We live in a world that is usually seen as incredibly greedy, self-centered, ignorant, and just generally not nice these days. The world of Trump, North Korea, so much sadness – it can definitely put a negative spin on our world. And yes, there is a lot going on in this world that is sad, depressing, scary – but then you come upon a place that makes you see the world as it should be – a beautiful, amazing generous place. I was lucky to have found this place, but I am not sure if that is the right word in the circumstances that led up to discovering a most amazing place.
My father suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and ended up being transferred to Hamilton, Ontario in order to have surgery. I am happy to report that he is on the mend, albeit slowly, but he is definitely healing. When the decision was made to head to Hamilton, my mother, of course, was going to go with him to be by his side. Seeing that I am living with my parents, I made the decision to forego work for the week and went to Hamilton to be with my mother. My sister did some research and through her research, she put my mom’s name in for a room at a house near the hospital. I cannot thank my sister enough for leading us to this house!
The name of the place we stayed at was the Mark Preece Family House – this lovely unassuming building situated a block away from the hospital. We were in touch by phone with the weekend volunteer, Paula, who was incredibly helpful in giving us directions and information. A couple of hours later, we arrived with Paula at the front door waiting for us.
We walked into this building, awed by the beauty that awaited us. A gorgeous lounge/library with books and magazines to read, colouring books if we chose to do that (and yes we did indulge in colouring while there), coffee, tea and cookies, a fireplace, and gorgeous antiquey (yes that’s a word – MY word!) furniture. And that was just the front room! After we filled out the necessary paperwork, we were given a tour. It was like coming into a second home – we had a very nice room with very high ceilings, beautiful duvets on the bed and a private bathroom. We were taken down to the kitchen/dining room area – two big fridges, a big eating area, a TV to watch, a pantry shared by all, our own bins in the fridge and second pantry. Communal dinners on numerous nights during the week. Wonderful people were met that were staying there – Kellie from Vancouver, Rose and her husband from Thunder Bay – just to name a few that we ended up befriending, all of us staying there while waiting on news of our relative’s health. It was such a homey feeling, something you would never get in a hotel.
The executive director, Pearl, is a wonderful woman who takes the time to chat with everyone staying there (when she gets a few minutes!) – she is a wealth of information and so friendly. The ladies at the front desk with helpful information about the walk safe program through the Hamilton Health Services and so many other things I asked. And of course – the cookies!!! Cookies to be shared by all – I would lie if I said I didn’t partake in some of the cookies.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful and calming atmosphere the Mark Preece Family House gave us during this stressful week. It is a place to feel like home, even when you are miles and miles away from your home. A truly comforting place to be in to take away some of the stresses of the hospital.
The Mark Preece Family House is a gem of a place for those who are in need of a room while a family member is in hospital. This amazing house, and the amazing volunteers that keep it running, are proof to me that this world really is an amazing, general place.