Pruitt Health Pickens and the corporate office of Pruitt health Toccoa chose a special lady to fulfill a dream for this year. Mrs. Norma Smith has been a resident of Pruitt Health Pickens since 2014. However, Norma was no stranger to us because her husband had been a resident here for several months before he passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were the sweetest couple, and Norma visited him often and became familiar with the facility and the staff. Norma herself later became a resident of Pruitt Health Pickens when she was no longer able to live alone.
Norma has been a true blessing to our facility! She is a quiet lady who is shy and prefers to stay to herself. However, once she begins to open up she loves to sit and talk and is a wonderful storyteller. During the past six months or so, Norma has made efforts to come out of her shell a bit. She plays the piano for other residents, takes part in facility shopping trips, and even attended our “Red Carpet” Valentine’s Day dance and had a great time! The other residents, our staff members, and even Norma’s family members were getting to see a side of Norma that is loved by everyone, and we did not want it to stop there.
We just knew Norma would have a special memory she would want to re-live. When we asked Norma about it, she did not hesitate to tell us her story. She did not even have to think about it! Right away, Norma told us how special the time was that she spent with her husband and how much he meant to her. She shared many heart-felt stories of experiences shared with her husband but one story in particular caught our attention. Their hobby was classic cars, and they owned a 1935 black Ford Coupe. That Ford Coupe was Mr. Smith’s “baby”, and he did not want Norma driving the coupe. Well, one day Mr. Smith was at work, and Norma decided she needed to make a run to the grocery store. She was trying her best to be extremely careful and guess what happened. She ran into the mailbox while turning to sharply into the driveway and scraped the back of the car! She was beside herself upset and told him immediately when he got home. But, Mr. Smith just laughed and assured her, “I’m not mad – I will still keep you”. The accident has turned into a family story that is re-visited and laughed about often by Norma and her family. The couple’s favorite Sunday pastime was to take a ride in their classic car up to Aunt Sue’s Restaurant on Highway 11 for lunch and ice cream with the children. While listening to Norma, we felt the love and happiness her good memories brought her. Norma said she would love to re-visit that memory and ride in a classic car to lunch at Aunt Sue’s.
Thanks to Second Wind Dreams, we were able to allow Norma to fulfill her dream. We worked very hard to locate classic cars that could be available for a road trip and visited Aunt Sue’s Restaurant to ask them permission to host the event at their place and arrange for lunch to be served. We also contacted Norma’s family who was thrilled about the prospect of making this happen for Norma. All the arrangements were made with trip planned for March 18, 2017, but then we started getting discouraged after hearing the weather forecast for that day. There was 50% chance of rain, and we were receiving phone calls with people cancelling to bring their classic cars due to the possibility of water damage occurring to the cars. However, with much prayer and great volunteers, we were able to make it happen! Because Norma wanted to share her dream with other residents, we loaded up 20 residents and hit the road for Norma’s Memory Ride to Aunt Sue’s for lunch. And oh the smiles that were shared! We enjoyed a wonderful lunch and even had music played for us by a DJ.
The day started with rain and clouds, but Norma was all smiles when she took her seat in the passenger seat of a GTO car. Her son even surprised her by finding a picture of her and Mr. Smith’s car! The rain and clouds soon turned to SUNSHINE and beautiful weather for the perfect end to our trip. We hope you were able to experience some of the laughs, fuzzy heart moments, and smiling faces that making this project happen brought us. Norma is still thanking us and talking about how much it means to her that we chose her dream to fulfill. She is thrilled with the possibility of helping Pruitt Health Pickens win first place with this project and receive much needed re-modeling. Regardless of the outcome, Pruitt Health Pickens has been greatly blessed and again, extremely thankful, for the opportunity to play a part in this special event.