Every May, we celebrate all that mothers do for their children and honor their love and sacrifices on Mother's Day. From breadwinning to baking to mentoring to meal making, mothers are known for putting their children's needs first—but what about her own desires?
As it turns out, Aberdeen Village's longest-term resident, Ginny Graham, made a choice that benefited both herself AND her children when she chose this as her home in 2001.
"Aberdeen Village opened in May of that year, and I moved here in June. I was living in St. Louis at the time, but I wanted to be closer to my son and daughter, who lived in Olathe. Bill still lives nearby, but Sue had to move to Tulsa a few years ago. I still see all of my children as often as I'm able, though," said Ginny. "It's a wonderful place for my children to come see me, and they find flights into Kansas City for a reasonable price. I have sons in St. Louis and here, and daughters in Denver, Colo., Waukesha, Wis. and Tulsa. I'm very blessed to have five children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Ginny's husband Warren was a Presbyterian minister, and his work led the family to many locations around the country. When he passed away while serving at a parish in St. Louis, Ginny remained there for a few years as she had many friends already established. But when the opportunity came to move closer to her two children in Olathe, she took it.
"I don't have any maintenance or upkeep to worry about here. I love my apartment. I can come and go as I wish and participate in many activities. I play bridge every Saturday and every other Monday and play mahjong once a week. I also eat dinner with four other women from my corridor on Wednesdays, then we play games in our apartment. If the bus is going someplace, I'm on it. I love it," said Ginny. "And my children are so happy for me. They love that I'm here, and they have all visited long enough to know I'm comfortable and happy here. This is a gift to them."
As a Presbyterian minister, Ginny's husband saw many circumstances in which a parent's transition from their own home didn't go well, and they didn't want that for their children. They'd discussed finding an independent living community before Warren passed away.
"He would have loved living here. We had started looking at different places. I know he's happy that I'm here," said Ginny. "That's one thing I'd recommend to young couples. Always communicate with each other."
When Ginny wasn't busy raising children or caring for the household, you could find her volunteering in her community.
"I loved to volunteer a lot, especially at schools. I was an assistant in classrooms with reading and such. And I volunteered at the hospital, sitting at the front desk. I did that for years. I also drove for Meals on Wheels with a friend of mine for years. And, of course, I was active in our churches," said Ginny.
Ginny's love for staying active and involved is evident by her willingness to take advantage of all that Aberdeen Village has to offer, and her years of giving back to others are being returned in all the amenities she has here.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm at a resort and I'm just enjoying everything. I feel a little guilty about that."
We don't think Ginny should feel one bit guilty, and we're grateful to give her and all of our residents a wonderful place to call home.