Harold Racine raised eight children with his late wife. Now, he says he’s “getting [his] reward back, tenfold.”
The 87-year-old currently lives in the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Stillwater, Minnesota. At the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, his family wasn’t sure when they would get to see him again.
Lisa Racine, one of his children, paid her dad one visit through a window early on, but with winter coming, she knew they couldn’t do that forever. The nursing home encouraged FaceTime calls instead, but Harold isn’t exactly tech-savvy.
As she wracked her brain for ways to gain access to her father, Lisa had an unusual idea.
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“One day I just was thinking, ‘How can I see my dad more?'” she told KARE. “And I thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I get a job there?'”
Lisa already has a full-time job as a project manager with a local printing company, but she decided to use her free hours to take a part-time gig at Harold’s nursing home.
Her cousin, Rene Racine, is an administrator at the facility. She said many people are scared to work in nursing homes during the pandemic, so having Lisa volunteer was a “godsend.”
So Lisa took on her second job in December and now works two or three nights a week in the kitchen. She dons PPE and spends her time scrubbing pots and pans, mopping floors, and stocking cabinets. When she’s finished with her shift, she gets the sweetest reward anyone could imagine: time with her dad!
“I have a bit of a routine. I usually arrive a few minutes early and I go check on my dad, and then when I’m done serving dinner, I check on him again,” Lisa told CNN. “At the end of my shift, then I go in his room and I visit with him, and it could be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, hour-and-a-half, depending on how he’s feeling.”
Because she’s working with the elderly, Lisa qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine. She and her dad both received their vaccines, so they’re hopeful that there will be more in-person visits for Harold in the near future.
In the meantime, Rene said, “Everybody really loves her. She’s a great person, has a great personality, and a good work ethic.”
Lisa plans to continue working at the home even after restrictions are fully lifted, simply because it feels good to do something helpful for others. We’d say Harold did something right when he raised his kids, wouldn’t you?
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