This blog was written by a third-generation resident of John Knox Village of Central Florida, Daniel J. Carlson.
Daniel J. Carlson and his wife Faith were destined for the idyllic life at John Knox Village.
In a unique twist, they are the third consecutive generation in Faith’s family to put down final roots here—Faith’s great-aunt began the legacy footprint in the 1980s, and her parents soon followed.
Read on below and you will discover a deeply personal account of exactly why John Knox Village has made such a profound impact on identifying Heaven on Earth.
Heritage in the Making
My wife Faith’s parents, the late Dr. Elvin and Eleanor Holstius, having lived here beginning in 1991, and they having been preceded in the late 1980s by Faith’s great aunt, the late Helene Miller, our residency began in July of 2015.
Yes, ourselves being the third generation of our family choosing John Knox Village as the site of our final home on planet earth.
In each instance, I suggest that such a decision, such a move was preceded by anticipating changes that one’s senior years might entail. Such as?
- Health issues requiring attention.
- Loneliness should one’s spouse precede one in death.
- And thirdly, even apart from such a consideration and whether single or married, the need for community, for interactive relationships in maintaining both physical and mental capacities. In addition, anyone having children, as was the case with both Faith’s parents and her great aunt, choosing to avoid possibly in the future adding to their responsibilities can be a powerful factor.
Anticipation and Motivation
Which leads me to note the close connection between anticipation and motivation in this instance.
Faith’s experience and mine may be unique, in that it wasn’t just her parents who recognized the advisability of life in a CCRC during their closing years—my parents (the late J. Chandler and Ruby Carlson), they too made a similar decision when, in 1974, they moved into a Lutheran retirement center in their hometown and mine, Jamestown, NY.
While in Faith’s parents’ case, the lasting effects of Eleanor having suffered polio in her early years in part led to their decision regarding what the approaching senior years might require, in my parents’ case, they having had but one child whose vocation led him to locations far beyond their own, certainly influenced their choice of a senior years setting.
The bottom line? For us there was no suggesting, coaxing, or urging, let alone any disquieting intervention. All that was required of Faith and me was to encourage and commend our parents in their decision, indeed in the smart decision they, wholly on their own volition, had made.
The word ramification sometimes connotes negativity, but it need not be so. The word can simply refer to the broader effects that result from a particular situation or decision. Did our parents’ decisions and choices that resulted in their closing years locations motivate, i.e., influence us?
Our son resides in Maine and our daughter in Colorado, and we feel that our being at John Knox Village is as much to their benefit as it is to ours.
As Faith says, they can be concerned about us but they don’t have to worry about us. Still, we are where we are having also visited and evaluated like settings in New Hampshire, two sites in Connecticut (at one of which we were “on the list” for six years), Metro New York and North Carolina.
And why did we choose John Knox Village?
Anything in the Northeast would have been more expensive; the no snow factor was significant; and as Faith will tell you, this setting had by far the best salad bar. As for the third item, yes, it predated COVID-19, and we are thrilled for the return of the salad bar.
A Chapter Unlike Any Other
Now into our seventh year as part of the John Knox community, we’ve been assured time and again that our choice was the right one.
The friends we’ve made, the activities available and in some of which we participate, the physical attractiveness of the village itself and the overall friendliness of the staff, the dietary options both in terms of meal choices and dining settings—combined they’ve resulted in our not once having second-guessed ourselves about the choice we made.
And, not least of all, we’ll always remember the stability of this community during COVID-19, encouraging stability due in no small measure to the consistently healthful decisions of management.
From one generation ~ to another ~ and to another. Talk about ramifications that aren’t merely (and clearly!) positive, but energizing as well.
And do you know what? I don’t believe it could have happened in any other community.