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Elim Village Garrison Crossing resident, Pat, and her grandson Ryley
February 9, 2023

I Love You, Too

As you step into Pat Polowy’s suite, your ears may be greeted with an array of tranquil music. “I loved the spa music so much, I came back and put it on myself!”, she beams, referring to the Clearwater Spa in her new home, The Hawthorn. “I’ve already been to a choir performance, and chair exercise classes,” she says, listing off the opportunities available in the building, “and I’ve taken advantage of the hairdresser and getting a manicure too.”

Before Pat called The Hawthorn ‘home’, she lived in a similar suite in The Sequoia, an Independent Living building at Elim Village Garrison Crossing. But as the walls of The Hawthorn went up, Pat grew more certain that a move to ‘Independent Plus’ would provide her with the lifestyle she desired. There was only one thing she had to be sure of first: Pat’s grandson, Ryley, needed to know how to visit her in her new suite.

Four times a week, Ryley rides a bus from his middle school to Garrison Crossing, where he spends a few hours with his grandma, Pat, while his parents finish up at work. “It’s a real treasure getting to see him,” says Pat, “I soak up every moment I can.”

Like many, family is a pillar in Pat’s life. Over 17 years ago, she lost both her husband, Gordon, and eldest daughter, Jodi, to cancer—just over a year apart. “I had five years to say goodbye to Gordon and do all the things we always wanted to do…I only had one year with Jodi,” Pat recounts. “It makes you question, why is this happening? That is when you need to keep your faith and know God has a plan for you.” Since then, Pat and her second daughter, Laura-Lynn, have maintained a close relationship. It only grew stronger when Ryley was born—Pat’s first, and only, grandchild.

“He’s a busy boy,” Pat adds, “He goes to drum lessons, piano, hockey, youth group—oh, and he is so polite! Always wanting to know everyone’s first name so he can call them by it.” She chuckles and looks up at her ceiling, as if a million joyful moments flood her memory.

There is no doubt that life is fragile; Pat, and many other residents, are far too familiar with this. This is why Pat cherishes her time with Ryley and Laura-Lynn, and focuses on things that bring her joy, which is made possible by a lifestyle where she is well taken care of. And once ELIM’s staff showed Pat the path Ryley could take from the bus to her new suite, she was even more certain a move to The Hawthorn was the right decision.

“Every time Ryley leaves, he always says, goodbye grandma, I love you,” Pat says, her smile as warm as the music dancing around her. “And I always make sure to say, I love you, too.”

Pat and Ryley smiling

Pat (right) and Ryley (left) spending quality time in Pat’s new home at The Hawthorn.

This article was featured in the December edition of The Elim Connection, a community publication distributed three times per year to all residents of Elim Village. It is also shared with our email subscribers. The Elim Connection focuses on the stories and lifestyle of those living and aging in place at our two retirement communities. Flip through a preview of the December edition of The Elim Connection below to read Pat and Ryley’s story on page 12.

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