Stop and smell the roses! I’m reminded by others of this infamous line more and more as I get older. There never seems to be enough time to finish my “to do” list. Actually, I can’t believe I found the time to write this blog! The days, months and years are certainly going faster as I age. I’m lucky though, I don’t have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses, because I have the privilege of working in a place where I’m surrounded by wonderful men and women who do it for me. By wonderful men and women, I mean our residents. I get to have daily conversations with them and in many ways instead of me being the social worker or therapist, they become mine. So many of them welcome me into their lives, listening and always wanting to hear about my family and how I am doing. They give me advice on how to get through the teenage years with my sons and tell me to enjoy these hectic times because someday I’ll long for them back.
I try to take away something from each conversation I have. One particular memory I’d like to share involves a sweet lady with the gentlest smile named Nadley Kohut, who sadly is no longer with us. When asked what she missed most about her past she answered, “Seeing my young daughters little shoes sitting by the door and just knowing she was there.” To this day, every time I see both my son’s dirty sneakers sitting by the door I think of her. She reminded me to enjoy being a mother while they’re home and not to wish the time away, which quite honestly I find myself doing often. As I was told by another resident, Vivian Thomas just the other day, “Someday dear it may very well be you sitting in this room, staring out the window every day at the same thing. So what might be a bother to you now, may be the simplest thing you miss when you’re older.” Wow, what an incredibly wise woman!!
I’ve worked at Arbutus for almost nine years and it’s only recently I’ve began to view it as such a great resource. These conversations throughout the day is my way of stopping and smelling the roses. So thank you Vivian and Nadley and all of the other wonderful, caring and wise residents I have and have had the pleasure of knowing, conversing and laughing with. Thank you for listening and giving advice when you didn’t have to. Thank you for telling me to give my young men at home an extra hug while I can. I have to say I kind of enjoy the cringed look they get on their face when they realize a hug from good old Mom is coming their way, so thanks for that too!! So again, I owe you all a great debt of gratitude for reminding me to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy seeing their shoes by the door. – vw
Contributor: Vicki Webb is a Social Services Coordinator at Arbutus