I was living on my own, but then had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. I needed to change my circumstances so have now been living at Kinsmen Lodge for over three years. I moved here because I was told it has the best staff and that has proven to be true. I like to consider myself a renaissance man – someone who has many interests and many talents. When I came home from the hospital I found I had to keep busy and have social interaction – that’s how I stay happy.
The Java Music Club program is inspiring, enriching and full of fun. It is so different from other programs I go to because of the wonderful sense of community that comes from sharing myself with people in my neighbourhood. I look forward to it – it’s the best way to start a week. I like assisting, choosing the themes and songs. The talking stick makes it balanced – people in groups end to talk over each other and the talking stick solves the program. People say things here that they would never say at the lunch table. At the lunch table we talk about what someone is wearing, not anything of substance. At Java we talk about loneliness, about friendships and real life problems. I feel I have come to know others better and it feels safe sharing in a group like this. We are of like minds and sharing is easy. I like the way the staff share their thoughts as well – makes us feel we are all equal.
Things that bring me peace include times of quiet and solitude. I also like the small victories of achieving something – little things, like helping other people. I challenge everyone to go and meet a character in your neighbourhood, someone new. You’ll be amazed. Start on a character treasure hunt. What really matters is not what we used to think – money or possessions. Relationships are the real riches of our time.
Patrick Muir, Resident (story, name and photo shared with permission)