NE SUNDAY AFTERNOON I was sitting in my office
trying to catch up on paperwork when the phone rang. It was Maxine,
a longtime Associate of CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home. Maxine
had no idea I was at work that day but had called the switchboard
operator to get my home phone number because I was her supervisor.
Grief-stricken, she went on to tell me that her son, Tracy, had
been found dead that morning. He was only 30 years old, so this
came as quite a shock to all of us. As the mother of a son of my
own, I felt physically ill when I heard the news. Maxine and I talked
for a while, and I assured her we would do whatever we could to
help. Of course, my only thought was, what could we do?
answer came to me over the next few days. Maxine, who was raising
12 children while working as a certified nursing assistant, had
little money set aside in savings. And as is the case with many
young people who think they will live forever, her son Tracy had
no insurance. Someone suggested that we take up a collection to
help Maxine with the unexpected financial burden of this tragedy.
It would do little to ease her pain and grief, but would certainly
show that we loved her and were willing to help with one small part
of the difficulties she was facing. Over the next week, Associates,
consultants and even residents of the CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s
Assisted Living Center where Maxine works collected nearly $1,000
to help offset the expenses for Tracy’s funeral.
Not only were we able to assist Maxine financially, our dietary
Associates prepared a meal to be delivered to her home, while many
Associates and even residents attended Tracy’s funeral. Her
co-workers pulled extra shifts to allow Maxine some much-needed
time off. She was also able to take advantage of the counseling
services of a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at
Monroe who, at the time, was completing part of her internship at
CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home.
The evening Maxine arrived back at work, she was scheduled to work
with a new Associate who had been hired while she was out. I spoke
with the Associate to make sure she was aware of Maxine’s
situation, but she had already heard of Maxine’s loss and
said she might be able to help her, as she had also lost a young
son. It is amazing how God can work in any circumstance!
The Associates and residents of CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home
and the Assisted Living Center wrapped Maxine in love and showed
her the true spirit of our Mission statement…to extend the
healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Once again, we were all reminded
of the family we have at CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home, as well
as how fortunate we are to have such a great place to work every
day. It touched me greatly to see the love that poured out to Maxine
in her time of dire need.
resident services coordinator
Assisted Living Center
CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home