When you work with an aging population, you learn to accept folks you have grown to love, might not be here next week. Of course, people die, but they also make adaptations to their living arrangements. That means they might no longer be present in your life. I thought I had gotten used to this, but this week has proven me wrong.
Our beloved friend, Alan Schneegas came in Monday and told us that he was leaving on Friday. This is a permanent move to his home town and hometown of many of his children, Chicago. Alan had fallen twice in the last week. He had been admitted to the hospital once and his children want him “Home”.
Alan realizes this is the best solution for him but the Friendship Center is “HIS HOME”. Every day Alan comes in and takes his place at the same table with the same group of friends. He has done this for over 15 years. I call that group our “board of directors” and Alan is by unanimous decree the "Chairman".
This week has had a shadow over it as Alan prepares to leave and we adjust to the thought of another “empty chair”. Yes, new friends will occupy the chair, but I honestly believe that Alan will somehow continue to guide us from afar.
One of the greatest joys in my life has been meeting such wonderful people at the Friendship Centers. As we bid Alan farewell this week,I am reminded that all of the empty chairs still provide us with wonderful memories.
God Bless You Alan and thank you for your direction all these years !