An Endless Supply of Grandmas

Abbey welcoming Edith when she first came to live with us.

Abbey welcoming Edith when she first came to live with us.

Doris and Abbey comforting each other.

Doris and Abbey reminding each other how much love there is in the world

Seven years ago, Mim and I were interviewed by a 12-year-old boy. We wanted to adopt his 3-year-old dog Abbey. He wasn’t able to keep her any more, and he put her up for adoption through the Humane Society.  We saw Abbey’s picture on the Internet, and called the number listed to schedule a time to meet Abbey and be interviewed by the 12-year-old. During the interview, we told him that Abbey would have an endless supply of grandmas to pet her if she would live with us. That clinched it. We were chosen to be the lucky ones among all the people who wanted to adopt Abbey.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been developing new marketing materials for Country Comforts Assisted Living. That got me thinking about all the grandmas and grandpas that have lived with us for assisted living over the years. I remembered that promise to Abbey’s previous owner. Yes, Abbey has been fortunate to have all those grandmas and grandpas to pet her.

Abbey comforting Patti during her last days

Abbey comforting Patti during her last days

But Abbey isn’t the only one who’s been fortunate. Mim and I are the “middle generation” between Abbey and these grandmas and grandpas. We’ve been blessed with all these “moms” and “dads.” Most people get only one mom and one dad. Over the past ten years we’ve had almost twenty“moms” and three “dads.” How fortunate is that – to get all these bonus moms and dads after our own were no longer with us!

What prompted me to develop new marketing materials for Country Comforts is the fact that this year we changed our focus from general assisted living care to end-of-life care. When people draw near to the end of their life, often they choose to receive hospice care at home with their loved ones taking care of them. A hospice organization can provide help, but the majority of caregiving is done by family members. Sometimes, family members are not able to give the end-of-life care at home that their loved one needs. That’s where Country Comforts can help. Rather than going to a nursing home, their loved one can move into our home where we will provide the skilled and attentive care they need. We will work together with the hospice organization of the family’s choice to care for the loved one and help coordinate a wide range of end-of-life issues – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and legal. Our role is to support the resident and their family in any way we can.

Abbey helping Anna celebrate her birthday

Abbey helping Anna celebrate her birthday

While putting together brochures to explain the end-of-life care we want to provide, I went through pictures of many of these special people who have entered our lives over the past ten years. Our lives really have been enriched by each person who has lived with us. One whole section of the book I wrote about hospitality (Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest) is about the people who have lived with us for assisted living. In the book, I tell a one- or two-page story about each person. I’ve re-read that section of the book many times to let my mind spend more time remembering each one. (You can find more information about the book at http://mariankorth.com/come-lord-jesus.html.)

Some of these bonus grandmas (or moms, depending on your perspective) are pictured here. More of them are included on our Country Comforts website (www.CountryComfortsAssistedLiving.com). I redesigned the website last weekend to reflect our new focus. If you take a peek at the website and are confused by any explanations that are unclear or find any bad links, please let me know. I’ll appreciate any suggestions you may have to make our website better. We want to be sure Abbey never runs out of the endless supply of grandmas we promised her.

3 thoughts on “An Endless Supply of Grandmas

  1. This blog and your new venture resonates well in my mind and heart, as I cared for my husband, Sid, at home on hospice in his last days.  I know the toll such care takes on the caregiver, and would have loved to have had at least respite care for him at times.  As you say, some families are not able to give this gift to their loved ones, at all, and that is where you come in.  You already know how difficult this kind of care can be.  Each person will have his or her own needs and limitations – and personality! 

    Your website is clear and understandable.  Marian, your name does not appear on the site, though you are in one photo.  I wonder if those who consider hospice with you would like to know there will be two people…..um, three, including Abbey, caring for them.

    Blessings on the ministry you are providing! Mardelle

    >________________________________ > From: Whispering Winds Blog >To: mardelle38304@yahoo.com >Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 7:12 AM >Subject: [New post] An Endless Supply of Grandmas > > > > WordPress.com >Marian posted: ” Seven years ago, Mim and I were interviewed by a 12-year-old boy. We wanted to adopt his 3-year-old dog Abbey. He wasn’t able to keep her any more, and he put her up for adoption through the Humane Society.  We saw Abbey’s picture on the Internet,” >

    • Thanks for your comments, Mardelle. I didn’t know you had cared for Sid at home throughout his last days. I’m sure he appreciated that. As you know, providing hospice care is hard work, but it can be very rewarding in many ways, too, especially emotionally and spiritually.

      Thanks for pointing out the absence of my name on the home page of our website. I’ll think about adding it somewhere. Also, I probably should explain on the home page that the links to the other pages of the site are on the top of the page, just below the picture of the geese. I tried to simplify the site by removing the menu buttons that were on the left side of the page, but that may make it harder for people to navigate the site. What do you think?

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