Our Hearth as Home

March 3rd, 2024 | Glenna McKitterick

Photo collage with Vickie at the center sitting in front of the Meeting Room hearth. Top left: Vickie and housies current and past, Vickie at the annual summer cookout. Top right: Vickie posing with flowers, Vickie dressed up with friends and former housies.

Dear Friends,

My initial contact with BHFH was a Friendly inquiry with a very inviting voice on the phone, Vickie Wu, BHFH’s Associate Director and operations all-around superstar. Vickie’s invitation worked! I’m Glenna — and I’m here now!

As Program Fellow/Resident, I witness daily Vickie caring for our 20+ rotating residents of various life pursuits and transitions. Vickie is inspiring, aptly changing hats of Operations Administrator; Resident Life and Program Manager; Community Care Support, Chef (classically trained, no less!), Hospitality Manager (including Planner/Buyer/Inventory of all Foods & General Supplies), Office Manager, and Guest Program Director. To this list Vickie would mischievously add “Goofy Morale Officer!”

But a simple list of complex titles can’t describe Vickie’s most important role: Vickie is the Hearth of our Home.

A hearth is said to be a “symbol of Love,” where individuals can gather around in the hearth’s comfort zone, relaxing as a “true version of themselves.” Residents gather near Vickie in the Meeting Room, Kitchen, or Office…to be warmed by loving acceptance, and the peace of human authenticity meaning more than perfection.

A hearth is said to be a “symbol of Life,” giving food and warmth. And in our house, Vickie’s delicious cuisine is part of a call to a “ministry of food” with love as the critical ingredient. From the individual attention Vickie gives to each resident’s likes/dislikes, to the fastidious care given residents’ medical dietary needs, to “Food Fairies” delivering soup or favorite foods when someone is ill in their room, to home-baked comfort snacks that suddenly appear in the kitchen.

The “Light” is always present in the smiles and smells of Vickie’s kitchen.  

A hearth is said to be a “symbol of Home,” with togetherness, tasks shared, mutual support and belonging. Where laughter happens, joy, celebrations, joking around – shaking off the worries of our day. Vickie’s contagious, silly, comforting, stress-breaking humor often holds the emotional and spiritual balance of our space.

From what I’ve witnessed in our House, maybe what Vickie gives us isn’t really a symbolic feeling at all. Maybe it is just how Grace really feels.

In community,

Glenna McKitterick

Program Fellow

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