An Unlikely Friendship

By Teresa Mason, Wesley Homes Lea Hill Office Manager

The new Wesley Homes Lea Hill Rehabilitation & Care Center was under construction for most of 2015. Shortly after construction began, around the time of the first concrete pour, Harold Hansen, a three-year resident of Wesley Homes Lea Hill, began taking trips to the construction area every other day or so.

Harold is a very curious fellow and loved to see the day to day changes. Most of the construction workers didn’t pay any attention to him as he stood there watching the construction activities. However, one day he met eyes with one particular worker.

“Hello,” said Harold. He received a friendly greeting back, which made him smile.

The next time Harold saw this worker, John Scogin, just as Harold was leaving the construction site, he heard, “Stop! I’ve got something for you!” John quickly trotted over with a Popsicle as it was a warm day and handed it to Harold. They introduced themselves and spoke for a bit. That is the day their unique friendship began. John said that after he talked to him, he liked Harold and found him to be interesting and wanted to continue building their friendship.

At least once a week, John would give Harold updates on their progress and what to expect to see next. One day John noticed that Harold had not been around. John came into Eby Lodge to inquire about Harold. I overheard this conversation and came out to speak with John. I told him that Harold was in a rehabilitation facility.

To my amazement, John wanted the name and address of the facility. I gave him the information but must have had a puzzled look on my face. John quickly said with a grin, “I have to go give him a construction update!”

When John showed up to see Harold for the first time in the rehab facility, he wasn’t wearing his hard hat. Harold mistook him for a repairman as he had reported that his TV was not working. When he finally realized who John was, he couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe that this construction worker, after working all day, had driven all the way to Federal Way from Auburn just to give him a construction update. To John, however, Harold had become important.

Their weekly visits continued for the five weeks Harold remained in the rehab facility. On the second or third visit, John gave Harold a t-shirt with the construction company’s logo on it. Harold was thrilled. During one of my visits, Harold told me to go look in his closet and couldn’t wait to ask if I noticed the construction T-shirt.

“Just to give you an idea of what kind of fellow John is,” said Harold, “he offered me a motorized scooter to get around in if I was unable to walk at any point. It belonged to his sister and was very expensive.”

John came to see Harold the very day Harold returned home, and they shared a quick visit. Soon after, Harold was back out at the construction site checking on the progress of the Wesley Homes Lea Hill Rehabilitation & Care Center.

They both agreed that beyond the completion of the health center they would love to keep their friendship and communication ongoing.