From the Heart of the Director
Four years have passed since we moved into our beautiful little home. After living here, we realized our home needs more light, thus, the decision is made to paint about two-thirds of our house inside! What a task lies ahead, one which takes courage, persistence, a little arguing, a lot of cleaning, sorting and mostly patience.
As John and I rip apart the main rooms of our house, I am overwhelmed with dust bunnies and clutter. How did we acquire so much? Yet, in the back corners of the china cabinet I have found treasures, hidden joys I forgot we had, little reminders of life’s past.
Everything is in disarray. This must be what it feels like to learn you are dying. Decisions have to be made, things sorted out, cleaned and put aside to get rid of or to treasure. What a daunting task for our dear residents who come to us broken and burdened with this sense of loss. My heart aches for their pain, my task to renew my home is so very small.
The rooms are painted and refreshed. John and I, though weary, are excited at how well it all looks. So clean and fresh. We have sorted and stored away or given away a lot of “stuff.” It feels right, it feels clean and new, ready to show the world our new-found joy, as we find comfort in our beautiful home.
Hopefully, our residents feel renewed after their time spent within our peaceful Journey Home. They are clean, cared for and loved. I pray that they have had some time to sort out, to hold their treasures near and to rid themselves of the weights that hold them down. That they are ready to be presented to a loving God.
We have surrounded their families with this same love, praying that their loved ones’ journey home be one of acceptance. It is also hoped that they have found moments of joy during their stay with us.
During this season of joy, meditation and gifting, be ever mindful of the need to renew and refresh, to clean and sort your treasures and be ready, always ready to share your joys, your sorrows and your life with others. May you know Peace and may your heart know love this Christmas season and into the New Year of 2018!
Looking Through the Window
What is it they say? One hand washes the other? We witness this daily. Not only with the volunteers and the nurses but from the outside help we receive as well.
Uh-oh, the laundry room is flooded. Just two nights ago I had a dream of wonder that the “monster in the basement” had not acted up again this year. Doug is here to help us out. Our huge septic pump has no power going to it thus, a flood. AP Plumbing to the rescue! He is so patient as he cleans out the crock—I don’t know how he does it. As he cleans, I ask if he has ever been to JH before. “No, but I live by Aurora House, so I know about your home.” Then he proceeds to tell me about his mom, who helps people out. A proud moment but also an opportunity to share what we do in our community.
Al is here now to fix our lights outside. He moves around from one job to the next, replacing our corner spot lights. We are so grateful for his help. He is a commercial electrician referred by a board member and he has given us many hours of his gifts at a reasonable cost. He worked with another volunteer, who owns a lighting shop on Ridge Road West to supply our needs with new outside lighting. Moments of gratitude shared.
Dan is here again. He is doing a lot of bull work, landscaping our back-brick walkway, working with the Day of Caring people on replacing our picnic patio and more. I look forward to his clearing our driveway in the winter as he plows for us too! Dan’s mom is one of our original
volunteers, a treasure who keeps on giving and now is giving us her sons gifts as well. Although he is paid, he gives us a great smile and a good deal. Doug is most efficient and careful with our lawn. So much so, I am having him do mine at home, too. He makes our home
look so beautiful and his attention to detail is exemplary. Doug comes to us recommended by another board member.
What a great group of college kids! They are busy cleaning and refreshing our home as we take a short, much needed break. Amanda is a volunteer’s niece and she has brought 4 young women from MCC to do their community service. The gift is Amanda is no longer in the program, yet she still came to help us out. Special people are out there.
Gentle reminders, as I look through the window at how our home’s needs are being met by our community. Well, I guess I better take my tea and get back to work, feeling good about our little home on the corner of Long Pond and Vintage lane!
In Loving Memory
A Note from the Board of Directors…
- Anyone who is familiar with Journey Home knows that we survive financially on donations, memorial contributions and fundraisers. While each resident that stays with us is cared for free of charge, our home requires funds to continue our mission. Our expenses are much like those for your own home: gas & electric bills, cable TV, garbage removal, maintenance and upkeep, etc.
- Over the past year we have held several fundraisers including a cash raffle, a Pizza & Pasta Fest, our Annual Golf Tournament, a Pasta Dinner (courtesy of the Kiwanis Club), our Soup Jar Sales and our Alex and Ani Night. We are most grateful to have had various committees help us with these events. At this time, we are in need of someone to act as a Fundraising Chairperson as well as individuals who are willing to work on this committee. This committee will have the full support of our Board of Directors. If you are interested in helping out Journey Home in this way, please contact Cathy Miller, Volunteer Coordinator at 225-1240.
- With the holidays approaching fast, many of you will be doing online shopping. Did you know that you can help support Journey Home every time you make a purchase on Amazon? Simply go to AmazonSmile.com and choose Journey Home as your designated charity. Any item that is available on Amazon is also available on AmazonSmile for the same price. A percentage of your purchase will be donated directly to Journey Home.
- We are pleased to announce that we will again be holding our Cash Raffle. Beginning January 1, 2018, tickets will be available at $10.00 each. Tickets sold will be limited to a total of 2,000. There will be 3 winners: $2,500, $500 & $500. The drawing will be held at Horizon Fun FX, 675 Ling Road on a date in May to be announced. Light appetizers will be served. Pizza, soda, beer and wine will be available to purchase. This will be an adult-only event. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please call 225-1240 and we will make arrangements to collect payment and get tickets out to you.
Remember, every dollar helps keep this precious home of ours going.
Welcome Joan Gardner, Our Newest Board Member
Joan received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Nazareth College of Rochester, and enjoyed a rewarding career as a Special Education elementary teacher for almost 30 years.
After retirement, she volunteered for Friends at Strong in their pediatric department incorporating play therapy for young children and teens. Joan also had the opportunity to train as an Ombudsman, and volunteered at the Hamlet at Unity working with residents at the assisted living and dementia care units.
Currently, she works part time for the Alzheimer’s Association where she facilitates and coordinates caregiver support groups in Monroe and nine outlying counties. Through these experiences and caring for her parents for many years, she has a great understanding and compassion for families caring for their loved ones.
Joan has lived in the Greece community for the past twenty years with her husband, Bob. They have two grown sons – Ryan who lives in Rochester and Keenan who is completing his last year of college in Syracuse, New York.
Teaching Moments from an Old Hospice Nurse!
I am often asked by my colleagues outside of Journey Home how we give comfort and symptom management without using injections and stronger meds. It’s rather simple—Hospice has a gift of offering comfort in many ways, not just medication. When giving meds at JH, we often will sit with the person afterwards to just “be present” until they are comfortable. Simply holding a hand or being patient with them allows them the comfort they need to relax. Using a heating bag or ice, stroking a forehead or playing music to soothe the soul and mind is another way of comfort.
Medications may need to be changed daily depending on their symptoms and often a combination of meds works better to offer relief. With the skilled Hospice Community Health Nurse and my very capable nurses and volunteers, we assess and reassess daily. Oftentimes, by just sitting with the resident, watching, listening, looking at their breathing, their ouch’s and nonverbal cues, we are able to paint a picture for the Physician and the Hospice Nurse.
Never underestimate the power of love, the power of patience and the power of energy and strength we can give each other. This along with medicines goes a long way in making our residents peaceful and comfortable on this journey, at end of life.