It was a journey eight weeks in the making, spanning over 300 miles across three states, with unlimited smiles all the way, and all for one purpose: to reunite one very special woman with perhaps her most prized possession: her beloved cello.
Kathy Coats, Community Specialist at StoryPoint Chesterton, said that Judy came to live there about a month ago, after recovering from a recent illness.
During her recovery, Judy moved to Indiana to be closer to her daughter, who lives in the Chesterton area, eventually finding her new home at StoryPoint Chesterton.
“While speaking with Judy, I discovered that the love of her life was her cello,” Coats said. “She was a professional musician and teacher, and her students have played all over the world,” Coats said. “But she had left her cello behind when she moved here.”
A call was placed to the home office, and it was discovered that some of them would be flying to Iowa soon. The plan was quickly coming into focus.
“We look for every opportunity to help our residents shine every day and so we thought, ‘Wow! What a perfect opportunity!’” Coats said.
After obtaining permission from Judy’s daughter, StoryPoint staff visited Judy’s home in Iowa and secured the valuable instrument, which then began its trek across the heartland to be reunited with its owner.
Coats said the trip required the utmost care.
“You can’t just pack and ship a cello,” said Coats. “We handled it like a baby. Now it’s here, hidden away safely, and we can’t wait to see the look on Judy’s face, and even better, to hear her finally play once again.”
Residents and staff gathered in the cafeteria as a brief video played chronicling the journey of the cello from state to state with personalized messages from friends and colleagues. The journey included StoryPoint staff who were personally handled the instrument, the airport reservation counter agents, and the pilot of the plane who flew the cello back home. Along the way, the cello made special appearances at local coffee shops, apple orchards, a longhorn ranch in Michigan, and even took a quick tour of the Iowa State Capital building. The Great Scott Band even played a brief concert in honor of the cello and its owner.
Judy admitted to feeling more than a bit overwhelmed.
“These people are amazing! I’m not sure I deserve all of this,” Judy said. “I just hope I still remember how to play!”
The staff at StoryPoint Chesterton live by what they call the “1440” philosophy, referring to the number of minutes in each and every day.
For Shelley McCarthy, Life Enrichment Director at StoryPoint, reuniting Judy with her cello was just one more example of that “1440” philosophy.
“For us, 1440 means creating the absolute best experience for every person here, in every interaction, every minute of every day. It’s what we strive for every day we come here,” McCarthy said.
“We do our best to offer meaningful interactions with our residents every day. We’re a big team, and we all share the same philosophy,” McCarthy said. “We all dream big.”
For more information about StoryPoint, visit them online at https://www.storypoint.com/community/chesterton-in/.
Click here to watch the YouTube video about Judy's cello: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbOVfp635SM&feature=youtu.be.