By Lindsay Hurley Fick

For Western Days 2015 Carolyn Blair had a video made of Residents, Families, Trustees, Volunteers and Staff giving their thoughts on Saint Simeon’s. For my part of the video, Carolyn asked me to answer the question ‘What makes Saint Simeon’s so special?’ That was an easy question to answer. It is the people – absolutely the people.

This edition of Ambiance tells of Saint Simeon’s traditions of caring. Those traditions were made, passed down, and continued through the years by the wonderful people associated with Saint Simeon’s. I wish you could spend a day in my shoes, I promise that you would be inspired. Let me tell you about someone that inspired me, and inspired so many others.

When I joined Saint Simeon’s, I was told about Stella Reynolds. Stella had been at Saint Simeon’s, at that time, 20+ years. I was told of Stella’s kindness and her devotion to the Residents. Residents, Staff and Trustees referred to Stella as ‘an angel.’ I quickly learned she truly was. Stella simply exudes love. Her very presence makes you feel special. One of my favorite stories of Stella is a time when a Resident wanted to hem a pair of her own slacks. The Resident had been a wonderful seamstress but now needed help. Stella sat on the bed with the Resident, each with a pant leg to hem. Stella lovingly guided the Resident, and together, they hemmed the slacks. The stories of Stella’s care are many. It was such a privilege to know, to work with and to love Stella.

Stella finally decided it was time to retire in late August after 29 years of serving the Residents of Saint Simeon’s. I think Stella’s own words describe her best: “The Residents have always been the best part of my job. They are like members of my family. One reason I didn’t retire before is that I would get attached to a Resident who would ask me to promise I wouldn’t leave until they passed. But by the time that happened, I had promised another Resident!”

Stella is a wonderful example of the tradition of caring at Saint Simeon’s. You’ll read of more traditions in the pages ahead.

As we enter the holiday season may your traditions bring joy, laughter and love.

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