When my husband, Ray, and I opened SYNERGY HomeCare of Seattle a few years ago, we never anticipated how our lives would be enriched by some of the seniors we care for. Even though American culture has not been known for its reverence of elders in the past (in contrast to Asian or Native American cultures), that trend is changing. Multi-generational interaction…and appreciation…is on the rise in our country. It’s my pleasure to share Gladys’ story today, a story of appreciation and gratitude, from a woman who has truly touched us.
Gladys, at 108 years old, is a tiny little 88 pound dynamo. She takes no medication and still lives in her own home. Gladys has outlived 3 husbands, all of whom she adored. She tells me that she was born in Seattle in 1906, the 9th of 10 children. She fondly recalls that her father was a professional harpist and a gardener. Her mother kept an immaculate home, made all of the clothes for the family and was an excellent cook.
Gladys has an 88 year old daughter who lives across the country. She doesn’t have any close family that lives nearby, but fortunately neighbors have “adopted” Gladys. She never feels any self-pity that her family doesn’t visit more often. She is fiercely independent and will not consider hiring anyone to come in to assist her. She did finally hire a gardener to take care of her large, beautiful yard…when she was 103!
Gladys is such an inspiration to be around. She is incredibly grateful for everything anyone does for her. Love just oozes out of her. She never complains about anything. Gladys adores every kind of animal and she has a cat that cuddles up with her every night. She keeps exclaiming about how thrilled she is to have me visit. She sees beauty in the simplest things and keeps talking about how gorgeous the flowers are. When you spend time with Gladys you can just feel the years of wisdom she embodies and she loves to talk about life. She is very matter-of-fact about life and tells it like it is. It’s an absolute honor to know Gladys and glean from her wisdom.
We’ve learned from Gladys to be GRATEFUL – NOT GRUMPY. What have you learned from your elders lately?
All the best,
Carole Fitzgibbon, Owner/Manager, 206-420-4934