Jean and Florence

Back in May 2004, Steve Blay invited me to participate in the multi-site Bingo-A-Thon event. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about attending my first Friends event, but one of the residents at University Place who played bingo at my table made me feel so comfortable that at the end of the event, I signed up on the spot to volunteer at University Place.

The special person who made me feel so welcome was Florence Fisher. She is truly one of the most charming women I have ever met. She is gracious and warm; she is also upbeat, even at times when others might not be. I look forward to each visit because she has the unique ability to make me feel welcome, and she makes me want to be more like her as I admire her qualities so very much.

Life for Florence has not always been easy but she concentrates on the positives. She talks very fondly of her husband, George, who died after only a few years of marriage. While many of us would focus on the sadness and loneliness, she mentions how glad she was to have had such a wonderful husband. She was left to bring up 2 young children by herself and speaks proudly of their accomplishments in life. Now 92, she loves to share photos of her granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

Florence grew up as the oldest child in a farming family in Pennsylvania. This meant that she learned responsibility early in her life. After her husband’s death, she returned to live on the farm. One of the interests we share is the enjoyment of gardens. She conjures up wonderful descriptions of the flower borders around the farmhouse and I find myself imagining them filled with beauty while a young Florence tends them with care.