Their home is where I’ve befriended them


Me sitting at the hostess stand at my work, Sentinel Pointe retirement community.

I work at a retirement home, and I have been lured in by their way of life, for I am just a visitor; I am just a helper inside their home. I tend to their dietary needs, for I am a person they come to for food. But, furled and cocooned betwixt the layers, my main purpose is to create relationships with them, for all they have are their fellow elders and us, the employees. 

Certainly, their family can visit and mingle with them, but some of them might not have family still communicating with them. Even though we are in the long home stretch of COVID-19—considering most of the residents and employees have gotten their second dose of the vaccine—there are still restrictions on visitors. My heart goes out to all the long-gone residents and their empty rooms because of the COVID-19 times. 

Each one holds a different spot in my heart. To my favorite resident, Bob, oh how you make me laugh and continue to keep a smile on my face with our conversations and your persistent jokes and check-ins on me. You are always adamant to make sure that I am okay in my life, and I make sure that you are doing alright in yours. 

To Donna, I love how our conversations are always so comfortable and free-flowing. To Mary and her dog, Queenie, you two always put the biggest smile on my face. You light up my heart every time I see you in the hallway, and you call me “love” even though I think I like your dog a little more. 

To Betty and Frank, you two are the absolute cutest and my most favorite couple in the building. Betty, you are always so chipper and optimistic, and I always love having uplifting conversations with you. For you find the little things in life the best. And for Frank, your jokes and your personality always give me energy, and I enjoy your company. 

To Angela, even though we aren’t able to see you all the time, you are such a bright and friendly person, and I always enjoy our interactions. And to your friends, Trish and Patsy, Trish you are always so patient, and every time I see you sit down, I bring you your pitcher of Diet Coke. 

And to Patsy, every time you see one of us, you tell us to have a blessed day and that we are a blessing. I appreciate and love hearing your kind words. I will never forget that one day when you stopped me and told me that you have loved seeing me grow up from sixteen into a grown woman. I took your kind words to heart and will always remember them. 

And to John, everyone in the retirement home loves you; you are like the class favorite, and I also indulge in your kindness and generosity. I still remember from the old dining room setting. You used to take everyone’s walkers and line them up outside the door. You were like the volunteer usher who brought people their walkers. 

I reminisce on the COVID-19 free times when the dining room was open in full swing without the restrictions, masks, and gloves. Although I am sure there will be a time where the world will be set on the right axis and we will return to normal, but for now, I bid goodbye to those old times and try to keep my hopes high with the new way of life.