Jenny Meets an Elephant

Jenny B., 78, from Brookdale Meridian Temple has lived an adventurous life. Jenny has been whitewater rafting, gliding, skydiving, and skiing on the tallest mountain in Germany. In 1960, Jenny visited a zoo in Munich, Germany with her first child. The two saw an elephant playing the harmonica. About 10 years later, Jenny returned to the zoo in Munich with her second born child. Jenny once again saw the same elephant playing the harmonica. Jenny said “it was like he remembered us,” and the elephant played the same song. Later on, Jenny read an article about how three elephants were separated for 30 years, but remembered each other upon reuniting. Jenny said she was “so touched by that. It’s so brilliant. It goes back to how I think the harmonica playing elephant recognized us.” Ever since then, Jenny had always wanted to meet and touch an elephant.

Jenny has enjoyed giving back to her community throughout her life. Jenny’s first volunteer experience involved teaching kids how to read at a local elementary school. Later on, Jenny became involved in the League of Woman Voters and helped her community receive new sewage systems. Jenny also educated young mothers about pregnancy, and at an organization called Head Start, which helped kids living in poverty. Today Jenny sings with the Meridian Choir. Jenny loves going to other older adult communities and singing songs from the WWII era. Occasionally the Alzheimer’s patients will sing along and smile with Jenny, making this one of Jenny’s favorite activities today.

Wish of a Lifetime, Brookdale and SCA/Tena were excited to send Jenny to the Houston Zoo to spend time with the elephants on November 18, 2016. Jenny loves animals, especially elephants, and was eager to meet the Houston Zoo elephants. Jenny said she could not wait to “get out there again and do something that will energize me…this wish will provide me with a much needed sense of accomplishment.” Not only did Jenny have the opportunity to touch an elephant, she was also surprised with a painting created by an elephant, and an adoption certificate for one of the Houston Zoo elephants.

Photo credit: Matt Rood, Matthew Rood Photography

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December 16, 2016