Thanksgiving of Goodness and Gratitude

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer

Today I am celebrating all the previous moments of goodness and joy in my Compass Senior Living Family.   Gratitude is a wonderful way to grow more beauty into our lives!

When I look back 3 years ago when Compass Senior Living was first formed, there were just four of us, and we were attracted to the possibility of working together to build a company with authentic leaders and a common purpose. Our core values have continued to be paramount in all of our decision-making, as we have committed to maintain a focus on our ‘True North,” which is goodness.

Our decisions have been guided by our core values – goodness, loyalty, faith and fun. It has been humbling to see that this clear direction and focus on what is right, and proper, and good  has attracted incredible leaders, investors, partners, care team members, families, and residents to join Compass Senior Living on our journey.

As we have grown with grace over the past 3 years, our Compass Senior Living family is honored today to serve almost 700 elders and their families.

Goodness and Gratitude.  That is how I would describe the journey these past three years.  I think I speak for the rest of our team when I express our deep gratitude to our President, Dennis Garboden, and Vice President, Will Forsyth for having the faith to begin again – and inviting us to innovate, create, and celebrate this adventure! Thank you Dennis and Will, for “rekindling the spark, and lighting the flame” within us!

As a gift to you today, I have been transcribing some of our resident’s audio clip stories for our Tiny Stories project, and have two to share.

We are building a ‘Tiny Stories’ library to preserve the voices and the legacies of the awe-inspiring elders we have the opportunity to get to know and learn from.  I will let you know when the library is complete, and when all the stories from our communities are posted.

This Thanksgiving week I thought it fitting that I share the audio clips of  Ruby Sims tiny stories.   Her voice and her laughter express  gratitude  that  is a joy to hear. 

Ruby Sims – Resident at Marla Vista Gardens, Green Bay Wisconsin

About Ruby:   Ruby  moved to Green Bay from Berlin, Wisconsin but she was born in Winner, South Dakota. She attended school in Chamberlain, South Dakota and has one year of college. Her past occupations were: piano teacher, bridal seamstress and a sales associate at Sears. She has two daughters named Melody and Joy.  She also use to play the trumpet. She enjoys gospel, oldies and folk music. Her favorite singer is Frankie Valli and her favorite movie is the The Sound of Music. She crochets and one great achievement is that she crocheted 500 baby hats for Meriter Hospital; she received an award for this.


ruby“Well I grew up in the state of South Dakota, and I had a couple of brothers and a couple of sisters. My mother was a very lovely woman. I am very thankful for the parents that I had. Very thankful for the parents I had. Not every body can say that. I am very thankful for them. I am very thankful for the life that I’ve had. But I gave my heart to the Lord at a very young age. I think I was 7 years old when I said, “Yes Lord, I am yours.”

Ruby Sims, Piano teacher

Piano Teacherplayingpiano

“My name is Ruby Ann Sims, and I am a piano teacher, or was a piano teacher. I haven’t been doing it for a while, but I could still do it. I am just thankful for what the Lord has allowed me to do. He has always been a big part of my life.”

(Piano music is  Ruby playing in 2016 at Marla Vista Gardens in Green Bay, Wisconsin)

“Every time an old person dies, a library burns to the ground”   African proverb

About the Author:    Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in 11062337_10206528118188840_645394201235573404_nEugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living.  Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada.

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