Our carers are all unique with their own stories about being a live-in carer. We love it when they share these stories with us.
Recently we received this letter from carer, Elaine Rose Thorne:
Nothing is by Chance
I met a very dear friend of mine in Kensington, Johannesburg, in August 2013 for a cup of coffee, and a girly catch up. Little did I know this would change the course of my life.
At the time of us meeting, my son Ryan, who is my mainstay, and I lived in a beautiful home in Kensington. I had owned a business in trucking, ran The Kensington Heritage Trust, was a radio presenter with my own weekly show on Radio Today…. and thought my life was made!
I am very community driven and was also part of our suburb community forum, however, when my friend invited me for that cuppa, it changed my perspective of life.
My girlfriend said she was in the process of applying for a position as a Christie’s Carer, in the UK, and wouldn’t I like to take a look at the same possibility.
It was one of those encounters when you say, glibly, sure send me the application and I’ll take a look at it. The application arrived by email, it was so user friendly, that day I added the information required. My British passport had just lapsed at the time, and so I had to go through the process of updating that too.
I am a Christian and so as I went along with preparation, I prayed to Our Lord, that if this is His will, the journey to come would be made easy and simple. Although I do love adventure, this was too out of my comfort zone for me to be going this alone.
I have always had a heart for trying to impact people’s lives around me, and as this journey unfolded so easily, I realised that this had to be part of God’s plan in my life.
Before I knew it my application was sent in, my interviews were over, my passport arrived, my Christies Carer training was scheduled and flights were booked… I was set to go!
It was a few days before my leaving that, as I went to bed, I had this feeling to get up and read Deuteronomy 8:7-10, and the scripture went on to say:
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks and water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of the valleys and hills. A land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and in whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land in which He has given you.”
After reading this, I now KNEW I was well on my way to becoming a Christies Carer.
I arrived in the UK on 7 March 2014, my training commenced 12 – 16 March and I was blessed to have my very first assignment on Monday 19 March.
It was an urgent call, hence me starting on the Monday as opposed to Wednesday. My client’s son came all the way from Essex to fetch me. It worked out so well that by him fetching me, he was able to share his father’s life story so when we arrived it was almost as if I knew my client. It made the transition ever so much easier.
I was there for three weeks. The family, which is rather large – extending to fourteen members, made me feel like family. It was a joy being able to take care of my 81 year old gentleman, who was absolutely adored by his loving family. The trust in each other was instant. I hoped I was going to be able to return, as I believed our time together was short, and we had so much more to accomplish. You see, my client had a stroke that January, and he was coming along oh so well, I felt saddened to leave.
The three weeks passed in a flash, and before I knew it I was packing my bags for Walberswick, Suffolk. It’s on the east coast, a very arty village, with around 450 homes of which 50 are owned by holiday makers. The Carer at the time fetched me from the nearest station, and she gave me an overview prior to the handover of my next client. That was most fruitful.
I was surrounded by women this time, as my client who was 89 years, had three daughters – one who resided in Walberswick and the other two daughters, who are twins, live in London.
Once again I was taken in as family, as I began to take care of this amazing lady, who unfortunately had had two separate falls resulting in breaking her leg and then her pelvis.
This frail lady, who had such a strong spirit, delighted me. Although suffering from dementia she had an astounding memory of the past. It made daily living much more than just living when you shared the same interests. My client loved gardening, and had a beautiful garden which she was able to enjoy with the help of her daughters and gardener.
She appreciated the arts, loved watching tennis and sport. To top it all she had a tremendous sense of humor. She would share stories of her past in the war, how she met her husband in a far, far off land from Ireland. She introduced me to the daily activity of crosswords, which I began to enjoy immensely. I was with my lady client for seven weeks, then returned to Essex for a further assignment of five months with my 81 year old gentleman.
I returned home to South Africa on 10 December 2014.
Guess what …. I am back! back to the same clients. It has been enriching seeing how their lives, although one year on, have improved in certain ways. They still have so much more to give, as I have to give to them.
Caring is a special calling, I feel. When I am here, I am led to live a selfless life, more about my client, than me. It is a humbling experience being able to impact my clients’ lives and those who love them so dearly. Being able to bring hope, dignity, trust, love and as much independence as safety will allow.
How long will I be called to follow this special path in my life, only God knows…. as I have said, nothing is by chance.
Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony as a Christies Carer, may it bring encouragement.
Elaine Rose Thorne
Thank you for sharing Elaine!