82 years old today. That’s Mable. She proudly tells people it is her birthday now, but that isn’t how it has always been. She fondly told me a story about how she was a housekeeper for a doctor’s family for 40 years and the little girls in the family would beg to know her age. And she’d tease them, but never tell.
What caused this change in attitude? Why is Mable suddenly excited to be alive at 82? Her pleasant demeanor never gave away that she is a cancer survivor. Her cancer diagnosis is the reason we first met kind-hearted Mable 5 years ago. This was her crisis. Often people come to The Caring Place when a crisis pops up. Like cancer, they can happen unexpectedly. When Mable first discovered The Caring Place she received gas vouchers, so that she could buy gas for her important chemo appointments. She also utilized the Food Pantry and the HOPE program. I realized that Mable was a savvy lady because after telling me about receiving food from The Caring Place, she said that was how she was able to afford her car insurance. It impressed me that she knew if she could take care of her food costs through The Caring Place, she could reallocate her budget so that she could take care of other critical expenses. And, when dealing with cancer and doctor appointments, a car is certainly a priority. However, Mable is now cancer-free, and this is the reason why Mable is now proud to be alive!
Mable is ready to take the next step. What is the next step when you are 82 and have a new lease on life? I asked Mable what her goals were. She expressed she’d like to stay healthy because she enjoys caring for her 4 year old great grandson a couple of days a week. She also wants to live independently as she now lives with her daughter due to her health scare a few years ago. She happily talked about cooking for her family and cooking at the holidays. It made me think, why does she want to leave? But, then Mable started telling me how much she loves sports! I should have guessed as she was wearing a Dallas Cowboy lanyard around her neck. She shared with a shy smile that she played basketball in school and didn’t want to brag, but was pretty good. What does sweet Mable’s love of sports have to do with independence? She continued about how no one likes to watch football like she does. So I instantly joked, so you want more independence so you have control over what’s on the TV? We all got a good chuckle out of that. The reality is, Mable has a great attitude, is healthy and able to drive independently around town. She wants to live a full life. That’s why Mable joined SIP at The Caring Place. Our Senior Independence Program can help her navigate questions she might have, problems that may arise, and we can share resources that will help her reach her goals of living her life independently and healthily.
Mable’s Case Manager at The Caring Place also shared with me that Mable has a heart for people. She adores her family, but she also visits with neighbors in her church as well as in the retirement center she once worked. It’s heart-warming to know that someone who has spent a lifetime caring for others is still blessing people and wants to continue to do so. We are so glad Mable found The Caring Place in a time of crisis and look forward to helping her reach new goals as she begins a new, healthy chapter.
Happy Birthday Mable!
In honor of Mable's birthday, would you consider donating to the upcoming Amplify Austin campaign? We need people like you to be sure more people like Mable receive important services from The Caring Place.