Millie, a 91-year-old great-grandmother, is described by her daughter as having “…an amazing talent for being happy and joyful all of the time.” Music always played a huge part in Millie’s life, as she was in the Glee Club in high school and has been a part of many church choirs throughout her lifetime. She and her husband would often take their three children to nursing homes to sing for the residents. Millie has continued her passion for music by serving fellow residents at her Brookdale community by starting and directing a 27 person choir, the “Happy Notes.” They practice weekly and sing every month in the lobby for the community, as well as at other events. Millie actively recruits residents for the choir, enthusiastically telling them, “We are all getting older, none of us sound great…just come and sing and be happy!”
For most of her life, Millie resided on the Florida coast in the town of Lake Worth, a 4 hour drive from where she now resides in Tampa. Millie has very fond memories of spending a lot of time at the beach with her family. Most Sundays they would go to the ocean after church to spend the afternoon there while enjoying fried chicken. She loves everything about the ocean and misses it very much. She longed to put her toes in the sand and to feel the ocean air on her face. Millie still had many friends and neighbors in the Lake Worth area, and she wanted the chance to attend the church there that was such a big part of her life for so many years. In addition, her son, Tim, was cremated and his ashes were scattered at the Lake Worth Beach, and her late husband is buried in the area. She felt that returning to Lake Worth would allow her to feel closer to both her son and her husband.
Wish of a Lifetime, in partnership with Brookdale Senior Living, brought joy to this inspiring woman’s heart by sending her and her daughter back to the beautiful Florida coast. While there, Millie was able to visit her husband’s gravesite and attend the church that he pastored for so many years. They publicly acknowledged her presence and even wrote up a special piece in the church bulletin about Millie’s Wish of a Lifetime. Since she was not steady enough to walk in the sand down to the beach, Millie’s daughter sweetly brought buckets of sand to her mother so that she could feel it between her toes.
After Millie returned she was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, declaring, “I am still living a dream this morning! I don’t know how to express it. It was wonderful! I shed a few tears at my husband’s grave. I keep asking my daughter, ‘Why did they do this for me?’ I felt like a queen! We will enjoy these memories forever!”
Photos courtesy of Colette Lau of The Picture Producer.