The Second Time Around

The only source of knowledge is experience. ~ Albert Einstein 

supportIt has taken me a couple of days to wrap myself around the fact that TLO started Adult Day Care this week.  We have chatted about this option for a number of weeks but to have this day come to reality really hit home for both of us on Tuesday when we got in the car and motored our way down the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center.  

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Herman and TLO, Circa 1998

We both have had  previous experienced Adult Day Care, so we were coming from the knowledge of experience, yet that knowledge was just about to turn into our reality as we headed south on highway 95.  “Herman wouldn’t go to Day Care; I finally asked him to at least go for a week, to test it out, to give it a try, to at least help me out,” TLO said.I guess that is exactly what we are doing today, too,” I responded, (It has to be that knowledge and experience thing!)

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TLO with Michael Norfleet,

As we arrived at the center, we were greeted warmly by the staff and the participants. It wasn’t too long before the agency’s director, Michael Norfleet, came to meet us. We chatted for a bit and then before I knew it, they were both sitting in the lounge chairs, chatting up a storm.  It was then that I knew that the day was on…and time for me to make my quick exit. It was also then when they day actually hit me square in the eye and I started to cry.

I have no doubt that the McArtor Center is the best place for both of us. Established in 2004, The McArtor Center focus is to meet the needs of the LGBT  Community Noble_McArtor_logo2_140in Broward County, Fla., and the center is the first of its kind. In the LGBT community, many seniors in need of daytime or respite care have no option but to attend day care programs that are not open to, and understanding of, the special relationships and needs of gay and lesbian seniors. The Noble A. McArtor Center was founded by an extraordinary team of individuals whose vision created a safe, open and home-like atmosphere for all seniors and their caregivers to enjoy and that supports any sexual orientation or identification, race, age, gender, religion or economic level.

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Fr Orlando celebrating his 58 ordination addiversay at the center 2005 with Helen and Sonia

Yet, there is more to the history… More to the knowledge… More to our experience… And more to our story! Father Orlando was one of the first participants to attend the McArtor Center in 2004. Upon his arrival in Florida in July of 2004, we both agreed that we would need Day Care to help us manage our days. I remember coming across the center in a newspaper article and was hooked on the first visit. Then I remember what Fr. Orlando said to me on our first day, “I’ll give it a try for a few days to see how I like it!”  Whew, did that sound familiar!   

Valentine_Kids_QuoteHe, well…we…never regretted one day of our stay at the center and, in fact, the socialization and positive attention that Fr. Orlando received while at the center revived his life and his ministry, which aided him (and me) when he made his peaceful transition in 2006.  Now looking back almost 10 years, it is amazing to have come full cycle and return to the center.  The staff is different, the participants are different, but there is one thing that is the same, unconditional love!

Of course, I don’t know what the future holds for us. Now two plus weeks past his radiation treatments, TLO is slowly starting the healing process. It is going to be an uphill struggle. My guess is that the healing process is only going to be aided by the unconditional love demonstrated to us by the staff at the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center. As Albert Einstein said: “The only source of knowledge is experience! “

You see…We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 

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8 thoughts on “The Second Time Around

  1. Avatar of PegiPegi

    What a beautiful post, Chris. Thank you for sharing. I can’t even imagine how difficult it was for the two of you to decide to take that step. Hoping and praying that TLO continues to heal…as do you. You also get unconditional love here too! You and TLO remain in my prayers.

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  2. Avatar of ThedogmamaThedogmama

    Chris, what a gentle loving couple you and TLO are. And what wonderful advocates for your community. Your words never cease to move me. Peace and love to you both as this beautiful season continues.

    Reply
  3. Avatar of RichardRichard

    What w great way with words. I remember the day Robert started and that afternoon when the transport van came to drop him off. He was so excited, like a kid walking into the family room on Christmas morning and we are so lucky that 7-1/2 months later he still can’t wait to get therein the morning. Here’s wishing TLO gets 1/2 the excitement out of it that Robert does. Well, to you and TLO here’s wishing you both a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. *

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  4. Avatar of TrishTrish

    Wow! What a wonderful center. I hope the stay went well and TLO continues to enjoy the time there. It sounds like it wasn’t easy leaving – this is not easy for either of you. Sending you a huge hug (and one for TLO too!).

    Reply

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