Spotlight on Loving Thy Neighbor

| April 3, 2014


Whatz up babies?

As always, I hope, all is well with you and yours and that you’re still taking time out to bring yourselves and others some joy, happiness, beauty and some form of peace of mind as we travel on our journey of love, to get to know one another better. It’s very important, since tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. On that note, we bring to you some fantastic ladies, and what makes them so fantastic is the love that they bring to the tables through food. We bring this to you today, even though this was a Valentines Day event, because this month of April is a very special month, for it contains Good Friday and Easter. So to me, it’s a Month of Love. So to get it started with this spotlight, this past Valentines Day, I was invited to join in the festivities at Phoenix Manor. And, I was delighted to go because it isn’t every day that I have the opportunity to be around seniors and feel the love, and it felt absolutely beautiful. Now we bring to you two women from this facility that makes getting older all worthwhile and this is what they have to say.

Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

“Hello Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Carolyn Bell and I live in Phoenix Manor here in Fort Wayne, Ind. And tonight we’re having our Valentines Day celebration because of our love for one another and we practice that love every day. We interact well with one another here and we take care of each other, because being in this latter stage of our lives, we are one another’s best friends and family that we are surrounded with. Every year, the people here do change because some move out, some pass on, but the love of people here and the love of one of our leaders, which is Mother Kelsaw, officially talking love one another, pray for one another and help one another as much as we can, it‘s wonderful. Nobody in this building has ever gone hungry because we all realize that our children are working and they don’t have every moment to run over here to see about us and we don’t need to because we take care of each other and we love that. 

“Phoenix Manor is a senior facility and it’s really for active seniors, but some of them are homebound in the building but that doesn’t mean that we’re not active because we do things here, in the building and we enjoy ourselves. Especially when we get together for special events such as this. Some of the people who are in wheelchairs, they decorate the building and handle that part of it and some others help financially to make sure that we can do what we want to do in the building. We have music because we all love music and we get together and play games such as cards and we make sure that nobody is homebound in their apartments, they’re free to come out and do a lot of the different things that they like to do. 

“We even have church and Bible study in the building, so if they can’t get to their local churches they can still get the religion part here. Even if you’re in your room there are people that come here and go to your room and pray with you. I think everybody here is happy, and the way the food came about is really interesting because we kind of started off with little snacks at a meeting. When I first moved into the building, I was not working, and so I didn’t have anything to do, but once I started talking with different people, they were wishing for different kinds of foods. Sometimes when a person is in a place like this, they don’t want to put on a pot of beans because they don’t want to eat beans for three weeks. So one person mentioned, if I could just have one bowl of beans, I’d be happy. Another said, I just want six pieces of chitterlings before I die and that’s all I want. Others said, all I want is a pineapple upside down cake and etc., so that’s how we started the cooking. And, we cook three to four times a month and we don’t need an occasion to do it, we just do it. Because most of us are family women or men and we don’t know how to cook for just one person. Myself and Louisa Malone do most of the cooking, my gift is pastries and baking and she does the main cooking and sometimes we finance it ourselves. But other times we get donations from people here in the building and we send a note saying it’s ready and they come down and it‘s fun. 

“We’re like a close knit family here and we get so close that we know everybody’s kids, grandkids and great -grandkids. Everybody here is pretty much taken care of and when we get sick we look after one another.

“I know that it’s hard to leave your place, I left a huge three bedroom home, but sometimes you reach a point because going up and down the stairs became a problem for me. But I had a cousin that lived in this building and when the time came for me to choose another place to live, my cousin tried to convince me to move here, but I had another place in mind. So GOD turned that hand around and brought me here and I love every minute of it and I don’t regret it. These are the biggest apartments that I’ve seen in town and I certainly recommend that if you or a loved one are looking for a senior facility come see us because the people here make it extra, extra special.

“I’m also the President of the Resident Counsel here and we work with management through this counsel and it’s main function is to protect us. We get together and talk about things that go on in the building. No building’s perfect, so as a group, we talk about things to make sure that we’re comfortable and everything is up to par. I’ve lived here since 2009 and we have lots of things and activities going on here. But now I’m going to turn it over to Louisa Malone the lady that does the entrée cooking for us a lot. Her daughters are also here and they’re here to serve the seniors and spread their love and joy around and nobody has to get up because they’re waiting on us. We had a five course meal, everything from appetizers all the way down to desserts and it was absolutely wonderful and delicious. 

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Louisa Malone and it makes me feel good cooking for the residents here at Phoenix Manor because I know they really enjoy what we’re doing. I love cooking, I used to work at General Motors in the cafeteria as the head cook and I also worked at MCL Cafeteria for eleven years as a troubleshooter, and I went to the other MCL Cafeterias to get their cooks on que and I loved it. I also love it that I can still do a little bit of cooking here since I can’t get around as fast as I used to, but I love it just the same and the people enjoy it. My daughters Lola and Domonica also loved helping to serve the food to the seniors. We’re a close family here and we love it. 

Now in closing I say, great job ladies! The whole entire meal was absolutely delicious and I hurt when I was done with it because it was gone. And, thanks to Mrs. Marcella Kelsaw and everyone else who was there for bringing me some more joy, beauty, happiness, fun and some form of peace of mind, in the name of love and all of you are loved. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye, bye babies.

P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to I’d love to hear from ya.

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