April 8, 2019
The gym was especially crowded today, and the regulars were there, some liking the workout and some struggling to complete their routine. The smiles of the staff and their “you can do it attitude” is contagious. Each physical therapist is hands-on, eyes on, and spot on with their residents. After the first round of exercises, the participants are sitting a little exhausted and looking around. During this time, I walk around talking to those that are either at the beginning of their workout, at the middle of their workout or recuperating from an exhausting ordeal. Regardless of where the persons are in their gym time, most will talk with the Chaplain.
Most like to talk about how tough the workouts were while pointing at their therapist—with a smile on their faces. They all say some of the same words like “I would not do this on my own— she makes me feel better.” As the residents sit in their chairs or lie on the tables, or work on some kind of machine, they know improvement is not an option—it is required. Walking around the room, I talked with a few residents one-on-one or in several small groups. Then I noticed a woman, wearing a light pink workout suit, with an ice pack on her hip. Out of curiosity, I asked her what happened, then she smiled and started talking.
After our formal introductions, she started talking about her physical situation and then she shocked me. As she was talking, the tears started to flow. In a voice that was trying to breathe between tears, she said, ”my husband has his own health issues with his back. I can’t worry about me, he needs so much, and he is in pain all day long.” Then she said, “I wish he could get what I am getting from here. He might get better as I did.” As she was wiping the tears from her eyes, she said, “I did not know how much pain I was in. It just hurt all the time, but I had to keep going. I had to keep pushing through for two years. Then few a weeks ago my left hip was replaced and now there is no more pain.” With a big smile on her face with tears still coming down her cheeks, she said, “I am finally pain-free—I am pain-free! I didn’t realize how much pain I was in all the time until there was no more pain.” Then her smile slowly turned to a frown, looking at me with the saddest eyes, she said, “my husband needs to feel this good. Why can’t he have this and then our lives would be happier—so much more happier!”
Wiping tears from her eyes she said, “at least one of us is getting healthy.” Then as her physical therapist approached, she began flashing the biggest smile. “She worked a miracle in my life—I thank the Lord for her.” As I was sitting there, they were preparing for the second round of her physical therapy and then she turned to me and said, “round two” with a smile and a single tear on her right cheek.
From the desk of Chaplain Bobby
February 12, 2019
“If life was fair would I be alone, during this time of my life? It is not fair and there is nothing that anyone can do about it.” As he smiled waiting for me to respond with something that echoed my lack of life experience, I just stared back at him. Then out of nowhere,… Read more »
January 31, 2019
Dear Palm Garden Family, I want you to meet Vera, a woman who calls Palm Garden home. Kala Fuhrmann, our Executive Director at Palm Garden of Gainesville explains: “One evening we were all at dinner and Vera told our fantastic CNA, Jamika Tuggerson, that she would like to have eyelashes just like hers. Jamika called… Read more »
December 5, 2018
I want to share a Christmas Story. I was talking with a resident a few days ago and the subject of Christmas came up. The resident asked me about my favorite Christmas and I shared the story about the big Army Gun. We both laughed as I struggled to tell her the story without cracking… Read more »
November 30, 2018
I noticed a couple (probably in their mid-eighties) smiling at each other as they sat together. The husband is in a chair sitting very close to his wife who is in a wheelchair. Holding hands watching the hustle and bustle happenings around the nursing station. They were sitting there as if they were on their… Read more »
November 7, 2018
From the desk of the Chaplain: I have another wonderful observation. For the last few weeks, I have been talking with spouses’ of residents. Our conversations sometime are funny and other times they are very serious. However, sharing their heart is hard to do without tears and memories. I often hear I remember when, I remember where, and I remember… Read more »
November 1, 2018
It was five years ago that a small group of leaders sat around a table and together with prayerful hearts decided what our goals were for Palm Garden. Out of that discussion evolved our Vision, Values and Mission Statement. That has been the bedrock of our success in becoming the premier provider in the state… Read more »
July 30, 2018
When Pam Brody started in show business more than 51 years ago in London, her agent said she had to have a name, something to describe her act, something that would stick. ”He told me people were sick of ‘glamorous,’ so I became ‘vivacious’,” Brody explained over her fourth cup of coffee at the London Tavern in… Read more »
July 23, 2018
Dear Palm Garden Family, Could you imagine being born in a country and then living so long that they changed the name? The same country just a different name? You might say: “I mean, never mind it had been called Constantinople since May of 330 AD. I’m gone for a while and you guys just… Read more »
July 9, 2018
Dear Palm Garden Family, July is Palm Garden GEM Celebration Month. We think that knowing our guests, residents and families’ life story better informs how to care for them. See, we believe to truly care for people we must know them personally. We walk in their shoes; see what they see and feel what they… Read more »