November 22, 2019
I’d like you to meet Mrs. R, a resident and member of our family. Palm Garden of West Palm Beach is her home now but she was born in a small town in the Italian countryside just south of Naples.
Mrs. R remembers time spent cooking authentic Italian cuisine with her mom. I can picture her as a little girl measuring just the right amount of virgin olive oil to make the meatballs moist. Picking fresh basil and bouncing around the kitchen to mash garlic. Running to their orange grove to pick the ones with a little brown in them because they’re best for fresh squeezed juice. What a great childhood! Care free times with mom.
She met her husband, an American Serviceman, upon his return from South Africa. See, he was a prisoner of war for five years. Could you imagine? You’re 19 years old and this dashing young man shows up with wild stories of world travel and his life in the United States? She was smitten.
They married and came back to the states in her 20’s.
They were blessed with three children, two girls and a boy. She taught them how to cook too. And her kids gave her grandkids. What a great life!
She worked as a homemaker. Cooked from scratch everyday all three meals. And she always served fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast just like mom.
Mrs. R was telling Elise how much she wanted to cook a real Italian dinner. A simple thing right? The sort of thing that would come out in casual conversation a mother might have with a daughter. “What do you want to do today, mom?” “I’d really like to cook like I used to. Big meal. Remember?”
So Elise and Mrs. R made sauce, meatballs, and biscotti from scratch! They didn’t stop there. They had so much fun they ended up with enough for 100 people! They’re going to have a big meal for everyone and accept donations. The money will go to buy Christmas presents for residents with no family! Goose bumps.
And this is where authentic life story celebration turns melancholy into joy. We believe in learning life stories- the rich tapestry of life events that define us as persons. We believe it informs us how best to care for those we call family. Cooking brings Mrs. R profound joy. It’s the fiber of her very being. So we cooked with her and it brought everyone joy. Each of us is encouraged to know our family beyond their medical concerns. To know them as individual persons. In this case we gathered the ingredients and cooked for 100 people. But we did more than that. We brought back memories of a life well lived. We learned life lessons better than anything you could ever read in a book.
Just look at those pictures. There’s no melancholy there. We found joy and how lucky are we?
We are just so proud of and grateful for our Palm Garden Family.
Vice President of Service
And Relationship Development
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,… Read more »
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 »