At what moment did you laugh the hardest? Who affected your life most? What moment would you like to relive? These questions inspire us every day at Episcopal Place. It is home to 145 vibrant and diverse individuals who have amazing stories to share. Episcopal Place is truly a melting pot of folks from all walks of life and from morning exercise classes to worship services, bingo, performing arts and more, there is never a dull moment.
It’s truly a blessing to talk with our residents, hear their stories, and understand how their lives have improved because of Episcopal Place. Your investments in Episcopal Place make it a wonderful home for our residents and for that we send a heartfelt “Thank You”.
There are too many success stories to share in one letter, but we’re certain you will enjoy this recent conversation with our resident, “Marguerite”.
“I blackmailed my daughter when I moved to Episcopal Place.”, said Marguerite. She has lived at Episcopal Place since 2013. Small in stature, and big in personality, Marguerite and her little dog “Cosmo”, can often be seen zooming around Episcopal Place and Caldwell Park in a mobility chair decorated with Bob Marley swag. That’s the story of how Marguerite was able to adopt Cosmo; it was blackmail. Marguerite was living in Birmingham with her daughter until she could move into Episcopal Place. Cosmo was her daughter’s dog, but he and Marguerite bonded. and when it was time to move to Episcopal Place, Marguerite commented that Cosmo really loved her and it would be a much easier transition if he could come along. That’s all her daughter needed to hear.
Marguerite had lived in 18 states and swore she would never return home to Alabama. She had many adventures including being a black jack dealer in Reno in the 1980s when she was making over $200 a day. Her daughter thought she would never slow down. Marguerite was enjoying warm weather and an active beach life in Jacksonville, Florida when her health began declining. The family decided it would be best if she returned home to live with her daughter in Birmingham. Although she didn’t want to move to Alabama, it was Fr. Wilson of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church who first told her about Episcopal Place. Fr. Wilson described Episcopal Place as a wonderful community of diverse people living together in unity and love. The hope of moving into Episcopal Place made the transition to Alabama much easier. Once Marguerite moved in with her daughter, it was several months before there was a vacancy at Episcopal Place. By the time she moved in, her health had declined further, and her son had been murdered. She was depressed and mentally exhausted.
It was Episcopal Place that gave her a second chance at life. Meeting new people and getting to know the staff helped her through those dark days. Marguerite says that Episcopal Place gave her a rainbow after her son’s death. There are several neighbors who she now considers family and she enjoys the social activities at Episcopal Place as well as quiet reading time in her apartment. Marguerite is especially fond of the Episcopal Place yoga classes, although she prefers to practice in her apartment where she can listen to reggae and calypso. There are days when she doesn’t feel like getting up or doing anything, but walking Cosmo and being greeted by neighbors always makes it better. She says that for an older person it’s especially important to feel part of a community – to feel grounded. That’s what Episcopal Place is for Marguerite; it’s her home and her haven. Marguerite is very happy at Episcopal Place and she wants everyone to know about the love that is encased in its walls and the dedication of the people who live and work here. She has received many rainbows at Episcopal Place and is proud to call it home.
One of society’s most important responsibilities is to ensure that our seniors live out their lives in dignity. Nothing is more fundamental to that dignity than having a place to live. Without Episcopal Place and the ECares program most residents would be alone, without transportation, and unable to live healthy independent lives.
It is our ECares program that provides free transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores, hot lunches, pastoral care, housekeeping for sick or frail residents, health screenings, exercise classes, social and intellectual activities, a relief fund for financial emergencies, and a pantry for immediate food and personal care needs.
We are grateful for your investments that make our ECares program possible. As the holidays approach, please include Episcopal Place in your year-end giving. Donations can be made securely online at episcopalplace.org or with the enclosed return envelope. Your investment will make a difference in the lives of Episcopal Place residents.
The Episcopal Place Staff
Episcopal Place is recruiting members for our new Junior Board. Visit episcopalplace.org/juniorboard for more info!
Please mark your calendars for the 14th Annual Gumbo Gala on Saturday May 4, 2019 at Sloss Furnaces. May the 4th be with you!