Lillian’s 15 year Milestone

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Lillian Brtek is a familiar face to many who have passed through the doors at David Place over the last 15 years. She recently spent time reflecting on her time at David Place, and how things have changed since she moved in 15 years ago. Where has the time gone!

Lillian’s story is interwoven with the pets at David Place. Callie was the first cat to call David Place home, and moved in at the same time as Lillian. Phoebe the cat moved in after Callie retired.

Phoebe is Lillian’s favorite part of David Place. At night Phoebe sleeps on the nightstand, and during the day she enjoys laying on the bed. Lillian remembers one time being in the hospital for about 4 days. When she came back from the hospital, her nurses told her that Phoebe missed her and slept in the same place on the bed while she was gone. “When I got back, she got up and smelled my finger,” says Lillian. And they were back to life as usual.

Phoebe moves her paws to wave at Lillian when she needs water. And Lillian is more than happy to accommodate her, filling the water dish in her room with fresh water for her cat. “She doesn’t like to have stale water,” says Lillian. “She needs pure water.”

When asked what kind of cat Phoebe is, Lillian is quick to respond that she is just an ordinary cat. But what she does for Lillian and others living at David Place is far from ordinary. She fills the halls with joy and playfulness, and brightens the day for many, wandering from room to room and accepting treats from outstretched hands.

Entering Lillian’s room, a visitor will find many items that have special meaning for Lillian. A sign declares, ‘Oh Lord help me this day to keep my big mouth shut’. This is one of her favorite sayings. The walls are covered in artwork, which changes with the seasons. A special wooden fork lays on the dresser, which Lillian uses to keep time when she goes to music programs. She enjoys showing visitors a rosary bracelet that she received from the Catholic Daughters in Wahoo over 40 years ago.

The biggest changes she has seen are the increase in computers and the appearance of David Place. Several remodeling projects have been completed during Lillian’s time, including the change from tiled floors to carpeting, and the addition of flower and vegetable gardens.

Fifteen years have passed since Lillian decided to call David Place home. She brought with her a lifetime of memories and loves sharing them with others. If you have some time and want to hear more about Lillian’s life, you can find her with Phoebe.