When new residents move to Holiday Retirement, they join our family — but they also bring memories and traditions of their own. For Mother’s Day this year, we’re sharing stories of two mothers who call our communities home, and the adult children who enrich their lives.
Alice De Franco, a resident of Holiday Retirement’s Tallgrass Estates, recently completed a 5K race at age 86. Enrichment Coordinator Cathy Roberts said Alice is an inspiration for everyone at the Bartlesville, Oklahoma, community.
“Knowing Alice sure makes us realize that we can do anything as long as we never give up,” Cathy said.
Alice’s daughter, Melissa, a seasoned half-marathoner, helps her on the path to “anything.” The pair walked a 5K together March 10, 2018. Alice said Melissa was there for support every step of the way.
“Often along the course she asked me, ‘Do you want to rest? Sit down? Need water? Stop and ride?’ To all of those questions, I firmly said ‘no,’” Alice recalled. And as the race came to a close, Melissa let her mother lead the way with the determination that had carried her to that point. “Crossing the finish line, my daughter slowed her walk to let me be one step ahead of her. I finished second to last. She came in last,” Alice said. “I received a medal for coming in second place for my age group.”
What’s next for Alice? She wants to walk the Appalachian Trail this year to celebrate her 87th birthday.
Mary Nelle Burleson, 94, has lived at Holiday Retirement’s Jackson Meadow for the past seven years and, if her present schedule is any indication, she’s been on the go most of that time. Her busy days and impeccable style have not gone unnoticed by the staff and residents at Jackson Meadow. Enrichment Coordinator Angie Mays called Mary “a beautiful lady inside and out.”
Mary’s daughter lives out of town, but when she visits, the pair paint the town, going on outings and adventures day after day. And for Mary, that’s something of a variation on a theme. Even when her daughter isn’t in town, she’s still out, often with other family members!
“On Mondays, I may go do errands or doctors appointments. On Tuesdays, I attend Bible study. On Wednesdays these days, I get picked up by a friend to go out to meet other friends for coffee at Panera Bread. On Thursdays, I go to the store or do other errands. On Fridays, I may go to lunch with a family member,” Mary said. “I visit my family often and go out shopping when they come to visit from out of town. I also eat out several times a month with my son Johnny. On Saturdays, I generally find somewhere to hang out if I don't stay in the community for an event. I attend Bible classes and church services every Sunday.”
Of her packed weeks, she added, “I give thanks to God for my health.”
Mary and Alice are making the most of their retirement years, each in her own way, but with their loved ones by their sides. We wish them — and all the moms who are part of the Holiday Retirement family — a very happy Mother’s Day!