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Aunt Mary’s Legacy

A part of my work was to inspire the elderly to believe that their prayers can make a huge difference.

In 2006 I was granted custody of my Aunt Mary who had been diagnosed with dementia. She’d lived in California for most of her life and I’d actually only met her two times. Although she was orphaned at 10 and had the odds against her, she became a pioneer in computer science, and one of the first women in the field.

Although she had named me in her will to take over if anything happened, I had a harrowing experience getting custody. The state of California put up a battle saying I was a long-lost relative and objected because I lived on the other side of the country. But God intervened, and I became her guardian. She was an extraordinary blessing to me even with her impaired memory. 

In 2009 I was finally able to bring her to Virginia where she lived in Sunrise Senior Living just minutes from where I lived. We had many wonderful times together until she passed away on Dec 3, 2013.

For over a yearI felt impressed to go back to Sunrise, but I didn’t know what I might do. Fourth of July weekend, 2015, I asked some friends to join me in singing some old time gospel. It was tremendously successful, so I began singing every Sunday. I had never sung before , but God gave me a sweet strong voice.  He said "Do you think I'm going to put you in front of all these people and embarrass myself?"

I sang for 4  years until March of 2019.  It was an overwhelming joy to experience the dignity, wisdom, and life-experience of the participants. I've been told countless times that the music has had a powerful impact on the residents. It was a very great blessing to experience such affection from people who seem forgotten. I imagine my aunt joyfully watched from heaven knowing she had a huge part to play in the ministry to the aged.

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