The Personal Story of Our Family Journey...
A Letter from Judith Morris
It was a long journey for our family, and we could not find out why this incredible man must suffer like this. Well, he was not suffering as much as we thought. He went about his day the way he wanted. He had no idea that his short-term memory was not working. He smiled, cared for the yard, and the pups, watched TV, ate his meals, and went to bed. He could not understand why we were acting the way we were acting. We were suffering because he did not remember anything we would say or what we would tell him to do, which was frustrating. We constantly ensured he was eating, sleeping, walking, taking medicines, etc., which was a bit overwhelming to him. We made him crazy, and he wanted his own space. After having his own home for 60 years, living with us was not working for him.
We toured many senior living communities and even tried one for a month. They claimed to be the best but were not. We did find a lovely place by our home after three years of searching. He loved his apartment and wanted all new furniture (he picked it out himself), a big screen TV, a comfy recliner, and a blue sofa… There he came back to life. He enjoyed musical events, people his age to eat with, and most of all; he met a lovely lady friend he grew to love very much. With our mother being gone for over ten years, he experienced much loneliness. He enjoyed taking his lady friend to dinner at the beach, garden walks, and St. Augustine tours.
Dad, known as “Poppy,” was so proud and excited when we told him that we would create this lifestyle for other seniors in areas of Florida where it was needed most. He followed our progress daily with encouragement and excitement. His Son-in-Law, Mr. Morris, driving, Ms. Terry Lee in the front seat, Poppy in the back seat with his daughter Mrs. Morris; on the way to Poppy’s favorite Italian Restaurant “Mario’s”; listening to Frank Sinatra and the “Rat Pack”… his advice for opening our first Plantation Oaks Senior Living was; “there must be music, live music with a singer that can sing and most important the food must be good and hot!” We lost our Dad/Poppy on August 5, 2011.
We dedicate our journey to all of our family members that we have lost. We thank our family and friends who helped us achieve our goals, especially Phil and Janna Steinke, Greg’s parents, Gail Scoppettuolo, my sister, and Tiffany and Bill, our children. I most of all want to thank my husband, Mr. Morris, who is the most fantastic man; he masterminded every aspect of acquiring this project, from the financing, the management, the construction, the roofing, the millwork, and even the nuts and bolts. During the most challenging construction times, when things seemed impossible, Mr. Morris would find a way to finish it. He would say, “I want it this way because that’s how Poppy would have wanted it, and that is how it will be done.”
We hope you love our new home as much as we do.
My husband Greg Morris and I envisioned creating a warm and comfortable southern homelike living environment with services and conveniences that give our seniors an enjoyable, happy, contented lifestyle. Everyone deserves to find pleasure in each day at any age.
We began this journey to better care for our seniors when our dad had a stroke and developed dementia. We tried to do our best for him, especially Gail Anne, his eldest daughter, but it was not enough to meet his needs. Watching the strong-minded Italian man who worked his whole life for his family with so much pride, dignity, and love struggle was hard. Finally, with his blessing, we decided to do something about it.