With her father in a nursing home and coronavirus restrictions keeping them apart, Lisa Racine knew she'd have to get creative in order for them to spend precious quality time together.
Luckily she had a solution: take a custodial job at Good Samaritan Society — Stillwater in Minnesota, a gig that would allow her not only a second paycheck, but access to her father, Harold.
"One day I just was thinking, 'How can I see my dad more?"' Racine told NBC affiliate KARE. "And I thought, 'Hey, why don't I get a job there?'"
For Harold, 87, seeing his daughter walk into the nursing home in December after she was hired was a pleasant surprise, giving what he called "one of the happiest days of my life."
"I was shocked, really," he told KARE. "I was kind of dumbfounded. 'How did you get in?'"
Racine's new job at the facility is worlds away from her fulltime job as a project manager for a printing company: instead of dressing business casual, she dons an apron to mop the floor and scrape plates in the kitchen part-time on nights and weekends.
Though she joked that the gig is "quite glamorous," she told KARE being able to be there with her widowed father is "priceless."
"I can't believe they pay me for this," she said. "I could take a yoga class or go to happy hour, but I'd rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad… He's cleaned up plenty of messes after me in the past."
Meanwhile, Racine's help has also been much appreciated at the facility. Her cousin Rene Racine is an administrator at Good Samaritan, and said the pandemic has made it difficult to fill open positions.
"Having her reach out and wanting to come to work was an absolute godsend for us," she told KARE.
Thanks to her job, Racine was able to get her first COVID vaccine shot last month, as was her father. Good Samaritan Society — Stillwater is slowly starting to allow family members to visit vaccinated residents, but Racine said she is going to stick with the job for now, at least on an on-call basis, as it makes her feel as though she's "doing something good for other people."
"The trials and tribulations of raising [eight] children, in the end it certainly paid off," said Harold. "I'm getting my rewards back, tenfold."
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