Home Is Where Grandma Is

From the breathtaking vistas and rugged terrain of Alaska, to the sandy coasts and sunshine found in Florida, to the flashy attractions of Las Vegas, Heidi Guy has lived all over the United States. Her husband served in the United States Air Force for 14 years, and they moved bases every two or three years.

“I’ve lived on beaches in Florida, on mountain tops in Alaska, but nothing compares to the cornfields of Chelsea,” Heidi said. “Chelsea is home. It’s where I grew up.”

Heidi, her husband, and their three beautiful daughters had just moved to Las Vegas in 2014 when she received devastating news: her dad had stage IV cancer.  Only a few months after moving, she packed up her Tahoe, with her infant daughter, toddler, and 10-year-old child, to make the 30-hour, 2000-mile journey to Michigan.

“It definitely wasn’t easy because I was taking care of everyone,” Heidi said. “But we wanted to be back in Chelsea with my dad.”

A short while later, her husband joined her, and they moved in with her father to take care of him until he passed in the summer of 2015.

When her two eldest daughters went back school in 2016, Heidi decided to look for a part-time job in Ann Arbor, but she found something even better: a full-time job right here in Chelsea! With her degree in Human Resources, Heidi was a perfect fit for the Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) Human Resources Department. Although she is currently in a temporary role, Heidi hopes to make CRC her permanent workplace.

“I really enjoy working with people here because they are genuine,” Heidi said. “You don’t find that goodness in people everywhere, but I find that in almost everyone here.”

Heidi was familiar with CRC growing up, and it became closer to her heart when her grandma and grandpa, Judge Sandy and Odie Elden, moved into Glazier Commons Assisted Living. Now, Heidi can visit her grandma, right at work!

“I think it’s fantastic,” Odie said about her granddaughter’s new job. “I love living here, and I know she loves working here. Plus, now I can see her more.”

The two have a sweet relationship, with Heidi becoming Odie’s granddaughter as a young child, when her mother married Odie’s son. Years later, even though the two are no longer connected by blood or marriage, they are still close. They are still family.

“My grandma is honest, generous, and full of energy,” Heidi said. “From the first day I met her, she instantly accepted me and treated me like I’d always been a part of her family.”

Odie’s eyes light up when she sees Heidi, as she motions for her granddaughter saying, “Come here pussycat!” (a nickname she uses for loved ones), as she embraces Heidi in a warm hug, and gives her a big kiss on the cheek.

“We always planned on moving back to Chelsea, but we never thought it would be so sudden, with my dad becoming sick,” Heidi said. “Now, I see it all as a blessing in disguise. I’m living in my childhood home, my husband and I both have wonderful jobs, our kids are in a great school system, and we are close to my grandma.”