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A Hunger for Meaning



Left to Right: Destiny Dilts, Brittnee Wisecarver, Irene Weltman, Bob Speelman, Tokala Redman

September 5, 2019

NOTE: This story was taken from the blog of Foundations Health leader Bob Speelman. Each week Bob works at one of his facilities in different roles such as housekeeping, or as a nursing assistant, to bring A Culture of Care.

I have the privilege of working with an absolutely amazing caregiver today. Her name is Irene Weltman, and she has been an STNA for 24 years at Arlington Care Center in Newark. Being an STNA is a second career for her, she actually started out as a paralegal in Parma and then in Cincinnati. Then she made a decision that she wanted to do something completely new and became an STNA.
  

I asked her about that career change happened because it seems so drastic and unrelated to what she had been doing. Irene shared that she went through some pretty tough times in her personal life. She told me how her faith in God got her through that and how she felt she wanted to give back and care for others. She said she felt like this was something she was supposed to do.  

I’m so glad Irene followed her calling. She is one of the most loving and caring people that I have had the privilege of meeting on my journey. As one resident put it, “She’s stuck in high gear.” That resident was precisely right. She was a bolt of lightning and didn’t slow down the entire time we were together. She was loving, thorough, and efficient - the perfect combination.  

As we worked, Irene shared more about her story and her love for what she does. I asked if she ever second-guessed her career change. Irene said, “No, not at all, I loved it from day one. I feel honored that these residents allow me in their home every day to care for them.” WOW! I was speechless and proud and honored to be spending my day with Irene.


“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power.

Those rewards create almost as much problems as they solve.

Our souls are hungry for meaning,

for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter,

so that the world will be a little bit different for our having passed through it.”

Rabbi Harold Kushner


Bob Speelman, STNA

Bob's Blog

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