Gloria Umayam was not looking for love.
After ending a 25-year marriage a few years ago, the certified nurse assistant wanted to focus on herself and her passion for caring for the residents at The Terraces at Los Altos. Umayam was content with her life.
But Umayam didn’t count on the persistence and kindness of Jeff Krahulec, the lead maintenance technician at the Los Altos, Calif., community.
Krahulec noticed Umayam soon after he began working at The Terraces. He was struck by her beauty as well as her gentle nature as she assisted the residents. Unfortunately for Krahulec, that attraction wasn’t immediately reciprocated.
“She wouldn’t have anything to do with me,” he says, laughing.
Umayam confirms Krahulec’s recollection.
“I had always prayed to God that he would send the right person to me,” she says. “I just didn’t realize that when Jeff approached me for the first time over a year ago, that was who God sent.”
Umayam says she eventually realized Krahulec was a nice, loving man and agreed to meet for a date. He took her to the San Francisco piers, where they spent the next 13 hours getting to know each other.
“It was so great; it just felt right from the beginning,” says Krahulec.
Four months later, Krahulec advised Umayam’s family that he would like to ask her for her hand in marriage. Krahulec proposed at the site of their memorable first date, and Umayam accepted.
As the couple began making wedding plans, the residents of The Terraces were excited to learn about the details. Initially, Umayam and Krahulec wanted to marry in Las Vegas, but they soon realized that they wanted to share the special day with the residents.
“First, we wanted to make it simple,” says Umayam. “But I thought about the residents I had been caring for. They are like family to me, like second parents, and I wanted them to be a part of it.”
Krahulec felt the same way.
So on a beautiful day last May, Umayam and Krahulec were married on the campus. The Rev. Kristen Will-Pratt, the community chaplain, presided with more than 300 residents in attendance.
“It was all everybody at The Terraces talked about,” Umayam says. “The residents will always be a part of that special day.”
“I’m grateful to be able to have the opportunity to have the wedding here,” Krahulec says. “It put a smile on their faces.”
The Terraces’ Executive Director Rae Holt says, “From the residents’ perspective, it’s been the highlight of the year. Jeff and Gloria really care about the residents and wanted to share with everyone here.”
Krahulec and Umayam found romance at The Terraces at Los Altos. But they also found themselves surrounded by the love of the residents, who were eager to be a part of this special beginning.
Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves more than 5,000 residents in 42 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
To learn more about ABHOW visit www.abhow.com.
This article appears in the September 2012 issue of ABHOW Words.