Coming to Wesley Homes, Part 10

  Kindness by Pat King, Wesley Homes Des Moines resident This is the last chapter of Pat's 10-part series. Remember Lynn who first steered me through the apartments at Wesley Homes? She was showing an apartment to an older woman and her son right across the hall from me. I stepped in. “Hello. Are you considering Wesley?” I asked. “This is Pat, who moved here in August,” Lynn introduced me since she was now stuck with me. The son of the woman leveled his gaze and asked, “And just what do you like about living here?” What a softball! “Kindness,” I told him. “From the very first day, everyone – from the staff to the residents who had yet to know me – has treated me with kindness.” I could have told him how scared I’d been to come here, but since I was horning in on Lynn’s marketing talk, I got out of there. But I kept thinking about kindness at Wesley Homes. Environmental Services: In part, these are the guys who hang the pictures, hookup the internet, figure out why my electric kettle is not on, put up the Plexiglas barrier to keep Smokey from jumping five floors off the deck, and generally repair, replace and remodel. “Hey, I hate to bother you guys but the new blinds are on the floor,” I’ve said. I didn’t mention that I had yanked them too hard. “We’ll be right there,” they said, and they were. Culinary Services: They call me by name and remember my idiosyncrasies such as no ice, no gluten, full portion of fish, sour cream and bacon bits for the baked potato and large scoop of ice cream, even if I ask for small. Gardeners: I tried out my Spanish. “Por favor, señor, pono el…” Oh crumb! Why didn’t I learn Spanish when I was young and could remember things? “Señor, can you please help me put this dirt in the flower bed.” “Sí Señora.” Reception: This is embarrassing to admit. I’d planned to say nicely to the reception staff, “Security came into my room to check on why I had not been to lunch (read: possibly lying on the floor in need of assistance), but I had been there for lunch.” Instead my words blared vociferously. ”Why was somebody in my room?” The front desk people couldn’t have been kinder. Residents: “Pat, come and play two-deck pinochle with us.” “No, I’m a klutz,” I declined. “C’mon, we’ll teach you.” I kept forgetting and played the wrong card at the wrong time.  What did I get in return? Laughter and kindness. Now I’m a regular. Activities Coordinator: “Pat, come to line dancing with us. It’s easy.” “No, I’m a klutz.”  One resident even came to my room to teach my feet to go in the right direction. It didn’t help.  After three sessions, the class was totally kind when I said I couldn’t possibly join them in the talent show. Housekeeping: I sheepishly explained to the cleaning lady, “There’s this ball-bearing grease on the carpet and I can’t get it out.” “No problem.” She got a brush, heavy-duty cleanser and applied serious elbow grease.  “There,” she smiled. “It’s out.” Waitress: I left half of my BLT sandwich on the table intending to take it to my apartment for a snack. I ran back for it. “So sorry,” the waitress said. “It’s in the trash, but don’t worry. I’ll make you another one.” Night Shift: I came home from a trip at 5:00 in the morning without an entrance key. All was silent. I pushed CALL. A disembodied voice said, “Can I help you?” “I need to get into the building.” Presto! The door opened, but I didn’t have my room key either. I called from the front desk. The voice said, “Go to your room, and Security will meet you there. He’s across the street so it may take a while.” I sat on the floor outside my room and sure enough, when I heard the freight elevator I knew Security was on the way. “I’m so sorry,” I apologized to the giant security guy coming down the hall. “Hey, no problem,” he said. “This is what I’m here for.” I visited my old condo. One of the neighbors there asked, “Well, are you glad you went to Wesley?” “I sure am,” I said. “More happy there than you can ever imagine!” The King Family