Reflection from Kirkwood Chaplain, The Rev. Lucy Turner
It is a typical day at Kirkwood by the River. I am surrounded by people engaged in activities of all kinds. At several tables, residents are playing Dominoes. At two other tables are the bridge groups. Another table is dedicated to jigsaw puzzles: a popular group activity. Others are sitting alone in the light-filled living room, absorbed in the latest edition of the Wall Street Journal. The fireplace is cold on this hot summer afternoon, but it is a popular spot just the same.
Down the hall, the big room is being readied for the annual luau, one of the biggest parties of the year. A resident passes by—walking the halls with purpose, determined to get in her 10,000 steps today. A few folks gather by the windows overlooking the Cahaba River as a big thunderstorm passes through.
In Hillside, the residents of Memory Care are more than likely playing Bible Jingo, their favorite game. On two lower floors are Riverview Rehab and Skilled Nursing, where some people receive short-term rehab and then return to life outside of Kirkwood and others receive long-term care given with kindness and compassion.
Kirkwood is a fine place to be today – or any day, for that matter. As I prepare to leave and join the ranks of the fully retired, I know I will miss being here—a lot at first. I will miss the residents I have come to love. I will miss the staff members who have become treasured colleagues. I will miss being a part of this ministry, because that is what the work of Kirkwood really is – a ministry.
However, I will be back. When the time comes for me to down-size and seek a supportive community, I cannot imagine any other place I’d choose to live than Kirkwood – a place of friendship, activity, purpose, ministry, compassion, comfort, and security.