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Sharing the Journey

Submitted by Bonnie Wykoff, RN

AAA3 Care Manager

Janice was born far from Ohio in the beautiful state of Hawaii, also living in Oklahoma and California before settling in Ohio. Janice explains she was “very shy” as a child, keeping to herself in school rather than making many friends, and remained closest to her parents and sisters. Janice admits her best subject in school was art, and she expressed that talent when she became a hairstylist. As the years went by, her parents and sisters left Hawaii for the Mainland. Eventually, Janice had the opportunity to move with a close friend to Oklahoma. Unfortunately, Janice experienced increasing back and hip pain from an injury that prevented her from being able to stay on her feet for a job for very long, or even to walk very far. As she could not drive, she began to feel increasingly isolated where she was living. When she became pregnant with her daughter, Janice moved to be with her family in California, where her daughter was born. Eventually, the family followed one of her sisters to Ohio.

When Janice’s daughter was in high school, other family members moved out of state while Janice chose to stay in Ohio. Janice admits that often “times were tough” financially, but she always looked to her faith in God to get her through those difficult times. Each difficulty to Janice was a chance to see God. For a time she was able to live with her daughter in an apartment, but eventually her daughter needed to move. As life happens, situations change, and Janice can tell from experience that finding suitable housing is not always easy, involving wait lists and roommates. Janice soon found herself needing to stay in several shelters in Northwest Ohio. Janice relates she became “very uneasy” in one shelter location “where there were gangs and drugs and I even heard gunshots”. She walked out of that particular shelter to a police station, where she waited several hours until a ride came to take her to the City Mission in Findlay. There she “felt blessed to be there”. Most importantly she felt safe. Janice received support and enjoyed attending Bible Studies and church services nearby. Michelle, a City Mission staff member, suggested Janice consider moving into in an Assisted Living facility, and helped Janice begin the process.

Today Janice is pleased with her homey one-bedroom apartment. Most of the furniture and items in her apartment came from donations from local church members, and Janice points to each to say who gave what item. Each to her a testament of kindness and caring. Janice expresses amazement that even her bed was a new bed given to her. In Janice’s words, “It was donated from a store –they could have charged something but they didn’t. It’s a miracle from God!”

Janice participates in activities at Fox Run, and relies on the transportation provided to get to her appointments. She enjoys sharing the journey of life with others at the facility. Although she says she was shy as a child, she is now quick to smile and say “Hello!”

Janice’s bright and sunny personality always shines through, just like the sunny state of Hawaii!

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