To continue on with Seniors Week here in B.C. we are featuring Marie & Anne who are Independent Living residents here at Elim Village. They are not only residents but are also neighbours, sister-in-laws, aunties to each other’s children and share a long and growing friendship.
They were born in the Netherlands (different towns), immigrated to Canada (different years) met their husbands John & Ralph (who were twins) through church & choir activities and lived apart during the early years of raising their families. Both women would come to live in the lower mainland, grow their friendship as couples and eventually live ‘next door’ to each other at Elim Village.
Marie and John married in 1954 and had three children. They lived in Ontario for a number of years and eventually relocated back to the Lower Mainland. With children grown and grandchildren living locally, they moved to Elim in 2002. Sadly, John passed away only eight months later. Marie is thankful that John died knowing she was in a safe place and that she would not be alone.
Anne met Ralph met in New Westminster and married in 1958 and after 15 years, welcomed their son Christian. They both participated in the church choirs…she often times as the pianist and he as a soloist.
One memory they recalled took place during the wedding of Marie and John’s daughter Sharon. The brothers/husbands were set to perform a solo during the ceremony but the organist became ill and could not finish playing. Without missing a beat, Anne stepped up to the piano, accompanied the brothers and finished playing for the rest of the wedding.
Anne lost her husband Ralph in 2011 and not long afterwards, received a call from Elim saying that a unit had come available. Out of 250 Independent Living units at Elim, the vacancy was the suite next door to her sister in law Marie.
Anne and Marie agree that they ‘neighbour’ well; respecting each others privacy while appreciating the conveniences that come with living only a few feet apart from each other.