Beatrice believes in family, friends and fellowship. “How could I not? My parents had 13 kids.”
She grew up in North Carolina, finished high school in the 1950’s and moved to Boston with one of her sisters. “There were fewer jobs and more prejudice down there, so we came up here for better opportunities. We worked in childcare. I happily married and had a daughter. Life has been good.”
Eight years ago, a friend introduced Beatrice to Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) because she was missing people. Born with brain damage, her daughter had passed years earlier at age 14, and it had been more than a decade since her husband’s death. Her sister was still nearby in Boston, but was dealing with dementia.
Beatrice has met many LBFE volunteers over the years. During the pandemic, they’ve kept talking on the phone. “It feels good, and it’s important,” explains Beatrice. “I have to be good to myself, so I can see my sister who’s living in a facility. And, well, there are so many other people I have to be strong for.”
So many other people might be an understatement. Beatrice and her husband raised one of her nieces, who is still nearby with her own children. Professionally, Beatrice had helped take care of children in the homes of four Boston-area families. (She particularly loved the years when she and her husband provided childcare together.) Not just childcare. Beatrice chuckled. She’d also helped take care of a grandmother living with one of the families.
“Today, those children have children, and I still see them. They call me Godmomma, like Godmother and Grandmomma.”
LBFE helps provide the fellowship that helps Beatrice be her best self. “It’s beautiful fellowship,” she says about the LBFE phone calls, visits, holiday parties and summer picnics. “I know I’ve been seen.”
Thank you, Circle of Compassion leadership donors, for helping Beatrice be Beatrice