THE VILLAGE TIMES
Independence Village of Olde Raleigh Resident Newsletter
Together at Last – by Pat Simpson
June and Pat Simpson want to thank all of you who participated in or attended our marriage at Independence Village on May 21, 2022 – it was a beautiful ceremony filled with love and the company of our many friends and staff here at Independence Village.
Led by music provided by resident Doragene Gurganus, our many thanks go out to:
- My Pastor, Chris Chapman, of 1st Baptist Church, who conducted the entire service, including the recital of our vows.
- Wedding planner Carolyn Dickens, also from my church, who stepped in from the beginning when I realized I REALLY needed a planner!
- Doragene Gurganus, who contributed her heart and her wonderful musical talent.
- John Smith, teacher and talented photographer extraordinaire, also from my church.
- My dear friend, Tina Gnolfo, who read my poem “Angel with a Broken Wing” so eloquently. She also helped June select her wedding dress and shoes.
- A special thank you to IVOR’s Food Director Charlie “CB” Banks IV. June and I just want to thank you and your staff for all they did to make our wedding ceremony such a wonderful and memorable event. You did a super, super, SUPER job. I just can’t praise you enough. At the reception we had lots of good food, cake (prepared and delivered by Harris Teeter) and ice cream; the service you provided was wonderful. Working closely with me and my wedding planner, Carolyn Dickens, it was like a successfully arranged surprise to all of us in the wedding party and to the 100+ residents who came to see what it was all about.
Please forgive me if I didn’t thank all of you in this article. Most of all, I want to thank the Lord for bringing my wonderful bride June and I together at last, in a love I pray will go on forever. Together at last! We are truly blessed.
Bless This Love – by Phyllis Woolley
(Dedicated to Pat & June)
Here we kneel, while candles shine,
June’s beloved hand in mine,
Father, Thy power divine,
Bless this Love.
Show us how, our love to share,
Like a rose that blooms so fair,
Guide us, with tender care.
Please Bless this Love.
We’re not young,
Yet we’re not old,
Keep our hearts from growing cold
Our love is pure as gold,
Bless this love.
Be with us,
As vows we say,
And always through the years.
Make our path from day to day.
Through all our joys and tears.
Now her hand,
I hold in mine,
Make this love as true as Thine,
Let her always be mine.
Bless this love.
––––May you have many years of happiness together.
NO MORE– by Phyllis Woolley
Over the past several weeks I have tried to write about a true heroine. Each time I make the attempt to talk about her, I am unable to find words to describe who she is. Rarely am I at a loss for words, but recent events have forced me to begin to tell everyone I know about my sister Mary, aka Pete.
Pete is four years younger than I. She is the sixth of eight children who grew up on a farm in Kentucky. She didn’t appear to be an extraordinary person at the time, but she has more than proven herself. However she doesn’t ask for accolades. She just goes about her life, doing what she has to do.
Like many young women of our time, she graduated high school with above average grades. She got a job at a local Dairy Queen and met a young man named Jerry whom she married and they conceived a daughter named Chris.
Shortly after Chris was born, Jerry was drafted and sent to Vietnam. Pete, like other women of the time became the man and woman of the home and took care of Chris.
When Jerry came back to the States, he and Mary had their second daughter, Patty. It was soon learned that Jerry had several medical issues such as Agent Orange damage, PTSD, Diabetes, and heart disease. He would eventually have a heart transplant. During this time Pete cared for her children and her husband. She was Jerry’s nurse, and Chris and Patty’s mom. But this would turn out to be the easier path of Pete’s life. Their beautiful baby girl, Patty was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease, Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome. There are an estimated 50 people in the world who have been diagnosed. A lot of big words describe this horrific disease, but in layman terms, Patty is severely disabled. She cannot walk, she is blind and many of her physical features are distorted. Her IQ is that of a 3–5-year-old. She is diabetic, has serious heart disease (she has had two heart attacks), but she brings joy to anyone who meets her.
When Patty was a small child, the State of Kentucky attempted to force Pete and Jerry to institutionalize Patty. The long and short of that fight was that the State of Kentucky and its political systems had no idea of the battle they had waged. Pete’s determination and strong character overcame what she considered her enemy and she was eventually awarded as custodian of her daughter.
The story doesn’t end there, Pete became a strong advocate of disabled children and took to the airways and newspapers. She fought for many mothers like herself and mapped out paths for them to follow to keep their severely disabled children at home.
When Patty was a teenager, Jerry passed away as a result of diabetes and complications of his heart transplant. Pete was now alone to fight her battle.
Eventually Pete became reacquainted with an old high school friend and they married. Paul is a loving husband, a good and decent man who adores Patty.
Chris grew up to be a strong wife and mother. She blessed our family with two sets of twins. Her husband passed in his early 50’s due to a rare blood cancer.
Recently Mary made a decision that there would be no more surgeries or lifesaving procedures for Patty. Her biggest fear is that she might pass and leave Patty behind without someone able to care for her in the manner in which Patty has always enjoyed.
Several weeks ago Patty was having severe chest pain. Pete called 911 and Patty was taken to the hospital and admitted. As usual, several doctors arrived in the room, all wanting to do every test imaginable. Chris had met her mother at the hospital and assisted in thanking each of the doctors and removing them from the room. Patty’s cardiologist, Dr. Dillon was in surgery when Patty was admitted but soon came into the room with the other doctors sheepishly following behind him. He acknowledged Mary and Chris and walked to Patty’s bedside and sat down.
“What’s the matter baby?”, he quietly asked. Patty put her hands on her chest and said, “Heart hurts”.
Patty rarely puts few words together, and has not been able to sit up on her own for years.
Dr. Dillon, the other doctors, Chris and Pete began discussing options. Pete asked what was Patty’s chance of surviving the anesthesia, and was told 2%. The discussion continued since it wasn’t believed Patty could understand the severity of the situation.
Suddenly Patty sat straight up in bed and in a weak and shaky voice said “No More!” The silence in the room was deafening as Dr. Dillon said with a trembling voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, this discussion is over. Our patient has spoken. I am releasing Patty to her mother and they are going home.”
Today, Patty is in her own bed and home with her mother, Paul and their dog. If Patty is still here in her earthly home after Christmas, hospice will be called in to assist with her care. She was 51 in November. I can’t imagine there is another human on earth who has been loved, nor given more love than she.
Patty’s mother is my hero!
Update: this was written in early December, 2021. Today, Patty remains with Pete and Paul. Pete has managed to control Patty’s A-Fib, and Patty continues to be the character she has always been.
No one but God knows when Patty’s journey will end, but everyone knows as long as God allows Pete to be in control of her destiny, Patty will enjoy the best life possible.
Home Alone – by Richard Smalto
Not only was Anthony home alone when he heard the noise in the hallway of his apartment building, he also suffered from agoraphobia or a primal fear that would not allow him to leave his apartment under any circumstances. He would have ignored the noise in the hallway if it wasn’t two o’clock in the morning and it would not have alarmed him nor would he have been panic-stricken if he was armed and able to defend himself. He swung his legs over the bed he slept on and stood up habitually. Petrified, he moved into the living room without turning on the light. He sat down in a chair that faced the front door and turned on a flashlight he carried with him from the bedroom. He tried to breathe normally as he focused his attention on the door handle that moved up and down that did not open the door because the door was locked. Whoever was outside the door did not depart. Instead, the intruder started using a credit card trying to slide the bolt out of the jamb back into the door’s locking mechanism. Racked with fear Anthony used his cell phone to call 911. The bolt moved and the door opened. Anthony woke up.
Animals Yoga, and Acupuncture too! – by Carol Armstrong
One of my favorite things to do has been to visit a zoo. On one of my visits to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro I watched gorillas doing yoga.
The Silverback male gorilla crossed his arms, putting each hand on the opposite elbow. He then bent over and rested his arms on the ground, keeping his legs straight. he held that posed for a minute or two, then stood up, shook his arms and legs a little, and walked away.
I then watched the female gorilla sit down in front of a wall in the enclosure. She moved so that she was lying down with her hips against the wall, and her legs straight up the wall. She reached up, grabbed each big toe, and gently pulled her legs away from the wall in a nice stretch. She held the pose for a minute or two, then sat up and looked around to find a snack.
The next best thing to going to a zoo has been watching some TV shows that are produced by some of the larger zoos around the world. The shows take you behind the scenes to see how the animals are cared for by their keepers.
In a recent show from the North Carolina Zoo, the keepers explained that an elephant had an injury to the knee on a back leg. They investigated ways to help keep the injured knee more flexible and out of pain. They have been able to teach the elephant to do some exercise and yoga poses, using food treats as rewards when he does what they tell him to do. One of the poses that they told him was to stand on opposite front and back legs for 30 seconds.
The keepers also decided to try acupuncture on the injured knee. An acupuncturist came and inserted needles in and around the injured knee. Five needles were inserted successfully. The elephant did not like the feel of the sixth needle and reached around with his trunk and removed the needle! Most animals tolerate the needles for only one or two minutes. The elephant tolerated them 45 minutes before reaching around again and pulling one out. (Humans usually tolerate needles for 20 to 30 minutes.)
The keepers are grateful for all methods that can help their animals be healthy, pain-free, and happy.
Quotes from our Furry Friends – by Margie Lewin
- The average dog has one request to all humankind: love me!
- Every puppy should have a little boy to play with.
- 9 out of 10 cats will tell you: when you can’t figure out what to do – take a nap!
- God invented the cat so that man could have a tiger to stroke at home.
The Forest Fairy – by Pat Simpson
My name is Duff. It was winter. I was trying to see what had made that movement in the trees. As I reached for my glasses, something seemingly hit my head, The lights went out – for a long time.
What seemed like hours later (looking back it was only minutes) I slowly awoke in the dark; I had the impression that I was surrounded by a crowd. I felt so defenseless lying on the snowy forest floor – covered with leaves, branches, bark, and stems in various stages of decomposition. Right then and there, I decided not to join them.
Was that a soft spring breeze touching my skin?
I looked up.
What appeared to be a young girl of perhaps twelve or thirteen years was fanning my face. She was wearing a spider-silk lavender dress and had soft brown eyes that somehow matched her raven-black hair. It was worn in short pixie-like tresses. Behind an overwhelming smile her voice belied her age. It was the voice of a sweet, young girl. Not the voice of an ‘almost sixty’ woman.
“It was a glancing blow from a falling tree branch,” she said. “You’ll be all right.” She took a sip from a cup and then held it to my lips. “Here, drink this. It’s a special wine. Remember, the best wines are the ones we drink together. Go ahead. it will warm you up. It’s not poison.”
So I drank it. Implicitly, I believed her. It seemed as if I had always known her. It was a choice, and it was mine: for although I felt disorientation and fear, no one forced me.
“Was that you I saw in the trees?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “I only allowed you to see me because I intended to.”
“Because I knew you were coming. The others told me so.”
“What others? Who are they? Where are they?” I was feeling more out of control and frustrated as I spoke.
“Look around you. You’re surrounded by my furry friends.”
I looked; circling me were rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, fawns and even a skunk. I felt as if I was in a Disney movie. I swear some of them were waving back at me (or was it at her?).
I looked up at her exquisite face and finally spoke: “Would you at least tell me your name?”
“My name is Kyna. It means ‘beautiful royal forest fairy woman’. But you must not speak it carelessly.”
“That’s incredible!” I blurted. “There are no such things as fairies.”
“Then who are you talking to?”
Then it hit me. I was in love with this girl. Forest Fairy or not, I somehow knew that I had always been in love with this girl.
“I guess…,” I said, “I guess I’m talking to the love of my life.”
“That’s what you are to me, Duff,” she said. Her sweet voice softened to a low murmur, and the world around me seemed to fade. I lifted her hand to my cheek as she whispered: “The minute you looked at me in the forest those few hours ago, I knew you were the love of my life as well.”
I looked at her for a long moment; then I said:
“You know, you are very beautiful. Will you marry me, sweet Kyna?’
Before she could reply, Duff decided to take a chance. He reached up and planted a long, soft kiss to Kyna’s lips.
“What took you so long?” she asked, gazing up at him with affection. “I’ve been waiting for that forever!”
They were married on a hot, but beautiful day in May.
Life DOES begin at 80!
Salon – Hair Stylist
Tuesday & Friday: Harris Teeter Trips
Wednesday & Thursday: Medical Trips
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
10am to 11am
Dining Room Hours
Breakfast: 7am to 8:15 am
Lunch: 11am to 12:15pm
Supper: 4pm to 5pm