Friday, August 5, 2011


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.


  1. This post of honor and gratitude will far out weigh a card. And you sweet Patti, I'm positive you were welcomed as a cherished visitor when it wasn't Kelli. This is a beautiful post and I also want to wish Kelli a very Happy Birthday.

  2. What a caring yong woman and an uplifting post. Her acknowledgment of the resident's existence was a precious gift to them.

    And thry were happy you were visiting. You were just experiencing the grandchild effect. Same difference between my welcome and my sons' at my mothers' assisted living. Mothers' friends love to see me, but my sons enjoy sort of celibrity status. Great post. Happy Birthday Kelli!

  3. What a wonderful story. How great this world would be if there were a lot more Kellis in it. Please pass along a "happy birthday" to her from a new admirer.

  4. I've never heard of anyone doing anything like that in my life - what a great idea, and I'm so glad the home allowed it. I'm sure it made all the difference in the world. Happy Birthday, Kelli!

  5. Credit not only to Kelli but to her parents for raising such a sweet, thoughtful child. In this world full of people who seem to think only of themselves, Kelli will certainly go far and be loved by many.

    Your most telling line? "They adored this beautiful young woman who actually saw them." Because who doesn't want to be noticed and loved, not matter what our age?

    Another great post. Happy Birthday, Kelli. No doubt you will spend it surrounded by people who love you, for how could they not?

  6. What a great story! And I also am so happy to have "met" Kelli through your post. She is the kind of person that helps give me hope that the next generation will indeed be more loving and giving of themselves. Sometimes it seems the news media only concentrates on the negative. This post is the antidote!

  7. Kelli sounds like an exceptionally thoughtful person. Her adjustment idea was a wonderful offer, something that should be more common, it could help so many families in such situations.

  8. Forgot to leave birthday wishes for Kelli.

    *~*Happy Birthday Kelli*~*

  9. What an exceptional and caring person Kelli is. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. "who actually saw them" brought tears to my eyes.

  10. This is a very heartwarming story, Patti! Your niece is a very special young woman with a big heart. I wish Kelli a very, very Happy Birthday, too! And you were wonderful, too, to make that 200 mile trip to spend the day with her. Have a good weekend!

  11. What a sweet tribute to a sweet young lady! We have a "Kelli" in our family and she is well-loved...

  12. This is such a sweet account of one who is obviously quite an exceptional young lady! You're right when you say that there are not many youngsters who would jump in and be so gracious!!
    Wish Kelli a Happy Birthday for me.
    Thanks for sharing her ;)

  13. Lovely tribute to an obviously lovely soul. Congratulations on knowing her. You can come see me anytime should I ever move into a retirement home.

  14. An absolutely beautiful & heartwarming tribute to an absolutely beautiful & caring young lady! Happy, happy birthday, Kelli! You give us old codgers hope for the future.

  15. What a beautiful and touching story, Patti....Kelli does indeed sound like a very special and unusual young woman. To not only make this offer and do it, but to understand what it would mean to her grandmother in terms of a difficult transition...She sounds quite amazng, really, and with such a big and understanding heart....I wish Kelli a very Happy Birthday, too!

  16. What a wonderful, thoughtful young lady.

  17. What a wonderful and extraordinarily thought young woman Kelli is! And how fortunate you are to have her in your family! May she have a very happy birthday -- knowing that she has made her grandmother, her family and your devoted readers all so happy! This is a beautiful and inspiring post!

  18. Manzanita,
    Thank you Manzi and I don't feel badly about the comparison. Kelli set the bar high.

    You are probably right. "Celibrity status" does describe what Kelli recieved.

    I do agree and hope there are many more out there. I have faith in the youngsters.

    Thank you. I was just as surprised for I had never heard of such a great idea.

    RV Vagabonds,
    I totally agree. Sometimes the old become anonymous. That should not be.

    The news does concentrate on the negative. I do believe there is a lot of positive out there. We need to hear about it.

    I think it would be a wonderful tool for families to use. Thank you.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    Thank you, I think so too.

    Thank you. Too often when you go into one of these establishments, you see the ignored of our society.

    Thank you. I thought she was pretty special to do what she did.

    Rocky Mountain Woman,
    Then we are both blessed.

    Sadly, not too many adults would have either. I know it never occured to me.

    Thanks and sure thing Dianne as long as you save me your pudding cups.

    Amen sister. You said a mouthful.

    It did require sacrifice on her part though you would never have known it by her actions. Thanks.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. I so agree.

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    If doing good is its own reward, then she is a blessed person. Thank you.

  19. What a wonderful young woman, you and her family have every right to be proud of her. I only hope if and when her time to go to assisted living happens, she will also have someone that loves her as much as she loves her Grandmother. You have a special niece. Happy week-end.

  20. Tell your niece to go here to view her Birthday card.

  21. Kelli is an amazing girl. I've never heard of anyone doing this. We can all tell her, "happy birthday." Kelli you gave a gift to your grandmother that was rare and beautiful.

  22. What a lovely post ...she sounds amazingly thoughtful ....I hope she read your tribute and had a fantastic birthday too.

  23. Wow what a lovely young woman she sounds! To give up two weeks of her life like that must mean she is very special indeed.

    I hope she reads this and has a wonderful birthday too!

  24. After recently moving my mom halfway across the country to an apartment, and then from that apartment to an assisted living apartment within the past 6 months, I can truly appreciate what an amazing gift this was. It had to have made all of the difference in the world. Plus, it gave all of you a set of eyes and ears to be sure of that the choice you made was a good safe place for an elderly resident who might not be able to know what to expect, or might not feel comfortable speaking up for herself.
    When you hear about the "selfishness" of kids today, this is one of the stories that gives hope to us for their generation.

  25. What a sweetheart your Kelli is! It's a wonderful thing when we see our children love and care for others...young or old...with empathy and compassion.

  26. Happy Birthday Kelli

    Patti, can you share some more about this remarkable niece? I am thinking she is a caring person thru all of life's adventures.

    I didn't know assisted living places would allow this.

  27. Hi Patti, Happy Birthday to Kelli... I hope she is still continuing to help elderly people --because we need many more Kelli's in this world...

    Mom and Dad Adams were members of a very large Methodist Church. They were extremely active doing many jobs in the church all through the years--until they got older. Since getting much older, that church has almost neglected them totally. Dad even had to pay the minister of that church UP FRONT to participate in Mom's funeral recently. The church offered no music --even though Mom Adams was in the choir for probably 25 years. I'm still upset about it... Bottom Line: The elderly don't need to be neglected.

  28. Isn't it nice to know that there are people like her in the world? Oh and about fry sauce...take a little Miracle Whip or Mayo, mix in some ketchup and there you have it...fry sauce.

  29. What a gift Kelli is to her entire family.

  30. Islandwonder,
    Aww, thanks so much.

    You are so right. For once pay backs would be wonderful for her.
    How sweet of you to send her a card. Thank you so much.

    Retired English Teacher,
    I hadn't either which is why I thought it so special. Thank you.


    Thank you. I did send her the link.

    LLCool Joe,
    That is how I saw it too Joey. Thank you for your wishes.

    That was an added benefit. I often think the "me"generation gets a bad rap.

    Gives one hope for the future doesn't it? Thank you.

    Miss Daisy,
    The ones I have seen are like apartments with separate rooms. Often healthy spouses will move in with the one who needs the extra care. I personally think assisted living is a wonderful alternative.

    I am so sorry you and George had a bad experience with your MIL funeral. Unfortunately, often the aged are quickly forgotten.

    Mom of 12,
    Thank you,I agree. Thanks also about the fry sauce. That was new to me. Will have to try it.

    I agree and we are aware. Thank you.

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  32. What a wonderful generous person Kelli is and what a great idea to help her grandmother transition.

  33. Should I be saving those cups now? I assume you want them empty. I throw them in the recycle bin, but would be glad to mail them to you. Dianne

  34. What an appreciative post. I have a niece like that. In the past she has offered to let me live with them should the need ever arise.

    She has always been my favorite niece, was my 1st niece. I first noticed her kindness when she made frequent visits to my Dad's nursing home to see him; he and Mother raised her for 9 years due to a variety of circumstances.

    But she did not just visit him and his roommate. She visited a lot of other old people. She has raised her son to have a similar empathy. I am proud of her.

    And I bet Kelli will love this very special "birthday card."

  35. Linda Starr,
    Thank you Linda, I think so too.

    Ha ha, I will pop over to your blog to explain.

    Sounds like you have a real keeper also. It is so refreshing to see such compassion in a youngster.

  36. What an amazing and wonderful thing to do ! Please wish her the best birthday in the world. She certainly deserves it.

  37. Oh, Patti ... I guess that my comment didn't take. I wrote yesterday morning and wanted to say that I wish Kelli a Happy Birthday too, and that I think she it totally a wonderful person to think about how helpful that two week stay to help with the adjustment would be. I didn't even know that people could have overnight visitors in assisted living.

    Your story brought "the good tears" to my eyes as I considered about Kelli's thoughtfulness and your blessing her with this blog post.

    Thanks for reminding me to celebrate the positive.

    Hope your week is wonderful and that it COOLS down!

    Kathy M.

  38. Linda Myers,
    Thank you Linda.

    I certainly will. Thank you Ginnie.

    Oregon gifts,
    Oh you did all right Kathy, only it showed up on the previous post.
    Thank you so much for making sure.

  39. Very nice story Patti. I found our local nursing home very depressing while my spouse recovered from knee replacement.

  40. We need more Kelli's in the world!
    She is a precious young lady to do this for her grandmother. It speaks volumes for both Kelli and your step mom.
    You can come visit me anytime I doubt very seriously anyone could find you boring

  41. Happy birthday, Kelly.

    (What a lovely girl!)


  42. Oh, Patti, what a beautiful story--you know how much I love these type of stories :-))

    Kelli shared the beauty of her heart with her Grandma and each resident at the Assisted Living facility. She is a blessing!

    Happy birthday to Kelli!!!


  43. I hope your dear niece had a WONDERFUL Birthday!

    Just thought I'd let you know I have a NEW Post up...More of The Tile House! I love it!

  44. troutbirder,
    Yes, nursing homes make me cry, assisted living however is not a bad alternative.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Aww thanks Maggie but sometimes I bore me and I am very forgiving:))

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sending Kelli wishes.

    Hold my hand,
    I did think of you when I wrote this Doris. Your posts always touch me so.

    Thanks Naomi, I'll be right over. That tile house is awesome.

  45. This post is a great tribute to Kelli, and she deserves it! I wish her many happy years to come.

  46. This is a lovely tribute to your neice, Patti. What a speacial young lady she is.

  47. Happy Birthday WEEK to Kelli! What a wonderful post! Aloha from Hawaii! :)

  48. It looks like the hummer feeder visitor has been identified. I usually ask Abraham Lincoln (yes, umteenth descendant of the prez) as he can identify every critter and plant known to man + He gives me good camera tips.

    He has had a varied full life as a journalist, photographer, and served our country in WWII.

  49. What a generous heart - this act of kindness is one not many of us would have thought of, let alone attempted. I only hope that one of my children or grandchildren will follow her example when that time comes for me. blessings, marlene

  50. Stichin by the lake,
    That is what impressed me so much also. Sure I felt badly about Liz's adjustment, but the thought of how to ease her never entered my mind.