There are no small things to God, and little things will become really big, powerful things that eventually help us all!
I recently released the blog about Richard Cusati, the amazing man who has fought a battle with MS every day for almost three decades without ever thinking about giving up or feeling sorry for himself. Encounters like the one I experienced with Richard help me stay motivated during a very challenging time for Signature HealthCARE and our LTC industry with lawsuits every day in Kentucky, rate cuts by states and the new Obama care coupled with proposed ‘fiscal cliff’ cuts.
Some days you wonder, ‘does anyone forget these sacred people?’ We are a high-touch, high-risk service and something that most families could no longer achieve at home, so we should do it perfectly, knowing we will try but most likely can’t ever replace either one. In this business, the operating margins are so thin that many political leaders forget they already cut you multiple times last year…
However, I have another story that combines hope, miracles, and love like very few ever could. Recently, we were in North Florida celebrating a new medical office building opening by Northwest Florida Community Hospital that will attract new physicians and professionals in Chipley, Florida, which could be a model for small town healthcare. The visionary owner was a man who wanted to save a town, restore trust and build something special – and Pat Schlenker did.
There were big crowds, great speeches, dignitaries all around and a proud community praying for great healthcare and community prosperity. After I said a few words and finished several interviews, I rushed over to our 5-star Washington Rehab and Nursing Center, led by Bret Brown and his team.
Dianne T. and I went room to room so we could meet and check on every resident. There were aspiring poets, in-house presidents, incredible stakeholders, busy customers who were in a hurry to get to rehab to work out, and really happy people – people who just got tired of being home alone and love the socialization. I was so proud to be a Signature stakeholder in the Revolution that I had goose bumps. It was not always that way here before Signature…trust me, I know, because we bought it to change it.
Then it happened again…
Brett wanted Dianne and me to meet and pray with a special example for all of us, a resident who had just had a home evaluation after several years in the center. This means they are checking his home environment for adaptability because they believe he will get back to his own bed, with his wife and children, and put his toes in his backyard grass again – because this man, with his wife’s unconditional love, had too much to lose to ever give up.
After a terrible accident, he started with no movement, was told he would be institutionalized for life, moving only his eyebrows and eyelids to communicate initially. On this day, his wife was sitting next to him with joy; their dream, years in the making, will come true soon, God willing. He started with a total physical rebuilding project, but a heart bigger than a lion.
He and his wife talked about the hopeful days and the dark days, the almost daily therapies, the psychology support needed to keep him on his miraculous path to the impossible, and the loving staff that would not let him even think about giving up. They told me they had to quit thinking about “what is” but “what it could be.” They had to pray 24/7, knowing God was there and committed, and they had to measure life by the littlest progress possible because it is still progress knowing little things eventually add up to really big things. And they believed for that really big thing.
I can’t lie, my eyes kept watering up, and I wondered, ‘did I possess a faith that big in my darkest hours?’ I worried whether I would have the personal tenacity to do something as big as losing what seems like everything at the time and then with love, support, and a heart of gold, become a living miracle for others to touch, hug, and learn from.
They inspired me, made me want to be stronger and made me want to reach out more because it made me think of what my mother always said: ‘Nothing is a little thing to God. Little things become big things eventually, and there are miracle workers among us – we just need to slow and look closer.’ And I finally did.
We cheered, prayed, and cried often over the past years, but learned three great lessons from Stephen that we all cherish today.