“One more applied learning project and I am done!” is all that Carly Snow was thinking as she walked into Bethany Homes to give massages to the senior residents. With graduation only days away, Carly couldn’t wait to go through commencement to get her massage therapy diploma from Globe University-Moorhead. Little did she know the impact the next hour would bring.Carly’s massage therapy classmate, Becky Laddusaw, started to work on resident Connie Grosz. Connie has multiple sclerosis and lives in assisted living where she can get a bit more care. Her husband, Ted, lives in the apartments of Bethany Homes. Connie kept saying, “My husband is going to come over and join me.”
Sure enough, in moments Connie heard his voice coming down the hall. “There he is!” Connie exclaimed without looking up from her massage. To witness Connie recognize her husband’s voice before he entered the room was a lesson that books can’t teach.
Ted walked over to his wife and proceeded to ask if the massage chair could be moved closer to his bride of over 40 years. As Ted sat across from his wife, he reached for her hands. As Carly and Becky massaged the couple, Ted proceeded to lovingly caress Connie’s hands throughout the massage.
To Carly, watching the couple who loved each other so deeply was a lesson in itself. While the couple is unable to live directly with each other right now, Connie and Ted do all they can to spend time together, including getting a “couples” massage.
Instructor Amanda Erickson said, “Many of my students don’t have a lot of experiences with the older population and often are a bit apprehensive when we go to senior centers. Carly and Becky have learned to be very comfortable in this situation, so it’s fun for them to look beyond the client and see the person.”
For Carly and Becky, the lesson in applied learning was also a lesson in the love of a lifetime.