Notes with Nate: The Seasons of Change Around Us

As Rochester welcomes the fall, St. John’s residents and staff say goodbye to another summer. The courtyard concert series provided many great memories and floor picnics gave a chance for time to be spent with friends and family out in the fresh air. As the change of season rolls in, so many other changes are happening as well, both in St. John’s and in our world.

When I arrived at college many years ago, I had no idea that a new friend’s obsession would turn into a tool for making connections across the lifespan.  My friend Jaime was such a devoted fan of Days Of Our Lives that she would set up her class schedule with a break so that she could run home and watch the show each day. Despite all of my misgivings, I went from mocking its over-the-top plots and acting to becoming a devoted fan myself, determined to learn how Dr. Marlena Evans would escape Stefano DiMera’s latest ploy. After college, I quickly learned that Days of Our Lives was an instant bridge across generations, across family structures, and across the line between staff and elders alike in a care setting. For someone coming in to a new environment, having this touch point also helped to create community. Shared storylines became shared stories.

However, like so many other seasons in our lives, television and entertainment undergoes changes too.   After 57 years, on Friday, September 9, Days of Our Lives will air its final broadcast on NBC before it makes a move to streaming services. Knowing that streaming is not an option for many, we will be screening the final episode on the big screens here at St. John’s Home on the ground floor, with some cake so as to give the show a proper send off. All residents are invited, as are any family members or friends who wish to join us. All are welcome to reminisce about the decades of storylines, together.

The elders at St. John’s have seen lifetimes of love, pain, humor, melancholy, joy, and every other imaginable experience. I wish their stories and histories could all be captured and shared, passing along wisdom and knowledge for future generations. While the writers on the soap operas sure had some tall tales, they fall far short in telling the stories we are honored to learn as we work with the residents of St. John’s.

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