August 2, 2011
Over twelve years ago, my parent’s opened their first residential care home. Since then, we have opened eight more facilities in the Elk Grove and Sacramento regions. We are the largest family-owned care home business in Northern CA. When I was in college, I remember commuting home on the weekends just so I can help nail beams, paint walls and clean floors. In our earliest days we used to perform activities with the residents and supervise them overnight.
I used to hate it.
I wasn’t foreign to family work as my parents also had rental properties in San Francisco, which we used to help clean after a tenant left. Participating in the family businesses integrated me in the process of what the real world was all about.a laborious journey so you can eventually enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Because of my parent’s ambitions, I was able to experience the world through activities, competitions, world travels, college education and now my very own care home business.
I never thought I would be a part of the family business, but after quitting my corporate job and moving back to Sacramento, I knew I had to create some stability in my transient life. At the same time, my mother was becoming sickly and as a result, my sisters increased their involvement. I finally made a stronger decision after I realized that my future-husband-at-the-time, David, had a gift of compassion and care for the elderly. It was evident when he talked fondly about his relationship with his grandmother and it was most evident when he would visit our dying residents and stay with them until they took their last breath.
It isn’t easy to develop friendships with elder people who lived extraordinary lives, for it is inevitable that they will soon pass just as we all inevitably will. Most of the time, the calmest moments in my stressful day is sitting in a resident’s room and talking about life about my life and about theirs. Being with the elderly grounds me, encourages me and most of all humbles me. It’s a joy to bring some quality of life in their last years on earth, but it’s also a pain to watch them depart.
Recently, I re-discovered that pain when a close resident of mine passed away
As usual, I began questioning why I’m in this business after all; this business isn’t for the faint at heart.
When my mind begins to muddle in depressive thoughts I think about the first elderly woman I used to write to while living in San Francisco. Then I think about the first person I watched pass away. Afterwards the loving image of Ruth pops into my memory – and then the smile of the woman who would knit my unborn child’s first booties
Right now I am mourning for the woman who bought Christian his very first book.
While this is a difficult business In the end, I realize the honor it is to be a part of their lives.even if it’s at the very end of it. There was a reason why they were brought into my life and a reason why I was brought into theirs
This is a hard business, but my life would be less full, less happy and less wise if my life wasn’t shared with those who have the most golden of hearts in this world.God Bless you.
Journal Pictures: August 2 2011
Showing off my 5 month belly bump before going out to kayak.
Yep – I’m not your average pregnant woman.
I love hanging out with Emily!