“I’ve looked at life from both sides now…” Those words from a familiar song several years ago became reality for me last night as I quietly shut the door to Room 207 and walked down the hall, saying goodnight to the already sleepy birds, and slipping out the back door into the lovely gardens of the King’s Daughter’s Home. I stood looking at the surroundings, absorbing the sounds of the night. Several lights in the home were still on giving the “outsider” a small glimpse of the beauty inside and a curiosity to step inside. I was entrusting my sister-in-law to someone else’s care for the very first time.
Mind you, I’ve combed every inch of that Home many times wearing titles of circle member, Board Director, past president…nothing I just described was new … except for one thing. I was seeing it through different eyes and a new perspective. Before, I talked with passion about the Home’s loveliness, volunteers’ friendship and concern for the ladies, the staff’s helpfulness, Maryann’s charm, and the “best deal in town”. Now I talk about those things because I’m experiencing them. Before I was sure these attributes existed…Now I know.
So what is the “big deal”. Why is this place so different. One of the first reasons coming to my mind is her name: KING’S DAUGHTERS HOME.
KING ~ We typically think of “royalty”, “elegance”, “stately”, or in the context of the original mission of this organization…a “Christian” organization;
DAUGHTERS ~ The idea of “family”, “relationships”, or in the context of the volunteers that carry out the mission of this organization…”working for the King … attempting to be “Jesus with skin on”
HOME ~ just what it says! A HOME … a safe place, comfortable and caring.
But last night, I saw far more than a name. I witnessed compassion, concern, love, family:
- Myrt, a resident, offering my sister-in-law a “snack” of ice cream and cookies only minutes after she moved the first load of belongings into her room;
- Maryann meeting our family at the back elevator smiling as though there were hours in her day left just for us (when in reality, she’d already put in several and we were imposing on her at the last minute);
- Bonnie and Clara, evening staff members offering assistance and guidance with a smile and helpful hand;
- The sweat of her brow and the dirt on her hands as Barb, a staff member, planted yet another flat (or two!) of flowers to be enjoyed this summer;
- An elegant parlor and TV room graciously furnished by circle members’ funds just waiting for someone to sit down, take a minute and appreciate the blessings;
- A dining room all set for this morning’s breakfast … carefully planned by a staff who take pride;
- A clean room reflecting the hard work of a special housekeeper, Mary;
- Chirpy little birds living in grand style thanks to the special generosity of the Home’s Board of Directors in celebration of her 100th birthday;
- A special smile and welcome from residents like Betty Coy …because she remembers what it was like moving in that very first day…the “new girl in school”.
Ah, yes…I talked big and I spoke with authority about the greatness of this Home…but until yesterday, I had not fully experienced her. Now, when I speak about the King’s Daughters Home, it’s because I’ve EXPERIENCED HER and you know what? My message remains the same and my feelings have not changed, only deepened.