Barbara Becker
A Second Home

“We all quickly learned that there many things for them to do. They wouldn’t get bored – there was no time for it.”

Having come to the US after World War II from a part of Germany that is now in Poland, my mother, Brigitte, and my father, Paul, lived the American dream, raising a family and building a life together.

My father had several jobs until the early 1960s when he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which provided him with the opportunity to earn the credentials he needed to become a German teacher. For her part, my mother, who had taught kindergarten in Germany, was convinced by her minister here to become a first-grade teacher – a job she held until the mid-1980s.

When Mother and Daddy retired, they moved from Levittown to Northeast Philadelphia, where they lived in a home they loved until they moved into Paul’s Run in 1999. Although my family lives in Texas, over the years we were able to visit and stay in an apartment at the community and see just how wonderful everything was.

When they first moved in, they were presented with many opportunities. We all quickly learned that there many things for them to do. They wouldn’t get bored – there was no time for it. Although Daddy had trouble moving around, he had plenty of friends to interact with and was always enjoying something. At the time, Paul’s Run had a greenhouse. My mother was a passionate gardener and really enjoyed having the opportunity to continue putting her green thumb to use.

What stood out to me was just how much warmth the community and its staff exuded. Whether it was housekeeping and maintenance helping Mother and Daddy with their apartment, or the interactions they had with the dining staff while enjoying their meals, everyone went out of their way. No one simply did their job – everyone took the time to show that they cared for each resident.

When my father passed away in 2003, my mother received a lot of support from the staff and her neighbors. Although losing my father was hard, my mother found opportunities to become even more involved at Paul’s Run. She helped around the chapel, arranging flowers and preparing communion, while at the same time she became involved with the welcoming committee. She knew many people and made many friends.

Paul’s Run became a second home for me. I would visit from Texas initially three or four times a year and finally once a month and was always welcomed by the staff with open arms.

After my mother passed, I received a lot of support and help from the staff at Paul’s Run. I consider myself fortunate to have experienced the same generous spirit that was extended to my parents.

I give to Paul’s Run because I think they are always looking for opportunities to reach higher, and because of the level of care and appreciation they extend to their residents. Having other older adults in my family, and having looked at retirement communities in Texas, for me, there isn’t anything that compares to Paul’s Run.