February is Black History Month, a time when we pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who fought through adversity and paved the way for generations to come. This month we take the time to celebrate the triumphs and stories of our black residents and team members, honoring their contributions to their communities and shedding light on their legacies.
So many of our residents reached out with words of wisdom, personal stories, or sentiments about Black History Month. Many of our residents impacted younger generations through their work, either as educators, government workers, role models or law enforcement officers.
Meridian at Stone Creek - Pearl C.
Pearl was born in Austin, Texas where she lived for the first two years of her life before moving to Silverdale, Washington.
After High School, Pearl received a certificate of completion of studies from the ITT Peterson School of Technology. She then went on to be a Certification Clerk for the King County Courthouse where she worked for 30 years.
When asked what the most important lessons she learned were, Pearl said, “Be kind to people, because you’ll never know when you might need to ask them for a glass of water.”
Pearl is most proud of her relationships with others, and her ability to always show kindness.
She has been married for 20 years, and met her husband in high school. The two had 4 children together, all of whom live in the Puget Sound area.
When asked who inspires her the most, she said it would be her father. He was an encourager who showed kindness to others, and taught her to treat people as you wish to be treated.
As someone who has seen Black History Month grow and evolve over the years, we asked her what it means to her. She told us: “As a proud African American, Black History Month means a great opportunity to be educated and to learn from the great heroes who have made a difference in the African American community.”
Pacifica Senior Living Mission Villa - Erma
Erma served as a public school teacher in Austin, Texas. She impacted younger generations through her work as an educator. We asked her what was the best part of being an educator? “Bringing people together.”
Pacifica Senior Living San Martin - Audrey S.
Audrey has been a part of the Pacifica family since September of 2019. She is one of the most loved residents for her gentle yet spunky demeanor.
Audrey was born and raised in Leland, Michigan, was an avid basketball player, and even went to college in Leland on multiple sports scholarships.
The biggest lesson she’s learned is:
“Everything you’re taught and told isn’t always right. You have to live your life to learn.”
“I am thankful for everything I have. Even though I have had hard times, I am still blessed. I love to work, I have always loved it and I think I am most proud of that.”
The most inspiring person in her life was her grandfather: “My grandfather, John Henry Grisolm called me ‘Babydoll’ and believed in me. He made me think I could walk on water. We had the biggest pecan tree in Leland, and he showed me how to gather them in match boxes, which I would then sell to all the ladies in town for their pecan pies.”
She also had some great insight to share about what Black History Month means to her:
“It makes me proud, and thankful. I think I’ve done well for a young black woman with no educational training. I didn’t go to college but I’ve learned a lot from life, I’ve learned a lot from church and from just living.”
Meridian at Westwood - Charlie
When asked about the importance of Black History month, and to share some of his favorite memories, Charlie said:
"Church and singing were what I loved to do growing up, and I still love to sing every day. The church was very important to me, and I was saved at age 15".
Pacifica Senior Living Riverside - Samuel A
Samuel A is a resident of Pacifica Senior Living Riverside.His family stems from Oklahoma, and he was raised with a strong sense of faith. Samuel also met his wife through his church.
He told us the thing he is most proud of is “Graduating from Cal State LA, studying Environmental Health Science.” Similarly, when we asked him what he would go back to tell his younger self he said, “To study hard in school!”
What does Black History Month mean to you?
“It means a lot. It’s very important to me because it's empowering.
Pacifica Senior Living Vista - Ret. Judge James and Shirley F.
James and Shirley are residents of Pacifica Senior Living Vista.
We asked them what in their life they are most proud of:
"We are PROUD New Yorkers but most proud of our relationship. We have been together since we were teenagers growing up in The Bronx, and have been married since 1955. We inspire each other. Never give up. Love always wins."
Chesapeake Place Senior Living - Helen S.
Helen from Chesapeake Senior Living also shared her thoughts with us, and some insight on what Black History means to her, and for younger generations.
We asked her what the most important lesson she's learned in her life was and she said, "The most important lesson I have learned in my life is you can keep going! I would like to share with young African American women that when your life seems to be going in a direction that you are not expecting, YOU CAN KEEP GOING!"
We also asked her what in her life she was most proud of:
"I am very proud of being a Norfolk State Honor Graduate. Another time in my life that comes to mind is when I was Miss. Zip. This was when I worked for the postal service and they were just starting to use zip codes."
We love being able to share stories of our residents and team members, be inspired by them, and learn from their wisdom. You can hear more stories from our residents celebrating their heritage and Black History Month by checking out our social media, to view videos and photos of our amazing residents sharing their stories throughout the month. You can also come visit these incredible residents, or get to know the residents in your local community. Come out to one of our events or schedule a tour, and stay the visit with us. We can’t wait to meet you!