Norma is 93 and lives independently in a senior living apartment complex. She attended a presentation about Better Together and signed up on the spot.
Carol is mostly retired after her daughters took responsibility for their family business. She moved to Sioux Falls about five years ago and is glad she made a friend in Norma. Carol’s parents are in their 90’s and live in Nebraska, so she is not able to see them every week. She also worked in nursing homes when she was younger and has always enjoyed being around senior citizens.
“Norma remembers everything,” said Carol. “I love it when she talks about how the city has changed and grown in her lifetime. Since I have met with her, I have learned a lot about Sioux Falls.” They drive around town and Norma talks about what used to be where and showed Carol the area of town where she lived most of her life.
Norma also shares about her life. She was married 55 years and just welcomed her 20th great-grandchild. She worked at John Morrell’s during World War 2 and then went on to work part-time at Sears and stayed home to raise her children.
Their favorite thing to do is to share a meal and talk. “I call her every Sunday night and we make a plan for the week,” said Carol. “She is really good about knowing what she would like to eat and trying new restaurants, so I pick that up and bring it to her and we eat together and just talk.” Carol spends the winter months in Florida. During that time, she is able to call her every week to check in. She said they talk about the weather and Norma gives her an update on what is going on in Sioux Falls. Norma is still able to attend the monthly Better Together activities to stay connected with the program even when she is not able to meet face to face.
“We have so much in common that we both feel lucky to be matched with each other,” said Norma. “It doesn’t seem to take long for two or three hours to go by when she comes to visit!”
Norma loves baseball and is an avid Twins fan. She loves Brian Dozier at the moment and never misses watching a game on TV. She is a night owl, so stays up and watches games to the end and most often eats a bag of popcorn while she watches the game. When the Cubs won the World Series last year, Carol called Norma late into the night when the game was over and they celebrated the big win!
They are excited about getting together this summer and are especially looking forward to the Better Together picnic in June. This friendship is one that would not have been likely had it not been for this program. Carol and Norma are so thankful for the opportunity to know and learn from one another with Better Together.