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A Grandmother's Legacy of Intentional Humanity

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

My Grandma Josie was one of the most impactful people in my life. I remember how it felt to play at the playground across the street from her home. During the summer, the asphalt was sweet smelling, and the sweat of youth would pour out from playing tag with the neighborhood children. I remember the smell of the peonies that lined her sidewalk that seemed to go on forever, when, from my adult perspective, was only about 30 feet long.


My Grandma Josie was filled with light. She had a difficult life, always worked multiple jobs, gardened, and raised 5 children. She would be up by 5 a.m. everyday. Her breakfast was always the same, white Wonder bread toast, butter, and homemade strawberry jam. I can still see her bite into the toast with her hair all amiss. .However, it was her baked chicken that always stole the show.


My Grandma was always very intentional with her attention. She played with us. She enjoyed us. And we felt it. She would finish her work around 7 p.m. and then we were all hers. She taught us how to cut out hearts by folding the paper in half and cutting half a heart, making both sides perfectly symmetrical. We played crazy eights while drinking A&W Rootbeer. She brought out the Shoestring potato Chips and Milky Way bars. Grandma knew how to entertain children.


If we visited on a Saturday morning, she would always have no less than 2 to 3 visitors that would come and sit on her porch and have coffee. Some, unfortunately, were relatives that took advantage of her kindness. They would ask for a couple of dollars here and there. Although she had none to spare, she always gave them more than what they asked for.

I will never forget the intentional humanity my Grandma showed not just me, but everyone that came to her porch. She had a gift of empathy and radiated joy, despite the hardships her life provided.


One of my greatest memories was when I was in second grade. My parents, grandma and I went for a walk. We ended up a park with a baseball diamond. I begged my Mom and Dad to race me. They both declined my offer. But you know who didn't? My 70-year-old Grandma Josie. Do you know who won? My 70-year-old Grandma Josie.


She shared many memories and incredible lessons with me, but the most influential one was her ability to live with intentional humanity. Grandma Josie taught me that every person is worthy of attention no matter their age, their financial status, or their previous mistakes. Everyone matters and every moment matters.


Wisdom comes with age, and I thank her every day for the lessons she taught me of how to be present with someone and to focus on them and the moment shared. This is what our residents in our Assisted Living and Memory Care home's deserve and what we strive for every day at The Koselig House in DeForest, Wisconsin. This is the type of intentional humanity is what we look for in our Koselig Team and try to provide for our Koselig family. We know that every resident matters and every smile counts!



This article was written by Kim Senn, co-founder of The Koselig House and was first printed in The Marion Gazette, a quarterly printed newsletter by The Koselig House for their residents, family, and friends.





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