A Story of Love without Ego
Story and Photos by Lynda Huddleston
She was a true Texas girl at heart, with the stubbornness and grit to match. She didn’t have many close friends in our Meridian assisted living community, where I’m a staff member, and kept mostly to herself. But she did enjoy bingo and cards and most other events on the calendar. Such activities helped to keep her anchored as her memory and health declined. Despite her alone time, staying engaged made her feel safe.
Jean’s (not her real name) short-term memory wasn’t as good as it once had been, but she still loved reminiscing about her childhood. She told about how she had lived in California when Disneyland first opened. She had various jobs there, including dressing up as different characters to greet visitors as they entered the park. You could see the pride in her smile as she shared these stories.
Jean’s faith was also important to her, and you could always find her on Thursdays singing along to the old standard hymns during music Bible study. I’m a southern Baptist preacher’s daughter from Mississippi, so our church upbringing and southern roots were things Jean and I had in common. On Thursdays, I often sang along with her to “The Old Rugged Cross” or “It Is Well with My Soul.”