How do your capture a spirit? Is it contagious? Is it a divine gift? Is it learned? Is it an inoculation? Perhaps, but in reality, it is much simpler and personal than all of that.
We have experienced a spirit at Redstone. It is an aura; it is in the atmosphere; it may be in the water as the saying goes; it surrounds Redstone residents so subtly and completely that it often goes unremarked. Indeed, it is remarkable because it is so natural and low-key. It is the unexpected invitation; the genuine compliment; the perfectly natural helping hand with a difficult task; the bedside visit; the meal appearing just when needed; the genuine comfort and heart-felt caring at a time of grief; a ride to an appointment; a stimulating conversation about a book, TV show, movie, play or concert; sharing family stories; outings together; an array of professional support services available when needed; laughter and tears; and it is much more. It resembles a family. It is a closely-knit community of mutual respect, caring, and comfort. All of us have had these experiences in the families or the neighborhoods from which we came. What is remarkable is the fact that this spirit of mutual support, caring, community and even family has taken root so deeply in a place where it would be very easy for people to be lonely, isolated by illness or disability, and ignored, unable to participate or unable to use their gifts to contribute to others.
Some residents feared the loss of old friends and neighbors would be irreplaceable. Others have commented that the spirit and experience at Redstone is far more real than their old neighborhood where they lived for 50 years. Of course, everyone’s experience is different, but the spirit is alive and well among us.
If you have an experience you’d like to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Dickson is the Director of Community Relations at Redstone