LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Mary Nell Hildreth has made many Christmas memories during her 99 years and in 2018 her caretakers ensured the holiday brought her even more joy at a time when it might not have been possible.
Synergy HomeCare says the Christmas season can be challenging for many senior citizens as they may not be able to get around like they used to, they may be alone without a spouse or don’t have family nearby.
“[Mary Nell] has wonderful family that doesn’t live here,” Administrator Amy Peck said. “We have the blessing to be able to step in and call her our own and just love her like her own.”
The non-medical in-home care providers brought with them on a visit to Hildreth’s home a tree to decorate with Mary Nell, cookies to bake and presents for her to enjoy.
“I’m shocked,” Hildreth said. “When I opened the door today I nearly fainted. I’ve got a bunch of people over here to make me a beautiful Christmas and it is. I’ve never been so happy, happy, happy.”
Hildreth tells KCBD she was born in Canton, Texas in 1919 and her father was a teacher, prompting them to move from town to town until they arrived on the South Plains, a place where she’s spent many Christmases.
“When I was about probably in my early teens we lived out at Woodrow and my daddy had a surprise for us,” Hildreth said. “He brought us all to Lubbock and brought us to the picture show. I’ll never forget I saw a picture called “Flirtation Walk” and Dick Powell was in it and I fell in love with him. I still love him I guess.”
Christmas was very special to Hildreth and her family. She said her parents may not have been wealthy but they made the holiday fun for the kids. She said this year, thanks to her caregivers, will also be one she never forgets.
“They’re so good to me,” Hildreth said. “They act like I’m somebody special and, of course I’m not, but I love them.”
Synergy HomeCare hopes others will be inspired to visit seniors in the community and lift their spirits during the holiday season.
“It’s not just the business,” Peck said. “It’s not just our job. None of us ever fell like it’s a job, especially with Mary Nell. We come and laugh and we sing and we talk and hear stories and tell her stories and this will be one of the most memorable Christmases ever to me too, getting to spend it with Mary Nell.”