Entering the winter of her life, Anne had a wonderful life. She married and had 3 beautiful children. They bought a home, worked hard, sent their children to college and watched as they married and gave them grandchildren. Once retired, they settled down, relaxed and traveled. They loved spending time together, and then her husband had a stroke and died. Her world fell apart — she was alone. The children were living in other cities now with their own responsibilities. Anne spent more time with church activities to keep busy. She felt overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of a house all by herself. She knew her Social Security and savings were not going to take care of her, the utility bills, repairs and possible medical bills if she needed more help. Her oldest daughter met with her sisters, and they decided it would be in Mom’s best interest to sell the house. Anne did not want to leave her home, there were so many wonderful memories, and what would she do with all her things? She felt she had lost everything already and her life was falling apart. This would be the last of the life she loved and had built with her family. She knew the day would come when she would have to leave her home, because now her children were worried about her living alone, and she didn’t want to be a burden. As Anne entered her 3rd year without her husband, she could no longer ignore the necessity of moving. She did not realize that the government would take a large amount of the funds she received from the sale of her home because of the Capital Gains Tax and this would impact her savings a great deal. The hardest part was giving up the things she loved the most because her new studio apartment would not hold everything she wanted to keep. Her oldest daughter moved into the family home to take care of the property until it sold. She moved her mother and helped her settle into her “new home” at the retirement center. The cost of $2,000 monthly was much more expensive than her house but offered her mother meals and the assurance of help when needed. Her daughter noticed the change in her mother immediately. She was depressed and no longer wanted to live. She called the Unity Shoppe and asked what she could do to help her mother. Unity learned that Anne loved to sew and knit. With this information, Unity asked her mother to help them provide some of the items they needed for children, babies and seniors. Anne began to work on beautiful baby blankets, sweaters, slippers and lap blankets. Never has Unity distributed so many balls of yarn to one senior. The sweaters, blankets, and baby items were picked up weekly and it took 6 months before we noticed an end to her fury-driven attempt to keep her sanity in her new setting. Three years later we received the following letter from her daughter.
“I wanted all of you to know what a bright spot you created for my mother. You brought her a great deal of joy and happiness during a very difficult time. I meet many seniors like my mom in her retirement home. Many of them were alone and felt very lonely. They had nothing meaningful to do with all the hours. My mother was 80 when she had to sell her home and move into a retirement facility. Unity gave her yarn and made her feel needed again. This really helped her adjust to her new setting. She felt such pride knitting things for seniors who were alone like her, and she loved making dozens and dozens of blankets for children. It made her happy that she was helping others, and it gave her life a purpose. My mother just passed away, but I will always be grateful for the kindness and joy that the Unity Shoppe brought to her during the end of her life. Thanks for being there for all the seniors who need to feel useful and for those seniors who need to be remembered during their golden years.”