This was my first year and first experience as a Camp Counselor. I will honestly admit that it did take some coaxing from our CampCare Director, Sheila Yousuf-Abramson. Her strong belief in the program sealed my commitment. On August 12, 2015, I boarded the bus to Holiday Home Camp in Wisconsin with a nervous excitement and ready for adventure.
I have worked at Midwest CareCenter for over ten years and have had the privilege of working with many wonderful people and in three different departments.
I first worked in HomeCare Assistants, helping with the scheduling of caregivers, and then transferred to our Home Health division in the Evanston office. I later became a Hospice Administrative Assistant and now work in the Glenview office.
In the book The Four Agreements, an international best seller by don Miguel Ruiz, what is meant by the word agreement? And what are these four agreements?
Agreements are beliefs that we have learned and created in our lives that tell us how life works, how we should run our lives, and how to think about ourselves and each other.
As a psychotherapist for almost 40 years, the power of care, respect, and responsibility still amazes me as I witness the results in peoples' lives, relationships, and work ― including and especially in my own. During these four decades, I have been studying the world's great wisdom traditions ― philosophy, religion, spirituality, and psychology. Each of these traditions, despite their coming from disparate locations around the world and at different times in history and in the voices of numerous teachers, convey to us the same lesson over and over ― to live with love and respect for all of life.
It doesn't seem possible that I have been with Midwest CareCenter for nearly 10 years. The service area, team members, pharmacies, DME companies and some staff have changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant—our commitment as nursing professionals to stay educated and to provide quality, compassionate care to our patients, families and communities.
I have been a chaplain for Midwest CareCenter for almost fourteen years and before that I was a volunteer for ten years. My children have grown from toddlers to graduate school and along the way my colleagues have listened to stories as my family grew. In the process, they have become part of my extended family.
Last week, I visited with a man named Tom. His wife is caring for him in their home and needed someone to stay with him while she took her father to his doctor appointment. Since they live in a brand new subdivision, I was unable to Mapquest the route I needed; I had to call for directions. Tom answered, and I explained my dilemma. He quickly responded that I wouldn't find it on Google either! He went on to provide the directions I needed, and I could tell he was going to be quite a character! I spent three hours with a man whose life will be prematurely shortened by cancer; three hours with a man whose body is being ravaged and robbed of vitality; three hours with a man who was absolutely bursting with life!
For me, the joy in my role as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) comes from my interaction with our patients. No day is ever the same. I take great pride in my work and do my best to make each patient feel as if they are the only patient I am caring for that day. I have been a CNA for many years and always strive to create special relationships with patients.
Catholic priest and Midwest CareCenter volunteer, Fr. Dennis Logue, participated in Lake County Honor Flight in June. Midwest CareCenter's We Honor Veterans program partners with Lake County Honor Flight to send veterans to honor their service by sending them on an overnight trip to Washington D.C. to see their war memorials, with priority given to World War II and Korean War vets. Here, Fr. Logue describes his experience:
I've you've never gone on an Honor Flight, you just can't imagine what the trip is like.
I am delighted to be exhibiting my work at Midwest CareCenter. I was inspired to do so by two other artists, one of whom had a sister who was cared for there, another a doctor who used to work with the organization.