Concordia at Cabot Driver Mary Ann Grzywinski first learned to drive after her dad, Concordia Haven Apartments Resident Ed Gulick, gave her the keys to his work truck at 12 years old.
“When I had my [mobile home park] business I used to go around after it snowed to put stone on the street,” Ed said. “I asked Mary Ann one day if she would go down the street with me and told her she could just ride the brake down the hill. From then on she was always hoping it would snow so we could go for a drive together. Eventually there came a point where there was no snow on the road - she just wanted to drive.”
Over the next several years with Ed’s instruction, Mary Ann was promoted from the passenger seat, and drove when her dad needed some extra help with projects. For her, working with her dad was always exciting because it meant spending quality time together.
“I’m very close to my dad because I was the only child for four years,” Mary Ann said. “I’ve always worked alongside him even when I was younger. He always worked his normal job plus he always had a side business of his own. So to spend time with him at his side business became a family thing. We did it all together, whether it was growing a garden in the backyard or helping him with hauling. We all pitched in and it made our family close.”
Mary Ann’s initial time working beside her dad gave her the tools she needed to pursue her interest in a career driving professionally as an adult.
“I started volunteering as a bus driver at St. Joseph Church 12 years ago,” Mary Ann said. “From there I was asked if I wanted to work part time as a driver [at Concordia] because I knew the residents and loved working with them. I’ve been at Concordia for 10 years now.”
When Ed decided it was time to downsize and make the move to a retirement living apartment two years ago, Mary Ann knew right away that her dad would be a perfect fit for Concordia’s Haven Apartments.
“Before my mom’s passing, they were looking at apartments to move to,” she explained. “My dad was selling his businesses and was finally going to retire. After her passing he came over and looked at the apartments again and it’s been the best thing. He joined some of the clubs, participates in activities, the meals are good, the employees are great. He fits in and it works well for him and that’s all I’m looking for - my dad to be happy.”
Not only has Ed enjoyed his time at Concordia but one of his favorite things is seeing Mary Ann when she’s working on campus. After raising three kids and enjoying grandparenthood, his advice for new dads this Father’s Day is simple:
“Take your time, be with your family, talk to your kids, be with them and grow up with them,” Ed said. “They’ll learn how to do things by being with you. Just like Mary Ann. She was with me all the time and there wasn’t a thing I didn’t do that she couldn’t because I took the time to teach her. There’s nothing she can’t do.”
If you are in need of senior care for a loved one, or would like to talk through what type of care your loved one may need, contact us anytime via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. You can also visit the care levels and services page of our website to learn more about what types of care we offer at our locations in Western PA, Eastern OH and Tampa, Florida.