An Auburn Dream Come True

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Ms. Barbara Mize is a special resident here at Ridgeview Health Services. She came to us back in the early part of the year. Ms. Mize is very alert. She has the ability to walk with the help of a walker. She reads, writes, and loves to watch Auburn Football and WWE Wrestling.

For quite some time, Ms. Mize was very sad. She missed her home. She missed her precious dog, Midget. She was unsure of her new surroundings. Many of the residents who have been here for longer periods of time began to take Ms. Mize under their wing. They would make sure she would get out of bed and join in the daily activities. They would go and visit with her in her room. They even invited her to come and quilt. Ms. Mize had never quilted and thought she couldn’t go, but they lovingly assured her that she could come.

Quilting is really the first place where I got to know Ms. Mize. She was unsure of herself. She would apologize profusely when needing help with threading a needle. But, little by little, she gained confidence. She then told her story to us. She talked of her home, her dog, her life before the nursing home. One week, she seemed so happy. So different. What had changed? Well, a friend had handed her a small book called, Bitter or Better. Ms. Mize sat down to read it and said from that moment on she was going to be ok. She wanted to make a choice. We at Ridgeview are her home and family now. Of course, she has moments, that is human nature, but Ms. Mize really tries to remember what she read and let it guide her response to her surroundings.

We at Second Wind Dreams wanted to do something special for this special lady. We worked. We made calls. We planned. We prayed. Then, suddenly, it all came together! Ms. Mize was going to get to see her beloved Auburn Football team play! She had never been to a game in person, she had only seen them on television. We had two staff members agree to take her. Vicky Burrell and Sarah Harris. They were as thrilled as Ms. Mize.

We told Ms. Mize about the trip by presenting her with a basket of goodies from Auburn. Auburn University had donated a whole bag of pictures that were autographed, shakers, an official volleyball t-shirt, and some other paraphernalia.  We gathered in our dining area and waited on Ms. Mize to round the corner. The Auburn fight song was blaring from our speakers and we all joyfully hollered, “War Eagle!” when she entered. She was so thrilled. She was laughing, and almost crying at the same time.

She planned her outfits for two days. She scheduled an appointment with our in-house beauty shop to get her hair and nails done the morning before she left.

The pictures tell the story the best. Ms. Mize loved every minute of her time at Auburn. She drank the famous lemonade from Toomer’s Drug. She saw Toomer’s Corner. She at a delicious steak at Hamilton’s and tried spinach dip for the first time in her life. She shopped at the University Bookstore and bought lots of goodies. And then, at 6:30 that evening, she went to the game. She watched as the eagle, Spirit, fly into the stadium. She cheered for her team. She clapped. She hollered. She stayed until the very end. And on her way back to the hotel Ms. Mize said that Auburn may never be the same after she visited! We like to think she is right about that.

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