5 Elderly Siblings Reunite After 70 Years To Live Under Same Roof, Show True Meaning Of Family
HeartEternal Staff 2/1/2017
Usually the stories we hear about nursing homes are downright sad. They often conjure up images of old and forgotten people who are basically living their last few days amongst strangers. In Peabody, Massachusetts however, there is a family changing all the old notions of what life is like in a nursing home!
The Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center For Living have five very unique residents unlike any they've ever met before. Carmen Wesala, 98, Georgia Southwick, 93, Mary Cena, 92, Lawrence Mallia, 90, and Lucy O'Brien, 85, are all real life siblings who now live together in the center. According to Betsy Mullen, the CEO of the facility, she has never come across such a case in her 35 years of working in this business,
"I've had sisters together. I've had brothers, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters. This is so unusual. I've never seen the likes of it."
Well into her late 90s, Carmen was the first sibling to arrive at the center in 2012. A year later, Mary followed with a deteriorating kidney disease. In the next few years, Georgia, Lucy, and finally Larry too followed suit. All five siblings suffer from various health conditions and being under one roof has made it easier for all of them to follow up on each other's progress and health report.
Growing up, the brothers and sisters were part of an even bigger clan. 11 brothers and sisters in total, they grew up in a loving home with parents who owned a local grocery store. Even though each sibling decided to pursue their own dreams and families as they got older, none of them strayed too far from Peabody, making it easier to get together often for picnics and other joyous family events. According to Mary,
"The 11 of us always got along. There was a lot of love in our family and you can see so much proof of that today ... We are all just so happy to be together again. I just wish my other brothers and sisters could have experienced this with us."
Now that all siblings are together again at the Center for Living, it's easy to continue their traditions of playing cards and spending holidays together. For their family members, like Janice Regis, who is Georgia's daughter, it also makes it incredibly easy to check in often on all of them,
"If there's ever a rare chance that I end up going away somewhere, it's so reassuring to know they have each other. They still enjoy each other's company, for sure."
Wanda Caratu is one of the nurses at the Center for Living, and is quite familiar with the camaraderie that these siblings share,
"There are a lot of times when they're together just sitting around the table talking to each other, or with visiting family members. They all look after each other. And they know when someone may not be feeling well that day, or whatever may be happening. They sense that."
Often times loneliness is just as much to blame as disease for deteriorating health in older family members. In this case however, the reason that most of these siblings have made it into their 90s might just be because they spend so much time in each other's loving company. Carmen in fact will be celebrating her 99th birthday soon. Of this lifelong love, Mary says:
"When you're old and you think of the best time of your life, you think of those times when you were surrounded by family and friends. Those were the best times of my life. I couldn't ask for anything better in the end."
For Carmen, Mary, Georgia, Lucy, and Larry, there is no place like home, and home is wherever they are together! What a great example of not only sibling love but on how to live a full and happy life together. Hopefully all of us will be this lucky one day.
Sources: Today, Facebook/Advocate Newspapers, Image Credit: Facebook/Seasoned Times