As some of you may recall we lost a wonderful man to cancer earlier this year at Trail Lane. We all feel his absence and appreciate all he gave us and with that we were blessed with an amazing experience to come together and celebrate his life with an experience he would have treasured. A crew of OSN staff who knew him and two of our residents set out for the second day of the Pirates season for a night game against the Cubs. We had group seats in the club section (well worth the money if you’re ever at PNC Park right no top of home base. The night was gorgeous, warm and clear skied after rain had threatened us that morning. We brought another resident who is currently on hospice and another who is a huge fan of sports. Though our friend on hospice AB was more excited about the billiard tables and refreshments, CD’s experience was what really touched my heart. Our seats were pretty amazing, and CD’s face when he saw the view and the field was priceless. I do not think he stopped smiling all night, and he, typically extremely quiet, was joyfully striking conversation with our hospice social worker friend the whole game. The staff had a blast, and I have to admit, though its no Fenway, it was a pretty incredible experience. I think my favorite part of the actual game (which we only stayed for 9 of the 16 innings) was the Pierogie Race where mascots of pierogies ran the circumference of the field racing each other. Our friend, for whom the night was in honor of, had always dreamed of going to opening day. He was a fan of all baseball, but I think he secretly loved the Red Sox more than the Pirates. Before he passed he talked to Matt our case manager about going to an opening game with him. Getting to PNC seemed like the perfect way to celebrate our dear friend’s life.
This article courtesy of my community member Amy Skroch exemplifies the importance of housing first and the eradication of homelessness.
I just realized I never shared about my weekend with DEVON! I picked up Devon with my friend Amy from the airport and I was dancing around in the car with excitment. She and I spent the night hanging out with my roommates and catching up at my favorite coffee shop. (This place has the best real hot chocolate known to man). Winter has made me pretty homesick, so seeing Devon was the breath of Boston air I needed. Ben joined us on Saturday to frolick around snowy Pittsburgh, seeing the sites and meeting a friend of hers from home. We spent the night hanging out with my community and dancing around the kitchen. Not much has changed. We went to one of our favorite parishes, where ironically enough the homily was about Operation Safety Net. Sean, Ben Devon and I set off to Ritters Diner then toured the Cathedral of Learning, which is University of Pittsburgh’s own little Hogwarts. Devon and I made an awesome mexican casserole for dinner for my house to end the day. Having Devon come see my life, meet Ben and my community was important to me, beyond the obvious withdrawals from my partner in crime. It is hard to really share what my world is like through voice or blog. Needless to say, Milgate didn’t want her to leave, and neither did I! I think people were amused by the two of us together as we are extremely similar…I wish I could better describe this, but essentially we entertain each other endlessly. I think Devon coming to visit my community was a definite highlight of my experience in my Change a Heart world.