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Pictured from left to right surrounding Barbara “Granny” Anderson: John’s daughters Samantha and Morgan, his son Chris and John. As John C. Anderson Painters & Restroeres, John has been attending to a number of the Vineyard’s historical buildings, include the Old Whaling Church and the Captain Fisher House for many years.”
If you think you’ll never need a place like Windemere to care for you or someone you love, I suggest you think again.
I’ve experienced my share of hardships and challenges, but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming task of caring for my mother. When someone that close to you has a problem, and there seems to be no way to fix it, it’s a terrible thing. But by caring for my mother, Windemere let me give up the weight I was carrying, and gave my life back to me.
My mother, Barbara Anderson, was an intelligent woman, caring and generous, a hard worker, a voracious reader, and a gardener with a passion for roses. She nurtured my sister and me the same way – she was the Brownie and Cub Scout den mother, always involved in our lives.
My mother and I talked openly about the times ahead as we approached the end of her life. She had a little house on the Cape that she loved, but 10 years ago, when it began to be too much for her, I brought her to the Vineyard to be with me. As it turned out, she was in the early stages of dementia. Two years later, after a fall and a couple of surgeries, she was admitted to the dementia care unit at Windemere. She was 84 years old. My mother knew me for her first 4 years at Windemere and then the dementia took her.
On my visits to Windemere I saw staff I already knew from our community, not just as caregivers, but as family. My mother and I became part of their family; it was tremendously comforting. All the caregivers at Windemere are heroes in my book – you have to have so much heart to do what they do.
Don’t kid yourself: If your parents are alive, this is where they may be headed. Please, talk to the people you love about their end-of-life wishes, and your own. I’m so glad I did.
I’ll always be grateful that Windemere was there for my mother in her last years when she couldn’t take care of herself anymore. For that reason, and because I have personally experienced how essential Windemere is to our lives here on the Vineyard, it will always have my support.
I hope you will join me in supporting Windemere too. The Island needs this place. I’ve made my gift and I have no problem asking my friends, neighbors and complete strangers to do the same.
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