Mary | Queen for a Day
Should you ever find yourself needing to know how it feels to be 'Queen fo a Day' be sure to seek out Mary Sellers at Paris Healthcare Center. Not only has Mary been the facility’s Valentine Queen several years in a row, she also happens to have a Valentine’s Day birthday. Talk about a reason to celebrate!
When Mary came to Paris Healthcare Center in 2011, she knew it was the right decision for her at that time. She was nervous about getting to know people and “fitting in with others who I would be living with but weren’t my family.” Mary says the easiest way to settle in is to “get out of your room and out of your own head.” For Mary that includes attending activities throughout the day, socializing with other Residents during lunch and taking the time “just to share a smile with another person.” She says that is the best advice she could give to anyone in life whether or not they are living in a nursing home or living in their own home.
Mary was born on February 14, 1928. Throughout the years, that date has taken on an even deeper meaning for her. She wants people to know that Valentine’s Day means more than chocolates and being crowned Queen. “Take every chance to love people and let them know that you do” and “Help people whenever you get the chance.” Besides multiple reigns as Valentine Queen of Paris Healthcare Center (an honor she has received at least three times since 2011!), Mary makes daily efforts to “show people how to care about each other.” She not only attends social programming at Paris Healthcare Center, she is a long-time member of the Resident Council and is typically active in the facility’s community service projects, stuffing teddy bears for the local hospital E.R., filling treat bags for local high school students and, most importantly she says, “going to church services & praying for all of the people.” Mary also wants to encourage other people to try something new. Recently, the French Club of the local high school came for a visit and brought along a game of French Bingo. Even though she doesn’t speak French, Mary played the game and interacted with the students. Trying something new, she says, helps keep you from being sad and you never know if you just might like it.
Mary’s daughter, Julie, lives on the East Coast. Mary keeps in touch with her through the exchange of letters. It’s a way of staying connected and also a special time that she spends with activity staff members who assist her in writing to Julie and reading Julie’s letters in response. Mary’s sister-in-law, Dora, lives in nearby Terre Haute, Indiana. Dora visits when she can and Mary enjoys any time she is able to spend with her.
When I asked Mary what she thinks are her chances of being crowned Queen again next year, she took a moment to think about the question. She then very humbly said, “It could go to anybody. But if it is me again, that would be o.k. too!” The smile she then shared with me lit up the entire facility. Here’s wishing her a long and healthy reign as the Valentine Queen/Birthday Girl! Paris Healthcare Center is proud to assist Mary in telling her story. We are thankful to her for choosing an IMG facility.