Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 18, 2006
Nursing home residents yearn for families
By BILL GLEN
"When Santa and the reindeer are gone, I can sit and think of going to my daughter's for a good turkey dinner,"
- Terri MacPherson
Last year, Gerald Weisberger put baby Jesus in his manger.
"I was happy to do that," he said.
Weisgerber has lived in Grandview for six years following a stroke. He is one of 10 siblings. For him, Christmas was always a large occasion.
"When my brother comes to visit me at Christmas, it's part of the big celebration we used to have. This is my home away from home."
The residents are treated to many different activities, Johnson said.
"There is a lot for them," she continued. "There is a wonderful spirit with the staff, whether it's with administration or housekeeping. They really do go the extra mile."
The spiritual aspect is the most important part of Christmas for Alexandra Moroziuk. She loves being with her family, but it is also important to remember why Christmas is celebrated.
"It's all because of Jesus that we celebrate Christmas. It's important that we remember," she said.
Moroziuk is going to her son's place for Christmas dinner.
"I think family is important - especially children," she said.
Grandview has been home for Doreen Hill the last five years. When she can, she attends Mass at St. Joseph's College at the U of A. "I like to go to church. I also read my missal at home," she said.
One of her three sons lives in B.C. Her face brightened when she said he comes home for Christmas every year.
"We say Grace before dinner. We light a Christmas candle. I've done that for years."
Every Sunday morning, Grandview holds a Catholic service with another worship service later in the afternoon.
Having people of different faiths celebrating Christmas together is a nice experience, Moroziuk said.
"It is God's house and that means anybody can come. It's always open," she said. "Sister Norma is so caring and so easy to talk to."
Johnson says the pleasure is all hers.
"It's a privilege to be able to share in the lives of the residents because of the loneliness and the need. We must realize their contributions to society, to our province and to what we enjoy today. To be with them in their golden years is a real gift from God," she said.
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