Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Get well Kathy Bee
A number of years ago, my mum and brother went to America - specifically Portland, Oregon to pack up my grandfathers home and move him into a nursing home. It was a hard decision but a necessary one. As his only family members we were too far away to be of any help on a regular basis.
So despite my mother establishing everything to assist his living alone the time eventually came when he had to be somewhere where he was safe. He was suffering from Huntingtons disease and was no longer capable of looking after himself. Mum moved him to an amazing nursing home in Woodburn, Oregon.
It was here that my mum met the PR lady for the facility. PR lady was a fairly limited description of what she actually did - she was the 'everything' lady with an amazing attitude to match. She also kept mum informed on what was happening with my grandfather.
In 2005 when mum went back for a visit, I went too. My dad was too unwell to travel at the time so I got the opportunity to get back over there and see my grandfather and revisit my 'teenage' hangouts of 1987 (my first visit was for 3 months when I was 15)
Mum asked Kathy Bee - the 'everything' lady from the nursing home to suggest somewhere close to the home where we could stay. She in turn suggested the Kathy Bee Hotel to us, that is her own home, staying as her guests. Two almost complete strangers from the other side of the world. As a single person living alone, not too many people could or would be, this trusting.
That two week visit staying at the Kathy Bee Hotel was the start of an amazing international friendship and she has since visited Australia, travelled around Europe with my parents and also through a number of states of the USA on their return trips over there. Sadly, my grandfather passed away the year following our 2005 visit there, but the friendship with Kathy Bee continues.
I got a letter from Kathy Bee recently, her yearly Christmas letter to her friends and family. She's had a bad year and sadly is in a nursing home at the moment following complications from a broken leg she suffered earlier this year. She's hoping to be back in her own home by next week. I wish I had the money and the resources to be there to help her.
I'm at least reassured that she has some very good friends to help look after her. From her newsy Christmas letter, it seems even the postman is helping her out. Kathy Bee I know you'll read this post because I'll be sending you the link. You're my 'proxy' great aunt and your Aussie adopted family love you dearly and wish you a speedy recovery and an awesome Christmas (hopefully at home in your own place)
I'm sure most of you know someone similarly 'awesome' who has done something so amazingly generous? So here's me sending good wishes and happy thoughts to all those who are generous beyond measure.
Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
Posted by Fiona Biedermann