Disconnected. That was how Pam Abasolo felt as she entered the hotel across the highway from her ill husband. Ken was admitted to the hospital near the end of July 2019. Pam and her adult girls, Erin and Hayli, stayed at a hotel across the highway, but given his condition, the hospital staff knew it wouldn’t be long. Once a room was available at Reba’s Ranch House, Pam met staff member Jeri Carosella, and knew they’d found a home to weather this storm.
A room with a nautical theme
They stayed in a room with a nautical theme that related to Lt. Kenneth Abasolo’s 22 years of service as a Navy Seal. Before that, he was decorated for his underwater demolition work in Vietnam. The room is sponsored by Mark and Kris McKinney in honor of Nancy McKinney who helped establish Reba’s Ranch House through her volunteer work.
The ranch house reminded the girls of the early days of Pam and Ken’s 10 years of marriage when he would take them on weekend trips. The home-like atmosphere gave them permission to rest, knowing they were a very short distance from Ken if they got the call.
An opportunity for bonding
“To be able to go to the hospital room and then come back to Reba’s Ranch House, just the three of us, added a layer of serenity and bonding to the situation we could not have had otherwise,” Pam says. “The hotel wasn’t the same; it’s industrial, it doesn’t have that spirit of comfort and peace over it.”
As Pam and her girls endured weeks of angst and turmoil, Jeri was there for them. She shared the story of her husband’s passing the previous year, and prayed for Pam whenever she needed it.
“Jeri was so welcoming, so understanding of our position,” Pam says. “I love people, but there are certain ones that the moment you meet them, you know you’re going to stay in touch, that they are part of your life’s fabric.”
Support when it was needed most
When Ken passed at the hospital in mid-August, it was a heartbreaking time. But Pam and her girls were able to support one another.
“Erin lives in Boise, Idaho, and for her to even be there with us in that beautiful environment and bond even over something like Ken’s death was an experience that couldn’t have been duplicated in a hotel room,” Pam says.
Before leaving Reba’s Ranch House, Pam purchased three pottery mugs for them to remember the time they shared. It was especially meaningful when Pam learned the money went to support the Room for Hope at Reba’s Ranch House. She is a three-year breast cancer survivor.
Pam and Jeri share a bond understood by those who have been through the trauma of losing their husband.
“Jeri struck a chord with all of us,” Pam says. “Meeting her felt like a divine appointment, as did our stay at Reba’s Ranch House.”