To Geraldine, family means everything. This spirited, great-grandmother declared, “I will do anything for anyone who needs help!” Her life is a true testament to her genuinely nurturing spirit and the unselfish ways in which she puts the needs of others ahead of her own. Perhaps the most evident example of this is through the incredibly generous and sacrificial care that she has provided to her loved ones.
When her mother became sick, Geraldine moved back to their family home in Palm Springs, CA to help take care of her. Geraldine remained steadfast and present in providing that care and support for 20 years. When her husband became ill, she provided around the clock care to him until his tragic passing at the age of 43. When her sister died, Geraldine did not hesitate to step up and care for her nieces and nephews as if they were her own. It would be impossible to quantify the compassion and selflessness that Geraldine has extended within her family.
At age 88, Geraldine’s Wish of a Lifetime was to visit her niece, Cynthia, and her son, Eugene – both of whom she has been unable to see in four years.
Geraldine details their history this way, “When my sister died, I became like a mother to my nieces. It would mean a whole lot to see my niece and son again. It would take a load off my mind so that I know they are ok. I am constantly calling them. It is different to see someone in person than just talking with them on the phone.”
Cynthia echoed Geraldine’s sentiments exactly as she expressed her sincerest admiration for her aunt as well. She became ecstatic just thinking about the possibility of seeing her again. She explained that they all used to live together in the same family house where she still resides, with her aunt and mom taking care of her grandmother.
Cynthia stated, “When my mom passed away, Geraldine became my mother. We are really close and all of my kids feel the same way about her. She is the only person left from my mom’s side. I would love to see her before something happens to her. Her time is limited. I call her every week and tell her how hard dialysis is. We pray for each other every day.”
Geraldine is the kind of person who walks into someone’s life and is there to stay. Her authentic joy permeates even the darkest of situations and she is never afraid to walk hand in hand with someone as they deal with the challenges life hands them. Cynthia and Eugene have experienced this first hand and they truly longed to embrace their aunt and mother again.
It was a joy for Wish of a Lifetime to honor Geraldine’s beautifully sacrificial and gracious legacy and the unbreakable bonds she shares with her family. Geraldine and her other son, Lonnie, had the opportunity to return to Palm Springs, CA in December 2019. Geraldine exuded such joy when she returned home, beaming, “I had such a marvelous time…I’m still rejoicing! My niece is normally very tired and sad from dialysis, but she came home laughing and smiling because she was so happy we were together. It seemed like I could never scrape together enough money to make this visit happen. I had such a wonderful time!”