As residents continue to move into Windsor Run, we look back to our grand opening ceremony on May 10. One of our guest speakers was soon-to-be pioneer resident, Patricia Bell.
A resident of the Charlotte-area since age 14, Ms. Bell served her community as a high school teacher and raised a loving family. It is a long post, but we would like to share her comments in their entirety right here:
Almost 64 years ago, my father was transferred to Charlotte. I came kicking and screaming – I was 14 and I had my life all planned out. It did not include moving to some town I'd never heard of! But we all know how life's plans sometimes change, don't we?
So I came, and two years later, I met a 16 year old boy and fell in love.I decided the new plan wasn't so bad after all!
Four years later, we married and we lived in Charlotte, in the Providence Road area, for most of the next 50 years. We raised our three sons here, John, David and Michael. John lives in Charlotte. David lives in Virginia with his wife Jackie. They have our two oldest grandchildren, John and Katherine. Michael lives in Colorado with his wife Ashley and our two youngest grandchildren, Everett and Brynn.
Just an aside here, our older two sons were 16 and 14 when the youngest was born so now our older two grandchildren are almost 27 and 25 and the younger ones, twins, are almost 5. An interesting age gap! And an interesting family dynamic!
I lost my husband almost 7 years ago and the adjustment, after 51 years of marriage, has been difficult. If I'm honest, that adjustment will probably never be complete. As the song goes – "the days are long and the years go fast."
Over the last few years, I have thought a lot about life as it changes and I grow older. I am in very good health now, but no one knows what the future will bring. I decided to begin looking at options and visited several senior living communities. None of them appealed to me –I kept getting the feeling that I wasn't ready to be surrounded by folks who were content to sit around and quietly get old.
I love going to the beach, to the mountains, to visit the son in Virginia and the one in Colorado. The son in Charlotte is always up for a trip – the next one we're planning is to visit the Grand Canyon. I'm not ready to stop!
But I'm also tired of the responsibility of caring for a house, paying for upkeep and for unexpected expenses. And, although I have a lot of friends, when I close my door at night, it is very lonely.
So, what to do?
One day some dear friends mentioned a new community in Matthews, WINDSOR RUN. They had made plans to move there and I wanted to know more. So I made an appointment and met with several of the staff – who, by the way, are truly outstanding. They have been helpful and caring every step of the way.
I learned about the "Erickson Plan". And as they say, "the lights came on" for me. I was impressed with the apartment offerings, the medical care – a doctor present Monday - Friday – no one else was offering that! – and the financial plan. I had been unwilling to sign away thousands of dollars with little or no possibility of return. I learned that at Windsor there would be a 90% return of my investment. So I signed on the dotted line and started making plans.
All three sons were supportive of my decision from the beginning and I have felt from the start that it is the right decision, a wise decision.
Someday, I hope years from now, my family will not have to worry about selling a house and everything in it, so I look at this decision as my gift to them. I have seen too many friends wait till the decision becomes urgent and their grown children have to decide "what in the world are we going to do with Mom?"! I'm pretty darned independent and I wanted to make this decision myself.
At Windsor Run, I am so looking forward to making new friends (I've already made some new friends, and some old friends are coming with me!). I will have relief from home ownership responsibility and expense and will have a feeling of safety and security. I can honestly say that I think it is going to be fun!
I said earlier that I had visited several other senior living communities. That really isn't true. The others were facilities. WINDSOR RUN is a COMMUNITY.
There is a VERY BIG difference!"