To my dearest friends at the Arizona Pioneers’ Home:
I never expressed my gratitude enough to you when my mom was alive, so I hope this tells you how I feel.
To just say “thank you” for all you did for my mom and me would not even come close to what I feel when I think of you guys. From cleaning her glasses, combing her hair, clipping her nails, feeding her, and the countless other things that you did to keep her comfortable, happy, clean, healthy and dignified, I will forever be grateful. For over 14 years, you guys took care of her and were kind and compassionate to her. You were also her friend. I knew that if I couldn’t make it in to see her, she would still be taken care of. You never made me feel guilty. You didn’t just do the necessary things, but went the extra measure. You give your heart and soul to make everyone there feel not like an elderly person just waiting to die, but you give them respect and dignity. Your patience and love to her and the rest of the residents are evident in everything you say and do. I thought I knew something about compassion and love, but I think Mother Theresa could take lessons from you guys. You not only were nice to her, but you treated her sometimes (?) grumpy and demanding family just as nice. I saw it all, and I am thankful.
From the nurses and CNA’s to the kitchen personnel, to the staff who clean everything, the administrative, maintenance, and laundry workers, and the rest of the workers, I salute you all. You keep the Home a clean, safe, friendly and healthy place to live, a true “home,” a place to call their own, a place to find refuge and friendship and warmth. I know your jobs aren’t easy, but you make it seem that way. You help each other without hesitation, do your jobs with an energy that reflects the true love you have in your heart, treat your co-workers and residents with consideration and compassion.
I have never seen so many good people concentrated in one place, all with genuine smiles, friendliness and cooperation. Your sense of humor is tested daily. The ability to laugh at yourself and joke with others is one of the most endearing qualities.
Without the Home and you guys to take care of them, many of the residents would have passed a long time ago from loneliness or neglect, accidents or despair, or from just plain old sadness.
I could go on and on, but this should give you an idea of how I feel. It’s all you and you’re all great, and you have one of the most important jobs in the world. You are all friends.
This note is too short to express my true gratitude for such a long time of you guys treating my mom like your own, and putting up with my occasional short visits and eccentricities. I learned a lot by observing the goodness in all of you. Hugs to all of you. Mom would smile sweetly and just say, “thank you.”