I passed by them. It is not
possible for me to objectively measure the transformative effect this common
activity (the coffee break) had on me yesterday. I was touched beyond words
when the 102 year old resident sent me on my way with her tender blessings.

I came home from our meeting in an optimistic and contemplative mood. I
thought about how different everything looks and feels at our Senior Residence
when compared to other traditional nursing homes in our country. Living out
our golden years at home is still the optimum choice for most of us but when
it is not possible, then creating a place where one can feel at home is certainly
an extraordinary accomplishment. For some of our frailest elders, this is the
first time in their lives they have been able to experience a home and I am glad
I have had the opportunity to see it firsthand.

Have a wonderful day and a great week, Marietta

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