Every week I interview a resident or staff member from Mary Gran Nursing and Rehab Center and share his/her life with you. I have been blessed to work with and meet God-fearing people during my time at Mary Gran. This week is no different.
I would like to introduce you to Lillie Herring. Mrs. Herring is one of our newest residents at Mary Gran. I am glad God put her in my path. When you first meet her she will tell you how she loves you, and she means it. After talking with her, you just feel better about life. Mrs. Herring may be one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. No one wants to go to a nursing home or assisted living but Mrs. Herring knew it was time. Her children came and fixed up her room prior to bringing her to the facility. They made sure they took care of every detail. But I have a feeling even if they had not put one thing in her room, she would still have had something good to say. You see, Mrs. Herring had already decided that she was going to like it.
Part of my job at Mary Gran is to assess patients in their homes to determine if they are appropriate for skilled nursing or assisted living care. We first met at Mrs. Herring’s home with her son and daughter-in-law. Upon arriving, you notice the family pictures she has everywhere. You know right away she is all about family and loves them unconditionally. Even though her son and daughter-in-law were present, it was Mrs. Herring’s conversation and decision to go to Mary Gran. At 94, she stills makes her own decisions and is aware of what is best for her. Her two sons are devoted and respectful of their mom and want the very best for her.
I knew there was something special about Mrs. Herring. I learned she liked The Andy Griffith Show as much as I do. We had a connection right away. Besides liking this television program, she enjoys country music. She and her roommate sat up Saturday night until 11 p.m. listening to country music. They had a ball. Over the years Mrs. Herring and her brother, Monk, enjoyed singing and playing for people in their homes. “We thought we were something; we would sing and play music and people would dance!”
She thinks she was married 49 or 50 years. She states, “ We had a party but not sure how many years we were celebrating.” She worked hard all her life. First, with her Dad, who was a farmer, and then with her husband. She and her husband made a living raising cotton, hogs, and cows. She proudly shares a story about paying the college tuition. They would load up a hog or cow to sell to pay the bill.
Vacations were rare but when they went, it was usually to White Lake with all the family. Mrs. Herring, along with her granddaughter, Michelle, told me about their wonderful vacation to Florida one year. It was a big deal and the whole family went with seven or eight riding in one car. Mrs. Herring remembers this trip as a lot of fun.
One thing you know as soon as you talk with her; she loves God, church and family. Mrs. Herring gave her reason for living a nice, long life: “I never smoked or drank and I let the Lord be my guide.” Wouldn’t it be a better place if we could all say, “I let the Lord be my guide.”?
If you are ever at Mary Gran, I hope you get a chance to meet my new friend, Lillie Herring, and if you are there on August 17, please stop by and wish her a Happy 95th Birthday!
Mary Gran Nursing and Rehab offers Short Term, Long Term and Assisted Living to residents of Sampson and surrounding areas. Please contact Lisa Honeycutt, RN t 910-214-9183 or Karen Carter, admissions director, at 910-592-7981