Today I’d like to share a little bit about our Cathy. She was our first employee at Gentog, and tomorrow is her birthday…so I think she’s the perfect employee to introduce to you first!
During the Christmas holidays of 2007 Murt and I found our space, signed a lease and were ready to start building our dream. I shared that in my family Christmas letter and mailed it out to many friends…including some families in my parish. At midnight mass that Christmas Eve Cathy came over to where I was sitting with my family, hugged me, and proclaimed, “I want to be a part of this!! I’ll call you next week.” I was thrilled, as I’d hoped she would be interested.
Cathy and I were friends through church. We had children the same age that were friendly in youth group. I taught 7th grade religious ed, while she taught 8th grade. My daughter loved her, and Cathy invited her to be the altar server at her daughter’s wedding. I most admired the fact that Cathy continued to teach religious ed long after her children were through the program (I admit guiltily that I quit teaching after 20 years…as soon as my youngest was confirmed.) Cathy still has faith to share, and she’s doing it weekly with the youth at St. Anthony’s.
When Cathy came to interview with Murt and I at our empty site, she could see the vision. She had years of experience caring for seniors in nursing homes and in private homes. She had a clear love and passion for the elderly and for providing care. She also had a new grandbaby, and insisted that baby Jane was part of the package…Wednesdays and Fridays Jane would be with her at work. And, since we were building an intergenerational program, how could we say no to that?
And so Cathy became our first official Gentog employee…Director of Senior Care. We’ve never regretted that choice. Cathy has a true “joie de vivre”. I can’t pronounce that phrase, but I think it describes Cathy perfectly!! As I sit in my office, I often hear loud laughter coming from the Senior Suite…and Cathy’s laugh leads the way. Our seniors love Cathy. Our children adore “Miss Cathy”. She is truly a good and loving person, with a deep faith and a drive to take care of people. It is Cathy that made the rule “Every senior will get some love every day at Gentog.” Everyone will get a hug or a pat on the back. Everyone will get some one-on-one attention. Everyone will leave Gentog knowing they are loved and they are special.
It’s Cathy that confidently says to anyone touring our facility, “There is NO PLACE like this anywhere.” And guess what? Because she’s here, that’s true. We are blessed to have our Cathy here. Because of her, there really isn’t any other place like this.
We love you, Cathy! Happy birthday.