The Second Time Around


The only source of knowledge is  experience ~ Albert Einstein 

supportIt has taken me a couple of days to wrap myself around the fact that TLO started Adult Day Care this week.  We have chatted about this option for a number of weeks, but to have this day come to  reality, really hit home for both of us on Tuesday when we got in the car and motored our way down to the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center.  

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Herman and TLO; Circa 1998

We both have had  previous experienced Adult Day Care, so we were coming from the knowledge of experience, yet that knowledge was just about to turn into our reality as we headed south on highway 95.  “Herman wouldn’t go to Day Care; I finally asked him to at least go for a week, to test it out, to give it a try, to at least help me out” TLO said!  “I guess that is exactly what we are doing today, too!” I responded!   (It has to be that knowledge and experience thing!)

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TLO and Michael Norfleet, Agency Director

As we arrived at the center, we were greeted warmly by the staff and the participants.  It wasn’t too long before the agency’s director, Michael Norfleet came to meet us, we chatted for a bit and then before I knew it, they were both sitting in the lounge chairs, chatting up a storm.  It was then that I knew that the day was on…and time for me to make my quick exit! It was also then when they day actually hit me square in the eye and I started to cry.

I have no doubt that the McArtor Center is the best place for both of us. Established in 2004, The McArtor Center focus is to meet the needs of the LGBT community Noble_McArtor_logo2_140in Broward County, Florida and the center is the first of its kind! In the LGBT community, many seniors in need of daytime or respite care have no option but to attend day care programs that are not open to, and understanding of the special relationships and needs of gay and lesbian seniors. The Noble A. McArtor Center was founded by an extraordinary team of individuals whose vision created a safe, open and home-like atmosphere for all seniors and their caregivers to enjoy, regardless, and supportive of any sexual orientation or identification, race, age, gender, religion or economic level.

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Fr Orlando celebrates his 58th anniversary of his ordination at the Center 2005. Helen and Sonia remain good friends of mine today!

Yet, there is more to the history… More to the knowledge… More to our experience… And more to our story!   Father Orlando’s was one of the first participants to attend the McArtor Center in 2004.  Upon his arrival in Florida in July of 2004, we both agreed that we would need Day Care to help us manage our days. I was a very ‘green’ Caregiver at that time! I remember coming across the center in a newspaper article and was hooked on the first visit. Then I remember what Fr. Orlando said to me on our first day…”I’ll give it a try for a few days to see how I like it!”  Whew, did that sound familiar!   

 Valentine_Kids_QuoteHe, well…we…never regretted one day of our stay at the center and in fact, the socialization and positive attention that Fr. Orlando received  at the center, revived his life and his ministry, which aided him (and me) when he made his peaceful life transition in 2006.   Now looking back almost 10 years, it is amazing to have come full cycle and return to the center.  The staff is different, the participants are different, but there is one thing that is the same, unconditional love!

 Of course, I don’t know what the future holds for us. Now two plus weeks past his radiation treatments, TLO is slowly starting the healing process.  It is going to be an uphill struggle. My guess is that the healing process is only going to be aided by the unconditional love demonstrated to us by the staff at the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center because as Albert Einstein said: “the only source of knowledge is experience! “

You see…We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 

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Christopher MacLellan is a Certified Senior Advisor, the coordinator of senior services for SunServe Social Services and the host of ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio.  ©ThePurpleJacket

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Filed under Caregiving, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Seniors, Never Alone

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