I love stories! Throughout my life listening to stories -- whether on records as I was going to sleep as a little girl or in my work as a chaplain -- I consider it a gift to hear stories!
As a “newbie” in the Lenbrook community, I’m thrilled to be learning the stories of many of the residents here. Of course, the stories in our community here are as varied and unique as the wonderful people who have lived them and now share them with me.
I’m filled with joy hearing how couples met 60, 65, even 70 years ago and their stories of life together. Others have shared stories of love lost and how they are learning to live and tell their story in a new way after the death of a loved one.
Many residents have shared with me their stories of moving to Lenbrook. I never cease to be amazed at the varying roads that have led people here and the equal number of people who share the peace they and their families found once their decision was made and they have settled in.
Now, to be sure, the road in between can be bumpy and a challenge, since change has a way of making most of us unsettled! I find beauty in the empathy shared by residents who have previously made this major life transition and recall and recognize parts of their own story in the stories of others who are now undertaking this major change.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I love stories so much because of one simple truth: Sharing our stories, and receiving the stories of others, allows us to build relationships. We all have a story to tell!
I’m so thankful to be a chaplain here at Lenbrook, where I’m afforded the opportunity and time to learn the stories of our community. It is a joy and privilege to spend time listening to and learning about this community, to be a part of someone’s journey, and become part of one another’s stories!
Heather Flaherty is a chaplain at Lenbrook, sharing her stories and spiritual strength with residents and associates alike throughout the community. She is an ordained Methodist Minister and graduated from Emory University's Candler School of Theology with a Master of Divinity. A chaplain for 10 years, she has served in both hospital and skilled nursing facilities and in the local church setting as a pastor.