Although, at 92 years of age, Barbara resides in Omaha, Nebraska she still calls London her home. In the few quiet whispers that Barbara shares she proudly states that she grew up in London, England. Her beautiful accent and lady like mannerisms are clearly those of a proper English lady. As did many of the European girls back then, she met and fell in love with a soldier and came home with him to Omaha where she raised her family and enjoyed a good life.
These days, Barbara is confined to a nursing home and isn’t able to get out without extensive assistance. Barbara is on hospice, suffers from dementia, and is wheelchair bound. The nurses and social worker from St. Croix Hospice thought Barbara deserved an opportunity to relive some of her fondest memories of childhood. What better place to spend an afternoon than having lunch and tea at Lauritzen Gardens? The Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens is filled with plants and flowers reminiscent of the English gardens that Barbara cherishes in her memories.
On a beautiful fall day in September, Barbara and her nurse strolled through the garden paths. They paused for a specially prepared lunch on fine china and Barbara sipped tea from an antique, hand painted china cup and saucer. The Dreamweaver Foundation provided Barbara with a festive flowered hat and a pink and lavender corsage to make the day even more special. After all, no proper English lady would attend a tea without her hat!
As I held Barbara’s hand at the end of the day a tear rolled down her cheek as she muttered over and over again “thank you, thank you.”
Photos by Diana Koger