I think we will all admit it is a given that we love our families. Sometimes even though you love them, you might not “like” them. I am so lucky for I feel both for my family. My Dad reproduced well and then chose well after my mother died.
Every now and then, one family member kind of goes above and beyond. My niece Kelli is one of those. Recently several bloggers have mentioned either nursing homes or assisted living arrangements for parents or family. That brought back the time when Kelli did something that will always make her very special in my book.
Quite a few years ago, my step-mom had reached a point in her life where assisted living seemed the right solution. My father had passed and her vision was really getting bad with macular degeneration.
My sisters had found a very nice assisted living arrangement but Liz was not very enthused which a lot of us would not be. Reluctantly, she decided to give it a try.
This is where Kelli stepped in with an amazing offer. She said she would go live with Liz in the home for two weeks to help her get settled. Not an overnight or a weekend but for two weeks. This was not asked of her. On her own she offered to help her grandmother with the adjustment. I just don't know of many youngsters who would give up two weeks of their lives to help an old woman feel more comfortable.
It was not like Kelli had nothing else to do. She has always been a beautiful girl with an active social life. She saw a need and just did it.
So Kelli assumed the status of the youngest resident at the facility. As Liz's roommate, she became her eyes, her companion and social director. She took her to meals, to exercise classes, to entertainment programs, fixed her snacks, talked with her or just let her sleep with the comfort of knowing she was not alone.
Kelli helped Liz bridge the gap between home and strange place, strangers to friends. Her easy going and cheerful nature soon made her the belle of the center. Everyone loved Kelli. She soon knew the names of a lot of the residents and most of the help. They all seemed so happy to see her as she accompanied her grandmother.
Once I spent the day with them both. Kelli would breeze into the lunch room with greetings of : “Hi Mabel, I like your hair that way.” “What a beautiful blouse Annie.” “Is your son coming today Sarah?” They adored this beautiful young woman who actually saw them.
Before Liz knew it, with Kelli's help, she had met a new best friend Betty and was participating. She was still not thrilled about not being in her own home but she was adjusting. After 2 weeks, Kelli went to her own home but visited regularly.
I worked and lived 200 miles round trip from the home so when I went to visit Liz, I made it a whole day trip. I soon realized how successful Kelli had been when I would join the table for lunch and have them openly sad that Liz's guest for the day wasn't Kelli. I was a disappointing substitute.
One reason for this post is that Kelli's birthday is Monday. I don't have a card on the way but I want her to know just how special I think she is and that I hope she has just a wonderful day and year.
Happy Birthday Kelli. You are very special and I love ya bunches. Stay sweet.