Let’s Measure Love

In 1967 the Beatles said “Love is all you need,” and if that wasn’t enough direction, the Temptations released this song that same year reminding us that “ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from lovin’ you.” These songs gave directions which I believe are complex, but necessary to follow; they’re inspirational directions about what we need to measure.

Taking on this challenge means digging deeper into understanding our own beliefs about love, and the opportunities it creates. Let’s assume KenCrest’s mission of strengthening our community is motivated by ‘loving our neighbor,’ and what then is possible through love? Here are two true stories that took place recently*:

A gentleman KenCrest supports was hospitalized with pneumonia (not covid related), and was quickly transitioned onto a ventilator. After a few weeks, he was getting better and the doctor decided to take him off this machine. The doctor took on the process without anyone from his team at KenCrest present, and it failed. At that point, the doctor called for permission to create a permanent trach and send the gentleman for nursing home placement. That outcome was not acceptable and the gentleman would never be able to return back to his true home at KenCrest. When love rules, HOPE rules and we could not give up neither love nor hope. Members of our team convinced the doctors to try again to take him off the ventilator, this time with someone who loved him in the room, and it worked! The doctor was highly impressed and quite pleased; so much so that she commented was that it was the love and care of the direct care worker present that created such a wonderful outcome. (I agree!)

During one weekend a team member’s home experienced a devastating fire; it didn’t look like much of anything could be saved. The fire department rep — speaking kindly — reminded the home owner that insurance would help; but anyone who has experienced a house fire (myself included) knows that with insurance, there are always high deductibles, that new items cost more than the old, that it takes time, and some things are just truly irreplaceable. When someone is facing all those thoughts in the moment’s notice, you just don’t know which next steps to take. After learning of this team member’s loss, a couple department leaders made calls to expedite a request to the Hibbard Fund to ensure at least some immediate relief would be available to our dear teammate. No one was required to make those calls, but it is only love that compels that action.

These are stories of mountains — despite being social mountains — were simply not high enough to deter us from climbing them. With determination and the love we have for all of our neighbors — regardless if they’re staff members, those we support, or those in our communities — we take action and move to achieve our mission. The success of any organization is the total of all the individual mountains it climbs. As we contemplate love just a few days before Valentine’s Day, let’s be inspired to carry our love for all our neighbors forward the rest of the year to measure what matters.

*We’ve left names and locations of these stories to respect everyone’s privacy.