Friday, August 27, 2010

Lessons from the Edge

Thanks to a little comment-dialog on Facebook, I've settled on a title for the weekly posts I knew I would end up writing about my experiences at Edgewood Retirement Center. So now I present to you my first installment of Lessons from the Edge.
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Whew!
I'm just finishing my third week as the Activities Director at Edgewood. And I can truly say I love it there. Oh, there is so much to learn job-wise, and I am feeling rather overwhelmed in that regard. But I know God is going to lead me through each step. I am trusting in HIM.

Last week - in an attempt to get to know the residents better - I began sitting at a different table each day during the lunch hour. I have heard funny stories and heart-breaking stories. I have been encouraged as a mother to hang in there through the hard times. And I have been reminded of the value of listening to a person - just letting him talk, letting him say the same thing over and over - because he simply needs someone who will listen. But the thing I want to share today doesn't come from the specific words a person said - rather the relationship I witnessed between a husband and wife.

Right away I was touched by how she took care of his needs. Cutting his meatloaf and pouring his coffee. She wanted everything to be just right for him. Wanted to be sure he was happy. She smiled the whole time she was doting on him.
Then, as our conversation took off, I was a bit surprised when she turned to him and said, "Tell Karen where I worked." And a moment later, when she asked him, "How old is our second daughter?" She turned to me at that point and explained, "My memory isn't very good anymore, so I have to ask him a lot of questions."
And do you know what?
It looked to me as if it delighted him just as much to answer her questions as it delighted her to cut his meatloaf.
They met each other's needs. Where one was weak, the other was strong - and they delighted in completing one another. They're like that every time I see them. What a beautiful picture that couple is to me about the way a husband and wife can be together.
They're an inspiration to me, and I'm going to keep my eyes on them!

Karen

8 comments:

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Karen,

You could be describing my Mom and Daddy before he died. Daddy was stricken with polio when he was 16 and walked on crutches and with the aid of a full leg brace the rest of his life. He was fiercely independant and would not let others do much for him. However, my mom did so much for him. In fact, after he died, she said to me one day that she really did not realize how much she did. She truly believes that God's purpose in her life was to be there to serve my Daddy. Daddy never took advantage of her servant's heart and he loved her as much as she loved him. What a beautiful picture of what a marriage should be.

I can already see I'm going to enjoy The Edge posts.

Leah

Patricia/NYC said...

Such a touching post...so very sweet...reminded me of my mother-in-law with my father-in-law before he passed away this year.

Definitely an inspiration!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Patricia
(oh, & I LOVE the name *wink* )

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

i just wanted to stop in and say hi! i haven't been blog hopping much cause my internet has been so crazy! but i am on the road today and have good service in the big city!

love to you Karen.

BASSakward Tales said...

I LOVE IT! I have spent the last 13 years working in long term care and have learned so many invaluable lessons. Due to my health right now, I am not able to work and oh do I miss it. I know you will be great at this job. You have brought me so much encouragement and I know you will do the same for those special people. They are blessed to have you in their life!

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - The picture of your mom and daddy is beautiful! And it's just like what I'm seeing at Edgewood.

Patricia - Yes. It's a good name. *wink*

Beth - Ugh. Internet 'issues' are the pits. Hope it gets resolved for you soon!

Gin - Thank you for the encouragement. I pray that I may be as much of a blessing to the men and women at Edgewood as they are to me!

My ADHD Me said...

hhmmmm, You said "They're an inspiration to you".....

For years I've been wondering what I would do/could do it my pain ever went away. I SO want to help people.
Obviously Firefighting is now a thing of my past. I've been thinking what could possibly give me the adrinalin rush than rushing into a burning building.

Well, it is looking as if the pain may be a thing of the past in the coming year(thank you THANK YOU GOD!!)

Then I read this. Obviously not an adrinalin rush place to work....yet....yet... maybe I was looking for the wrong thing. Maybe I need to look in a new direction rather than trying to top the last mission.

I think this is something I would be good at. Something I could do. Something that would give me purpose.

How funny. It is about as opposite as firefighting as anything could possibly be...yet it appealed...

hhmm...something to think about.

So NOW who's the inspiration? Thx.

Irritable Mother said...

ADHD - So glad to read your prognosis for the pain!
Yes, I'm sure working with elderly men and women isn't nearly as 'thrilling' as rushing into a burning building, but the joy it brings is wonerful!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

This entry made me smile! I'm still smiling!! :o)