My kids were skeptical…
By Rebecca Quinn, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fountain View Village, Scottsdale LIVING WELL Magazine
The day had finally come. I could hardly believe it was here. We were retiring and about to start a new chapter in our lives. We had decided years ago that when this day came, we were going to split our time between Arizona and Michigan. Our main home was in Arizona and we had a small cabin on the lake in Michigan. Our grandkids could come and visit and we would have a wonderful summer on the beach. It seemed like the perfect life and for a while it was. But, then it became too much for us to travel back and forth, so we decided to stay in Arizona––you don’t have to shovel sunshine.
We still had our home in Arizona and everything would be fine. Then suddenly, my beloved passed away. I was heartbroken; we had been together since we were kids. My children wanted me to sell my home and move in with them. They thought it would be too much for me to take care of myself. I considered their offer, but decided that it wasn’t fair to them. They had their own lives and having Mom around all the time would be hard for them. I was determined to stay in my home and keep my independence. Even though I had to hire someone to clean my house, take care of my yard and even drive me to the grocery store.
I wasn’t going to budge. Until, one day, I was sipping my morning coffee and reading the newspaper. I saw an ad that caught my eye. It said “Un-retire at Fountain View Village” and had a picture of two residents having a squirt gun fight. “Anything but the usual activities” was the caption under the picture. I thought to myself, this is a place I need to see. I put down my paper and called them. A friendly voice said, “It’s a beautiful lifestyle at Fountain View Village, this is Joan, how may I help you?” I told her I wanted some information. She transferred me to Rebecca, who answered the phone with the same warm greeting. Then she said, “Tell me about you.” I told her I was 78 and the only thing wrong with me was that I had a little high blood pressure and some arthritis that made it hard for me to cook and clean. She thanked me for sharing that, but then said, “Okay, you told me what is wrong with you, but tell me about you. Where are you from, what did you do for a career, what do you like to do, just tell me about you.” I was a little surprised at this question, as the few times I had called other places; they only wanted to figure out “what part of the community I would fit in.” I told her I was originally from Michigan and we had moved to Arizona many years ago when my children were small. I had been a retail manager and worked for JC Penney for over 20 years and my husband had been a security network engineer for Dell. I love to read and watch murder mysteries, as I got hooked on them because of Scooby Doo. I have been retired for 15 years and am ready to “Un-retire.” She said that I came to the right place for that. “We will take care of the cooking and the cleaning and you can concentrate on the fun stuff.” That sounded wonderful, so I made an appointment to meet with her. I told her that I would be bringing my sons with me and that they thought I was “too young” for this.
When we arrived, Joan greeted us and I recognized her from the friendly voice on the phone. Rebecca was waiting for us and we started our tour. My boys were still skeptical; they didn’t want to admit that their Mom was getting old. I told them, “Ever since your Dad passed, I have been sitting at home alone day after day. I missed talking to people my age.” As we went along and they saw all that was available to me––a movie theater, a beauty shop, and even a pub––they started to warm to the idea. I found a beautiful apartment looking out at the mountains, but I hardly have time to look at them because I am too busy being “Un-retired.”