In mid-January, I was admitted to the hospital for major surgery. Since my wife, Kit, has been battling advanced Alzheimer’s for the last four years, I needed someone to stay with her 24/7 to cook meals, help her bathe, dress and just assist her with light chores around our home.
My son Jim drove us to the hospital and back again after my stay. He helped me in and out of my bed, bought things for us at Angel’s Food Market and made sure we were both all right. That’s a son we’re very proud of. Our 9-year-old grandson, Julian, also helped us with things around the house: getting us drinks and snacks, and just making us as comfortable as he could, and that’s a grandson to also be very proud of. Our daughter-in-law got up early to make sure the visiting angels could be let in at 8:00am to start their day. She also went to and from the hospital with us. Kim, Jeffy and Jamie from Angel’s Food Market brought us cuisine to keep us from having to cook too many meals. They did this out of their own pocket and without any requests on our part. These are local good souls that Kit and I consider our family. Our dear cousin Lisa from the Eastern Shore also came to our aid with more meals that we appreciated so very much and again saved us from doing a great deal of cooking. Knowing our serious medical situation, our neighbor Bill came to snow-blow our driveway after the light snow we received.
This neighborhood surrounds us all with wonderful residents who look out for each other, and the gratitude we feel toward them is incredibly deep. This is what families and friends do for one another, even if we’re not related by blood. And last but not at all least was the very appreciated and understood shower that Irene, a retired nurse and exceptional friend, did for me. It’s not every day that you hear of a true friend helping a homebound male hospital patient freshen up in the shower after his confinement in the hospital and rebandage his wounds to boot.
These wonderful individuals are the real angels among us! They’re our families, our delightful friends, neighbors and the people we surround ourselves with.
Kit and I have thanked you all for what you’ve done for us as you all mean so much to us and it’s difficult to show our gratitude. Just know we’ll be here for you if and when you need us.
Shirley “Kitty” Bilenki and James “Jeep” Bilenki Jr. (U.S. Navy retired)