One day, Joy told me that the one thing she had always wanted to do was to pet an elephant. She loved elephants, and had even adopted one at the zoo many years ago. Her 92nd birthday was coming up, so I thought, WE CAN DO THIS!!! I contacted the Nashville Zoo and told them about Joy’s dream. They were more than happy to help.
On May 8, 2013, three staff members, Joy’s 2 daughters, one son-in-law, and 3 other residents headed to the zoo for Joy’s big day. We also were going to have a picnic birthday party for her. We were met at the zoo by one of the elephant keepers, and he proceeded to take us behind the scenes to the elephant barn where 2 elephants were waiting for Joy. When Joy walked into the barn and saw the 2 massive animals, her arms went up like she was going to give them a big hug. The smile on her face brought tears to our eyes. She touched and petted, and even fed both elephants. They did tricks for us, and we spent about 45 minutes on our own special tour. It was wonderful!
We were led to a picnic area, and we had our lunch and sang Happy Birthday to Joy! Then we toured the zoo and got to see all the animals. It was a day we all will remember!!