Cherish the Blessings That Mean the Most
By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
December 21st, 2022
This time of year is one of reflection, of taking stock of what’s important in our lives. As I get older, I find myself realizing this: I have my health and my family, and with those two blessings I can handle anything else that comes my way.
That realization is tempered by the fact that, for the first time, one of my daughters won’t be home for Christmas. Rather than opening presents with us, my oldest will be performing with the Rockettes in their famed “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall. I am so very proud of her for realizing a lifelong dream. Her absence will be bittersweet: we will miss having her with us, but what a wonderful reason to be absent.
“Spectacular” is a word I also use to describe the employees of St. Ann’s Community. They may not be doing high kicks like the Rockettes but when it comes to caring for our elders they are just as legendary. Some have worked here for many, many years; they’ve seen lots of changes and weathered some difficult times, yet they come in every day with smiles on their faces and hearts full of compassion. They are a blessing to their colleagues, the elders they call their own, and their elders’ families. (Yes, many of our staff refer to them as “my elders,” a term reflecting the close, caring relationships that are a St. Ann’s hallmark).
I recently spoke to a group of new employees during orientation. It was like the United Nations of senior care—there were people joining us as cooks, nurses, CNAs, medical billers, IT staff, security officers, and many other roles. It was great to see, and I began by thanking them for choosing to work here. Afterward, one person came up to me and said, “I’ve never had someone thank me for working for them.” I was taken aback by that sad admission but glad that St. Ann’s was different in their eyes. I look forward to these new employees building their careers with us and feeling the same sense of belonging that our many long-timers do.
As we look forward to the joy of giving and receiving, let’s keep in mind the most cherished gift any of us could ask for: our families, those near and far, both at home and right here at St. Ann’s Community.