Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

I pray that everyone had a Blessed Christmas (2016).

It has been awhile (years) since I have posted on my blog...maybe today is the day. What and exciting year 2016 has been, full of changes at almost every level. I will be starting my 9th year at Francis Heights, May 1st of 2017, and continue to enjoy my view every single day. I just started my 4th year, December 6th, working at Dayspring Villa...How time flies. I do work part-time...3 6 hour days. The commute time is about 5 minutes.

I am doing very well health-wise. No signs of Cancer...Praise God. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in July of 2008. However, I do have osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine and both knees. I was in a lot of pain but have found two different things that help tremendously. I am  90-95% better on any given day than I was a year ago. I’ll take it.

There is so much history where I live. There are 16 acres between 26th and 29th on Osceola. All of this property was managed by the Franciscan nuns until about 10 years ago when the nuns went back to the main headquarters in Wheaton IL. There are many other properties in CO that were originally run by the Franciscan nuns. On this property it started out as the St Clara Orphanage from 1890-1967. Francis Heights opened in 1972 - independent living. Two buildings hold about 400 apartments combined. Clare Gardens opened in 1973 - low income family housing. One to 4 bedroom units. Dayspring Villa Assisted Living opened in 1996. There are about 64 residents at any time.
At the bottom of the picture is Dayspring Villa, where I work, it is 3 stories. The tall building behind, Francis Heights, where I live, it is 16 stories...west building, and I live on the 15 floor.

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”
- Heraclitus

Early in the spring Fransican Ministries announced that they were selling all of their properties. We were sold to Mercy Housing which was started by the Mercy nuns. One big problem. Mercy Housing is “Affordable Housing” and they do not have any Assisted Living facilities. They had to find someone to manage Dayspring Villa. Dayspring was taken over on July 1st by Christian Living Communities...what a blessing. Francis Heights and Clare Gardens were taken over on August 1st by Mercy Housing. Talk about change...my goodness.

Now on to more change. 2 years ago in April I left the church that I had been going to for 18 years. It turned out to be a harder move than I had anticipated. I did find a church that I honestly love. Grace Church of Arvada. I started a weekly Bible study for the residents at Dayspring. When I would talk about my new church they became a little envious and made it known that they would like to go to church. Well the church is live and I would watch it on-line when the weather was bad. I started going back to work on Saturday evenings and we would watch the sermon together on our little computer screen. When Pastor Rick visited with our Bible study group he looked around the room and asked how we watched the sermon. He was in shock and within the month the church had installed a 62 inch Smart-TV. I just could not believe it.

God does work in mysterious ways. I know that He was not finished with me yet and that is why I am still here. I think most of you know that the Bible verse that I clung to all through my illness and still do:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)



PS - To my Burnell Family: I truly feel in my heart that this man is related to Annie Walsh somehow...if that is so then he is related to all of us. The orphanage had a coach - John Walsh in 1937.
Quotes from the History of the Orphange.
"People gladly PAID to see John Walsh's 'Little Fighting Irish.'"
"John Walsh was the hero to more youths and adults than we would dare to guess."
"John Walsh was with St Clara's four years during which time he earned the title, 'The Father Flanagan of Denver.'"